Here's where Texas programs are going bowling

By Will Leverett

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The 2020 college football bowl schedule was finalized on Sunday, meaning players will finally know where their teams will end the wildest season in the history of the sport. 

None of the Texas colleges earned a trip to the College Football Playoff, but multiple earned premiere bowl attention. One team will play in a New Year’s Six bowl. Another will face off against a conference champion, while a few teams will rematch against some old friends. 

In a year with incomplete schedules, the qualifications to make a bowl were confusing. Multiple SEC programs made bowls with 3-7 records. Army was left out with a 9-2 record, and UTSA was at risk too after SMU pulled out of its matchup due to COVID-19.

Additionally, some teams made the decision to not accept bowl invites regardless. Texas Tech, for example, noted that it would not accept an invite after firing its offensive coordinator. 

Regardless, bowl season is officially upon us. Here is where every Texas college football team will play a bowl in 2020.

Texas A&M Aggies: Orange Bowl

Opponent: No. 13 North Carolina (8-3, 7-3)

When: 7 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2021 (ESPN)

Where: Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

What to Know: Mack Brown and the Fighting Aggies meet again! Texas A&M finished just outside of the College Football Playoff, but now gets its first New Year's Six/BCS bowl since Johnny Manziel. This will be the last bowl of the season before the national championship, so there will be plenty of eyes on this game. The UNC offense under former Sam Houston State offensive coordinator Phil Longo is the most interesting unit in this game. 

Texas Longhorns: Alamo Bowl

Opponent: Colorado (4-1, 3-1)

When: 8 p.m. on Dec. 29 (ESPN)

Where: The Alamodome in San Antonio

What to Know: In a year where everything is upside down, is Texas happy to go to a bowl that it's awfully familiar with and play an old conference foe? The Buffaloes were quietly (invisibly?) the biggest story in the Pac-12 this season. If not for a loss against Utah in the regular season finale, Colorado might have been playing in the Pac-12 title game in former UCLA coach Karl Dorrell's first seaosn. The star of the show is Bishop Lynch alum Jarek Broussard, who rushed for 813 yards in just five games and posted an insane 301-yard performance against Arizona. 

TCU Horned Frogs: Texas Bowl

Opponent: Arkansas (3-7, 3-7)

When: 7 p.m. on Dec 31 (ESPN)

Where: NRG Stadium in Houston

What to Know: We're turning the clock back to the Southwest Conference with this matchup. The Razorbacks were resurgent in their first year under head coach Sam Pittman, but Gary Patterson ranks among the best in America at countering the dynamic spread offense. The Arkansas roster is filled with former Texas high school football stars, including LB Bumper Pool (Lovejoy), DB Jalen Catalon (Mansfield Legacy) and RB Trelon Smith (Cy Ridge).

UTSA Roadrunners: First Responder Bowl

Opponent: No. 19 Louisiana (9-1, 7-1)

When: 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 26 (ABC)

Where: Gerald Ford Stadium in Dallas

What to know: The Roadrunners lost a Frisco Bowl matchup against SMU due to Covid, but will instead play on the Mustangs' home field a week later. UTSA was the surprise of 2020 in the state of Texas and now get a chance to prove it against one of the nation's best teams. Louisiana decimated Iowa State by 17 points and only has a loss against Coastal Carolina. Simply put, this will be the hardest game of the season – and UTSA had to play BYU! The good news? There's absolutely nothing to lose, and Jeff Traylor will get a few extra days to recruit Dallas. 

Houston Cougars: New Mexico Bowl

Opponent: Hawaii (4-4, 4-4)

When: 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 24 (ESPN)

Where: Toyota Stadium in Frisco

What to Know: You know it's a weird year when Hawaii isn't playing in the Hawaii Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl is being played at the home of FC Dallas. However, the Christmas Eve matchup marks a return to the mainland for Rainbow Warriors coach Todd Graham, a former head coach at Rice and Allen High School, and a North Mesquite grad. Additionally, Hawaii features former North Texas receiver Rico Bussey and former Rice receiver Aaron Cephus. Houston is a much better team though. 

North Texas Mean Green: Myrtle Beach Bowl

Opponent: Appalachian State (8-3, 6-2)

When: 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 21 (ESPN)

Where: Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C.

What to Know: The Mean Green earn a fourth bowl trip in five years, though we must add that this is the second time that Seth Littrell's squad earned a postseason bid with a losing record. Still, North Texas has a tough fight to try and win its first game under Littrell, especially considering Austin Aune and Jaelon Darden will not be in the lineup. Appalachian State still ranks as one of the best Group of Five teams in America.

SMU Mustangs: Frisco Bowl (cancelled)

The Mustangs were set to play UTSA in the Frisco Bowl in a matchup that we would have been all over, but SMU was forced to pull out due to positive cases.

Did not qualify

  • Baylor Bears
  • Rice Owls
  • UTEP Miners
  • Texas State Bobcats
  • Texas Tech Red Raiders

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