News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

College Football's Bowl Season Takes On A Texas Flavor

life-sized tire sculptures of mascots
Matt Strasen
Associated Press
Cotton Bowl sponsor Goodyear unveiled life-sized tire sculptures of Penn State's mascot, the Nittany Lion, and the Memphis Tiger on Thursday.

Texas will host six college football bowl in the next nine days. None of the games will involve national title contenders. But in Arlington Saturday, the Cotton Bowl between Penn State and Memphis will serve as the opening act for two national playoff games later in the day. Here's the lineup: 

TEXAS BOWL (Dec. 27, 5:45 p.m. Central)

Things kick off Friday in Houston, as Texas A&M and Oklahoma State face off in the Texas Bowl. It’s the first time the two teams have met since A&M left the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference in 2012. OSU has won its last four meetings with A&M. This is the 14th consecutive bowl game for the 25th-ranked Cowboys (8-4). The unranked Aggies (7-5) have lost their last two games — but boast of being the only team in history to lose to three schools ranked No. 1 in the same year.

COTTON BOWL (Dec. 28, 11 a.m. Central)

No. 17-ranked Memphis is the American Athletic Conference champ with a 12-1 record. The Tigers' only loss this season was by two points to Temple; they also ended an undefeated season by SMU. Penn State (10-2), which finished second in the Big Ten East, is ranked higher at No. 10. The Cotton Bowl isn't played at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas' Fair Park any more; it moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington in 2010.

FIRST RESPONDER BOWL (Dec. 30, 11:30 a.m. Central)

Western Kentucky (8-4) and Western Michigan (7-5) will duke it out in the First Responder Bowl at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas. ESPN reports this will be the sixth meeting between the schools, and their first since 1947.

SUN BOWL (Dec. 31, 1 p.m. Central)

The Sun Bowl in El Paso is the first of two New Year’s Eve bowls in Texas. The Pac 12's Arizona State (7-5) squares off with Florida State (6-6) of the Atlantic Coast Conference. FSU's coach, Willie Taggart, was fired last month; interim coach Odell Haggins will lead the Seminoles on Tuesday. This will be Arizona State’s third consecutive bowl game appearance.

ALAMO BOWL (Dec. 31, 6:30 p.m. Central)

The San Antonio-based bowl will feature an overachiever — No. 11 Utah (11-2) — and an underachiever — unranked Texas (7-5). Utah won the PAC-12 South. UT came into this season seemingly on a roll after winning last season's Sugar Bowl but was derailed by losses at TCU and Iowa State.

ARMED FORCES BOWL (Jan. 4, 10:30 a.m. Central)

Bowl games in Texas wrap up when rivals Southern Mississippi (7-5) and Tulane (6-6) head to Fort Worth for the Armed Forces Bowl. According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, these two teams have a tradition of tough head-to-head matchups, but haven’t faced each other since 2010.

The NCAA has a full listof bowl games being played over the next several weeks.

Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.