Fred Faour: Your college football bowl primer for all the Texas schools in the postseason

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock (13398393h) Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian reacts during the second half of an NCAA college football game against UTSA, in Austin, Texas UTSA Texas Football, Austin, United States – 17 Sep 2022

Fred Faour: Your college football bowl primer for all the Texas schools in the postseason

Let’s be honest – the bowl season is not what it used to be. The playoffs have rendered a lot of these games useless. Players opt out. Coaches leave for new jobs. But some of them do still have meaning for schools. Every team has different motivations for bowl games, and that makes a difference. Let’s take a look at all the bowl bids for Texas teams and what they will mean for those schools:

Friday, Dec. 16

Cure Bowl

No. 24 Troy vs. No. 25 UTSA, 2  p.m., ESPN, Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida: UTSA had an amazing year, with an 11-2 record and CUSA championship. The only losses were to Houston in overtime and at Texas. UTSA is off to the American next year, and a second consecutive 12-win season would be a huge accomplishment. Head coach Jeff Traylor should be on every big school’s radar.

Saturday, Dec. 17

New Mexico Bowl

SMU vs. BYU, 1:15 p.m., ESPN, University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico: Both of these teams probably had higher hopes than 7-5 and the New Mexico Bowl. BYU is off to the Big 12 next year, while SMU hopes to be one of the better teams in the American. For this year, however, this one does not mean much.

LendingTree Bowl

Rice vs. Southern Mississippi, 4:45 p.m., ESPN, Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama: The Owls lost their final game to finish 5-7, but were invited anyway. It’s a big deal for Rice as they get a postseason bid for the first time since 2014.

Frisco Bowl

Boise State vs. North Texas, 8:15 p.m., ESPN, Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas: North Texas might have a little more motivation coming off a C-USA championship game loss and playing at home. But otherwise not much to see here.

Thursday, Dec. 22

Armed Forces Bowl

Baylor vs. Air Force, 6:30 p.m. ESPN, Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas: Baylor was in a New Year’s Six bowl last year and had much higher hopes than this. The service academies tend to have no shortage of motivation in bowl games. Tough spot for the Bears.

Friday, Dec. 23

Independence Bowl

Houston vs. Louisiana, ESPN, 2 p.m., Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana: Dana Holgorsen’s Cougars were a massive disappointment, going 7-5. Expect some opt outs here as the Cougars close out a lost season.

Wednesday, Dec. 28

Texas Bowl

Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss, 8 p.m., ESPN, NRG Stadium in Houston: An interesting matchup as Ole Miss has become a really solid program under Lane Kiffin and on paper this looks like a mismatch. But Tech had some big wins under first-year coach Joey McGuire and will be looking to make a statement. Should be a competitive game.

Thursday, Dec. 29

Alamo Bowl

No. 12 Washington vs. No. 20 Texas 9 p.m. ESPN, Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas: This is a pretty sexy matchup, with the Huskies quietly winning 10 games and the Horns taking a step in the right direction with eight wins. Not everyone is likely to play in this one, but a win would give Texas nine wins and set them up for bigger things in 2023.

Saturday, Dec. 31

Fiesta Bowl (College Football Playoff semifinal) No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU, 3 p.m., ESPN, State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona: No worries about motivation for this one as the winner gets a shot at the national title. TCU and coach Sonny Dykes had a remarkable season. Michigan will be heavily favored, but the Frogs have been in some dog fights (or is it Frog fights?) and will not be an easy out.

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