Texas will play in its first Alamo Bowl, against Iowa in San Antonio on Dec. 30.

The Longhorns (9-3) saw their season fall apart with losses to Kansas State and Texas A&M, while the Hawkeyes (6-6) lost five of their last six games and were ninth in the 11–team Big Ten.

Texas has made the 75-mile trip to San Antonio at least two other times: a loss to Nebraska in the 1999 Big 12 championship game and a win over SMU in a neutral site game in 1993. Iowa is playing in its fourth Alamo Bowl.

Capital One

No. 12 Arkansas (10-3) is headed to a Jan. 1 in Orlando game against No. 6 Wisconsin (11-1).

The Razorbacks, with Heisman Trophy hopeful Darren McFadden, lost to Florida 38-28 in Saturday’s SEC title game.

Arkansas has played Wisconsin once before, losing 64-7 in 1912.

Champs Sports

Maryland will play Purdue in Orlando on Dec. 29, marking a return to the postseason for the Terrapins after two losing seasons.

The Terps (8-4) are bouncing back from two straight 5-6 seasons. The Boilermakers (8-4) are also making a return to postseason following a 5-6 finish last year.

Chick-fil-A

Georgia will go bowling in Atlanta for the second year in a row, only this time it’s the Chick-fil-A instead of the Sugar.

The Bulldogs (8-4) will face No. 14 Virginia Tech (10-2) on Dec. 30 at the Georgia Dome.

Georgia enhanced its credentials by beating a pair of ranked teams, Auburn and Georgia Tech, in its last two regular-season games. The Bulldogs’ strong finish came after four losses in five games.

“Midway through the season, I didn’t even think we would get a bowl,” Georgia safety Tra Battle said.

Virginia Tech missed out on a shot at the ACC title with back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and Boston College. But the Hokies won their final six games while allowing a total of only 23 points.

In fact, they led the nation in both scoring defense (9.3 points per game, including four shutouts) and total defense (221 yards per game).

Cotton

Nebraska is playing football in January again, against No. 10 Auburn in a Cotton Bowl at Dallas on Jan. 1.

It’s the first time in five seasons the 22nd-ranked Huskers (9-4) are in a January game, and their first Cotton Bowl appearance since 1980.

Auburn (10-2), with losses to Arkansas and Georgia, played in the Cotton Bowl once before, a 36-16 loss to Texas A&M in the 1986 game.

Nebraska won the Big 12 North but lost to Oklahoma 21-7 in the Big 12 title game Saturday. Auburn tied for second with LSU in the SEC West behind Arkansas.

Gator

No. 13 West Virginia’s reward for a triple OT win over Rutgers is a matchup against Georgia Tech on Jan. 1 in Jacksonville. Fla. – the Mountaineers’ third trip to the Gator in four years.

West Virginia (10-2) lost to Louisville and South Florida this season, while Georgia Tech (9-4) comes into the game with a 9-6 loss to Wake Forest in the ACC championship game Saturday.

The Mountaineers are 0-5 in Gator Bowl appearances, the most recent a loss to Florida State on Jan. 1, 2005. Last year, though, WVU beat Georgia 38-35 in the Sugar Bowl, which was played in Atlanta.

Independence

A pair of 6-6 teams will meet in Shreveport, La. on Dec. 28 – Oklahoma State and Alabama.

The postseason game marks the marks the first time since 1984-88 – the days of Heisman Trophy winner Barry Sanders and future NFL great Thurman Thomas – that the Cowboys have been to four bowls in a five-year span.

The Cowboys had gone to three straight bowl games under Les Miles before a 4-7 season last year.

It’s the third straight bowl berth for the Crimson Tide, who will have interim coach Joe Kines on the sideline after coach Mike Shula was fired at the end of the season.

Insight

Minnesota (6-6) will face Texas Tech (7-5) in the Dec. 29 game at Tempe, Ariz.

The Golden Gophers will be appearing in their fifth consecutive bowl game and their seventh bowl in the past eight seasons. After a difficult October, Minnesota bounced back to win its final three games.

The Red Raiders will be making their seventh bowl appearance in coach Mike Leach’s seven seasons.

It will be the first meeting between the schools.

International

Cincinnati will take on Western Michigan in the first International Bowl, in Toronto on Jan. 6.

The Bearcats (7-5), who upset Rutgers last month, will be led by Pat Narduzzi, who was named interim coach after Mark Dantonio left to take over Michigan State last week.

The bid marks Cincinnati’s fifth bowl appearance in the last seven seasons. Western Michigan (8-4) was invited last week.

Meineke

No. 23 Boston College will put its six-game bowl winning streak – longest in the nation – against Navy in the Dec. 30 game at Charlotte, N.C.

Boston College (9-3) will set a school record by going to a bowl game for the eighth year in a row. With a win, the Eagles also would finish with 10 victories in a season for only the third time in school history.

“We’ll be geared up and ready to go,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. Boston College’s last regular season game was a 17-14 loss to Miami on Nov. 23.

Navy (9-3) is coming off a 26-14 win over Army.

Motor City

Middle Tennessee will face Central Michigan in Detroit on Dec. 26 – the Blue Raiders’ first bowl appearance as a Division I-A team. The team’s last bowl game was a win over Muskingum in the Grantland Rice Bowl in 1964.

Middle Tennessee (7-5) was poised to win the Sun Belt championship before a 21-20 loss to Troy on Nov. 25. Central Michigan (9-4) won its first MAC title since 1994 with a 31-10 victory over Ohio last Thursday night.

Music City

Clemson (8-4) will take on Kentucky (7-5) in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 29.

The Tigers, who tied for second in the ACC’s Atlantic Division, feature one of the nation’s top running duos in James Davis and C.J. Spiller.

The Wildcats are led by Andre Woodson, the SEC’s leading passer averaging 268 yards per game.

Outback

Tennessee will play in the Jan. 1 game in Tampa, Fla., for the first time since Phillip Fulmer became coach.

The No. 17 Volunteers (9-3) will take on Penn State (8-4), with Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno hopeful he’ll be able to return to the sideline (he’s recovering from a broken leg).

Tennessee last played in the Outback at the at the end of the 1992 season when it beat Boston College in the then-Hall of Fame Bowl. Fulmer, who had been an interim coach part of the season, officially succeeded Johnny Majors before the postseason. The Vols beat Boston College 38-23.

Last year the Vols sat at home during the holidays after finishing 5-6, snapping Tennessee’s streak of bowl appearances at 16 in a row.

Sun

It’s Missouri vs. Oregon State in El Paso on Dec. 29.

The Tigers (8-4) finished second in the Big 12’s North Division, and will be making back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since 1997-98. Last season, Missouri beat South Carolina in the Independence Bowl.

Oregon State (9-4) was invited last week, then wrapped up its regular season with a 35-32 win at Hawaii on Saturday night. The Beavers moved into the rankings Sunday at No. 24, their first appearance in the Top 25 since October 2003.

Texas

Kansas State and No. 16 Rutgers will play Dec. 28 in Houston.

The Scarlet Knights (10-2) just missed out on a BCS berth after Saturday’s 41-39 triple OT loss to West Virginia, and fell all the way into this minor bowl. The Wildcats (7-5) are making their first postseason trip in three years.

Said Rutgers coach Greg Schiano: “Certainly, there’s disappointment. To come close and not get it hurts. But in 137 years of football, we’ve only been to two bowl games, so we’re thrilled to be going to another bowl game – and for the first time in our history, to be going to back-to-back bowl games.”

Rutgers’ situation should be familiar to Kansas State fans who remember the 1998 season.

The Wildcats, for years the most miserable program in college football, were ranked No. 2 and on the verge of playing for a national title before they lost to Texas A&M in double OT in the Big 12 title game. They tumbled to the Alamo Bowl, where they lost to unranked Purdue.

Kansas State and Rutgers will meet for the first time.


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