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One Last Bowl: Texas Bowl Preview, Open Thread

39 scholarship players for LSU, a new OC for K-State, and pouring some out for the Bowl.

Writing Illini

don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened :(

TaxAct Texas Bowl

LSU Tigers vs. Kansas State Wildcats

8pm | ESPN | K-State -7 | O/U 47.5

NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)

So things seem like they’re going well down in Baton Rouge:

There’s a lot to be positively mortified about here: LSU will have a wide receiver playing QB (so they don’t burn true frosh Garrett Nussmeier’s redshirt), meaning they’ll do a bad impression of 2020 Kentucky and Lynn Bowden, Jr. Kansas State is notoriously boring. ESPN will likely spend most of the game drooling over murderer/manslaughterer Brian Kelly and probably interviewing his weirdly-accented ass while talking about how good LSU is going to be next year.


This is our last FBS college football game of the year, so we owe it to ourselves to enjoy a few minutes of the madness. And Kansas State will contribute—HC Chris Kliemann fired his OC and TE coach (the latter a big deal in a K-State offense, I assume), and former Wildcat QB Collin Klein will be the interim offensive coordinator. Wildcats QB Skylar Thompson returns from injury, and having thrown for a whopping 9 TDs in 9 games, he’ll no doubt put up big numbers—maybe even crack 200 yards passing!

(More seriously, just assume K-State will run it with Deuce Vaughn. Will LSU care about stopping the run? WHO KNOWS! That’s not my department, said Wernher von Braun.)

K-State’s been involved in some interesting bowl firsts—mostly the 1982 Independence Bowl, the Wildcats’ first postseason appearance. They lost, 14-3, to Wisconsin in a game where, Wikipedia tells me, “a 23 mile-per-hour wind dropped temperatures to 10 below zero.” That was the badgers’ first bowl win, too. Fun.

Of course, the Purdue fans in attendance want you to know more about how, in 1998, the Boilermakers tripped up #3 Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl behind first-year sophomore starter Drew Brees, who led the Boilers 80 yards in the final minute for a game-winning touchdown.

Ever the innovators, the Wildcats had been left out of a BCS bowl game despite being the third-ranked team in the BCS; Kansas State named the rule created after 1998 guaranteeing the #3 BCS team a bowl slot, and there were thus never any issues with bowl games again.

Having also lost, 35-28, to Ohio State in the 2004 Fiesta Bowl—a game the Wildcats made after stunning #1 Oklahoma 35-7 in the Big XII Championship Game but marred when their starting QB Eli Roberson was accused of sexual assault the night before the game—Kansas State got their first and only win over the Big Ten in the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings (nee Inisght, nee Copper) Bowl.

So they’re M-3 against the Big Ten. Delightful.

LSU’s first win over a Big Ten team in a bowl game—not counting Big XII-era Nebraska or independent-era Penn State—was a 45-26 win over Michigan State in the 1995 Independence Bowl. Big win for Gerry DiNardo. Their next came six years later under Nick Saban, a 47-34 Sugar Bowl win over the Big Ten champions, Kurt Kittner-led Illinois.

I think I need a little lie-down here.

The Texas Bowl considers itself founded in 2006, which is odd, because it picked up where the Houston Bowl—you know it better as the Bowl—when that 2000-05 bowl died out. Side note (this is all one big side note, I guess): I used this bowl as an example to my students when we taught the dot-com boom and got multiple final essays that referenced the Bowl and Enron in the same sentence, so I’ve done my teaching job for this semester.

No Big Ten team ever played in the Houston Bowl—both 1979 Purdue and 1981 Michigan won its ideological predecessor, the Bluebonnet Bowl (1959-87), along with 1976 Nebraska—but when the conference added the Texas Bowl as a tie-in for the 2010 season, we got some instant...classics?

  • 2010: Illinois def. Baylor, 38-14?!?!?!?!?!? I have no memory of this game
  • 2011: In the first sponsored Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Texas A&M whupped Northwestern, 33-22, and did its whole Nuremberg Rally thing before the fourth quarter, which was just a treat to experience in my final bowl game as a NUMB member.
  • 2012: Texas Tech def. Minnesota, 34-31—Minnesota was 6-6 (2-6), which, that tracks...and despite head-kicker Philip Nelson throwing them into a 31-24 lead in the fourth quarter, Minnesota yielded a TD with 1:10 left, Nelson threw an interception in Gopher territory with :43 left, and Tech kicked a 28-yard field goal to win the game. Here are those last two minutes of game-time, which are just 9 minutes of your day:
  • 2013: Minnesota returned, lost to Syracuse, 21-17, in front of just 32,327 fans, and the Texas Bowl realized “Hey, maybe always inviting a Texas team is a better idea than this shit.”

Thus ended the Big Ten’s involvement with the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas Bowl, and thus ends this preview.


Texas Bowl?

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Here’s your open thread for one last FBS college football game of the 2021-22 bowl season, and if you’re looking for the Big Ten basketball games (who can pass up Michigan-Rutgers), you can do that here. Thanks for being you.