Seven Texas teams are moving on to bowl season. Once again, none are competing in the playoff. What's the playoff criteria? Apparently whatever brand of Gin the committee's drinking that day. Still, six of twelve FBS schools making a bowl is pretty good, even if the vast majority managed between six and seven wins.
Let's take a look at where everyone's going.
North Texas vs. Troy, New Orleans Bowl. December 16. Noon.
The Mean Green may have lost the CUSA title, but they got the better bowl as FAU plays in the Boca Raton bowl against Akron.
Troy is a top-notch Sun Belt opponent for the Mean Green. No shame in playing the Trojans, who upset LSU in Baton Rouge this year. Ten win Troy and nine wins North Texas make this a marquee early bowl season matchup. Only four postseason tilts feature teams with more combined wins.
SMU vs. Louisiana Tech, Frisco Bowl. December 20. 7:00.
The Mustangs will be in Frisco; the question is will their coach? Chad Morris is a hot name in the Arkansas and Tennessee coaching searches. If this were the 2016 Bulldogs vs. the 2017 Mustangs, we'd be more excited, but 2017 Louisiana Tech is more of plodder this year. This should be the last game of Courtland Sutton's SMU career. Maybe some Mustang fans should show up to see it.
Texas Tech vs. South Florida, Birmingham Bowl. December 23. 11:00 a.m.
This one's juicy if you believe styles make fights. Tech's defense gets to tangle with Charlie Strong's explosive USF offense. On the other side, Tech will have to deal with some good old fashioned Florida speed.
This time Strong won't have D'Onta Foreman to clobber the Red Raiders with.
Houston vs. Fresno State, Hawaii Bowl. December 24. 7:30
Houston makes the longest trip of any Texas school as they head to Hawaii to take on Jeff Tedford's Fresno State team. The Bulldogs surprised a lot of people with their 2017 season, almost winning the Mountain West. They're coached by surly old Tedford who returned to the college ranks and in year one got all the way to nine wins.
This is a great matchup for the Cougars; two can beat a top-tier G5 and put a cherry on top of their season.
Texas vs. Missouri, Texas Bowl. December 27. 8:00.
This one's interesting, Missouri was left for dead but rallied to get to seven wins behind Drew Lock who broke the SEC single-season passing mark this season. The real benefit for Texas are the fifteen bowl practices as the Longhorns will be without a couple of heavy contributors, Connor Williams and Deshon Elliott.
Stanford vs. TCU, Alamo Bowl. December 28. 8:00.
The Frogs tangle with a ruthless smashing machine in Stanford who may be Bryce Love back to 100% in a month. TCU will have to deal with an explosive offense and Gary Patterson who'll have nearly a month to prep.
Frog and Pac 12 fans will remember the last time TCU played a west coast squad in San Antonio. Oregon fans would just as soon you not bring that up.
Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest, Belk Bowl. December 29. Noon.
Jimbo Fisher won't coach this one, but he'll be watching. The Demon Deacons aren't pushovers, but they did stumble down the stretch. A&M is no secret to that maneuver themselves. A&M will be led by interim coach Jeff Banks who, in the immortal words of Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter, will probably let his "nuts hang" a bit.
Aggie fans want 2017 over with because they've got Jimbo in town.