WACO, Texas - Baylor has accepted an invitation to play in the 2010 Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, snapping a 16-year bowl drought for the Bears football program.
"On behalf of Baylor University, President Starr, Coach Briles and our football program, it is a great honor to accept an invitation to participate in the 2010 Texas Bowl," director of athletics Ian McCaw said. "I want to thank Heather Houston, the Texas Bowl committee, Houston Texans and ESPN for this special opportunity. We are very excited about playing in Houston and look forward to Baylor Nation rising up to fill the stands."
Baylor will face Illinois from the Big Ten Conference when the Texas Bowl is played at 5 p.m. CST on Dec. 29. The game will be televised live nationally on ESPN.
"We're excited, this is a long time coming for Baylor," head coach Art Briles said. "This is a reward for the efforts that our football team has put forth and we're excited about going to Houston to represent Baylor University. For the University, our players, their families and our fans, it's a great location. We're fortunate that we're getting to stay in state and play a Big Ten opponent in such a great pro stadium like Reliant."
Baylor (7-5, 4-4 Big 12) became bowl eligible for the first time since the 1995 season when it beat Kansas State on Oct. 23. The Bears followed up that win by going on the road to win at Texas the following weekend, marking the first time Baylor beat Texas in Austin since 1991.
With the win over Texas, Baylor notched its fourth Big 12 win, the most ever for the Bears in the 15-year history of the conference. The victory also propelled the Bears to No. 22 in both national polls, giving Baylor its highest ranking since the 1991 season.
"Baylor's ticket sales for the Texas Bowl will be closely monitored and impact the football program's postseason opportunities for years to come," McCaw said. "With that, it is imperative that Baylor fans rise up and purchase tickets through the Baylor Athletic Ticket Office to fill the stands at Reliant Stadium. Coach Briles and the team have come through with a bowl game for the fans, and now it is time for our fans to show their support for this football team by coming to Houston to cheer the Bears on to victory."
"I know the perfect Christmas gift for every Baylor Bear this year and I hope they find it in their stocking on Christmas morning!," he added.
Baylor is allotted 12,000 tickets for the 2010 Texas Bowl. The tickets, which are priced at $75, $65, $60 and $25, may be purchased online at www.BaylorBears.com, by calling the Baylor Athletic Ticket Office at 254-710-1000 or in person at the Ferrell Center box office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. All tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis, and sent via express mail on Dec. 20th.
Baylor students may purchase tickets to the 2010 Texas Bowl beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 8th, at 8 a.m., in the Bill Daniel Student Center Ticket Office. Student tickets, which cost $30 each, may be purchased from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Dec. 8-10, or until supplies are exhausted. All student tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Student pick-up instructions will be given at the time of purchase.
Baylor is 8-8 all-time in bowl games, and the Bears will be playing a bowl game in Houston for the fourth time. Baylor beat LSU 14-7 in the 1963 Bluebonnet Bowl at Rice Stadium, the Bears fell to Oklahoma State 24-14 in the 1983 Bluebonnet Bowl at the Astrodome and Baylor won 21-9 over Colorado in the 1986 Bluebonnet Bowl at Rice Stadium.
The last time Baylor played in a bowl game was when the Bears fell to Washington State, 10-3, in the 1994 Alamo Bowl. Baylor's last bowl win came in 1992, when the Grant Teaff era ended with a 20-15 win over Arizona in the John Hancock Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
OFFICIAL FAN HOTEL
Anthony Travel, the travel partner of Baylor Athletics, is partnering with Baylor University and the Baylor Bear Foundation to offer official bowl travel options. Anthony Travel has secured discounted hotel accommodations at Baylor's official fan hotel, the Doubletree Guest Suites Houston by the Galleria.
The Doubletree Houston is Houston's premiere, full-service luxury hotel. Located in the heart of the thriving Uptown/Galleria area, famous for shopping, dining and entertainment venues, the Doubletree Houston is within close proximity to many Houston attractions. Anthony Travel can also assist with car rentals and air reservations on your Texas Bowl trip.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE TEXAS BOWL
This year's game will be the fifth installment of the Texas Bowl. The bowl has been affiliated with the Big 12 Conference ever since its inception in 2006, and 2010 is the first time it will pair teams from the Big 12 against the Big Ten Conference. Also starting this year, the Texas Bowl holds the fifth choice among Big 12 bowls, after the BCS bowls are announced. The bowl held the seventh choice for its first four years.
Previous results of the Texas Bowl include:
2006 - Rutgers 37, Kansas State 10 (NFL Network)
2007 - TCU 20, Houston 13 (NFL Network)
2008 - Rice 38, Western Michigan 14 (NFL Network)
2009 - Navy 35, Missouri 13 (ESPN)