Monday, December 11th, 2017

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

Published on December 31, 2011 by   ·   4 Comments

texas-bowl-logoThe Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas is a college football bowl game that is played in Reliant Stadium in Houston annually. This is going to be the 6th Texas Bowl played. However, this is the first year that the Texas Bowl has a title sponsor. Meineke Car Care has taken over the sponsor after they were the title sponsor in the North Carolina bowl game with the same name.

The Texas Bowl was created because the Houston Bowl was in financial trouble and the city of Houston has hosted a bowl game every year since the creation of the Bluebonnet Bowl. For most years, a team from Texas has gone to this bowl game; most likely to draw the fans in from Texas.

This year is no different as the Big 12 is sending the Texas A&M Aggies (6-6) while the Big 10 has sent the Northwestern Wildcats (6-6). The game will start on Saturday, December 31 at 12:00PM ET. You can watch this game on ESPN or listen to it on the radio on ESPN Radio.


Texas A&M is almost a double-digit favorite, even though the two teams have the same record and the Aggies fired their head coach before the game. It’s been a decade since A&M won a bowl game; but that is not long compared to Northwestern, who has gone without a bowl win since 1949.

I don’t know why Texas A&M decide to fire coach Mike Sherman. This is a team that competed all year long with very close losses in 5 of their 6 games. This includes losses to Oklahoma State and Arkansas as well as an OT loss and a 4OT loss. If the ball bounced the right way, this team could have gone to a BCS Bowl.

So now, Texas A&M is staring down a rebuilding year as they make the move to the SEC. That makes two questionable moves that this program has made. I hope that they like finishing 3-9 in the SEC West for the next 5 years.

When you look at this matchup on paper, Northwestern doesn’t even looks like it belongs there. The Aggies have competed with the best teams in the country and has one of the most potent offenses in the nation. They are also playing very close to home and should have the home field advantage.

But, I am picking Northwestern for the big upset in this game because of the turmoil and change surrounding Texas A&M. Mike Sherman wasn’t only the head coach, but also the offensive coordinator and the play caller. I think you will see a stagnant offense for the first time this year.

The Wildcats certainly have the ability to win this game. They lost close games in the majority of their losses. They also went into Lincoln and beat Nebraska when they were ranked high in the polls.


Texas A&M is not going to have much to play for in this game. If they don’t take Northwestern seriously, they are going to lose. I don’t think that this will be the high scoring game that I originally predicted.

I now have Northwestern winning this bowl game by the final score of 30-28.

2010 Texas Bowl

Previous Bowl Results

The Big 12 has been represented twice before in the Texas Bowl, losing both games handily. The Big 10 has not played in the Texas Bowl before.


Neither team has had a spectacular bowl record or has been known for going to bowl games very often. Illinois had a couple of great years where they went to the Rose Bowl. In fact the last time the Illini were in a bowl game a couple of years ago in the 2008 Rose Bowl, which they lost to USC very badly 49-17.

Baylor, on the other hand, has not played in a bowl game since they lost the 1994 Alamo Bowl 10-3 against the Washington State Cougars.

Texas Bowl Breakdown

RecordsBaylor: 7-5; Illinois: 6-6
All Time Bowl RecordBaylor: 8-8; Illinois: 6-8
Key WinsBaylor: Texas 30-22, Kansas State 47-42; Illinois: Northern Illinois 28-22, Penn State 33-13, Northwestern 48-27
Key LossesBaylor: TCU 45-10, Oklahoma State 55-28, Oklahoma 53-24; Illinois: Missouri 23-13, Michigan 67-65, Fresno State 25-23

This game looks like it would be in favor of Baylor to win this game, in fact they are currently a one point favorite on the college football betting lines. There is a couple of reasons that I like Illinois in this game:

1) They both played a tough conference schedule. Illinois has done admirably well against the top tier competition like Missouri, Ohio State and Michigan State. Meanwhile, Baylor got blown out in several games this season including their final three games of the season – all against ranked teams.

2) As you will see below, the Bear’s defense is in the bottom third of the nation and Illinois strength is their offense.

Points For/GameBaylor: 32.6; Illinois: 32.1
Points Against/GameBaylor: 29.8; Illinois: 24.3
Offensive Yards/GameBaylor: 478.5; Illinois: 385.7

Both teams have a good running game. Baylor’s defense is lacking but they make up for it with a good passing attack. The opposite is true for Illinois; they have a decent defense but has trouble moving the ball through the air.

Every once in a while, you have to pick what some would think would be the upset here, which is Illinois. Looking at the stats alone, Baylor almost puts up 100 yards more in offense. They are also playing in the state of Texas and will have more fans supporting them. But a lot of their wins have come against poor team with the exception of the Kansas State game.

Also, the Illini played a game two weeks more recently than Baylor had. We shall see if there is less of a rust factor in the first quarter for Illinois.


This should be a close game and so far I have chosen the teams that are closer and have had a home field advantage. By this time in the bowl season, teams are more settled in as there is time between semesters and teams can stay in the city of the bowl game for days before the game.

The closer you get to New Year’s Day, the more frequently the upsets tend to happen. That’s the reason I’m going to pick Illinois to win 38-34.

Bowl Game Review

I love it when a plan comes together with an underdog pick! Illinois took the play to Baylor for the first half, but came away with 3 FGs and 1 TD. They let Baylor have a little bit of life early in the 4th quarter but put their foot down and won the Texas Bowl handily 38-14.

2010 Bowl Record – 8-5

Highlights from Previous Texas Bowls

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. […] won their last bowl game two years ago, defeating Missouri 35-13 in the 2009 Texas Bowl. They are 7-8-1 in bowl games all […]

  2. […] (8-4) lost in last year’s Texas Bowl 35-13 to Navy (10-3). They are 12-15 all time in bowl […]

  3. […] last game that Kansas State played in was the 2006 Texas Bowl (also inaugural game), which they lost 37-10 against another Big East team, […]

  4. […] This one is going to confuse you for a second. There is still a Meineke Car Care Bowl, but it is now the title sponsor for the Texas Bowl. […]

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