October 14, 2021CFB Insider
Let the Postseason Debate Begin!
Week 6 brought some unexpected upsets *cough* Alabama *cough* but how much does one week of wins and losses really mix up Bowl Season projections? Honestly, it depends on who you ask.
Read on to see which experts are predicting the predictable and who is expecting an upset for Big 12 and SEC matchups. Don’t forget to check out our latest @TexasBowl Twitter post to give us your opinion and enter to win some fun prizes.
Orange Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
USA Today: Alabama vs Ohio State
Athlon Sports: Georgia vs Cincinnati
CBS Sports: Georgia vs Cincinnati
247Sports: Georgia vs Cincinnati
Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
USA Today: Oklahoma vs Georgia
Athlon Sports: Iowa vs Alabama
CBS Sports: Iowa vs Oklahoma
247 Sports: Iowa vs Alabama
CFP Title Game
USA Today: Alabama vs Georgia
Athlon Sports: Alabama vs Georgia
Big 12 and SEC Bowl Games
Sugar Bowl (Big 12 vs SEC)
USA Today: Texas vs Kentucky
Athlon Sports: Ole Miss vs Oklahoma
CBS Sports: Alabama vs Texas
247Sports: Ole Miss vs Oklahoma
Texas Bowl (Big 12 vs SEC)
USA Today: Baylor vs Mississippi State
Athlon Sports: Baylor vs LSU
CBS Sports: Baylor vs Texas A&M
247Sports: Baylor vs Texas A&M
Outback Bowl (Big Ten/ACC vs SEC)
USA Today: Michigan vs Mississippi
Athlon Sports: Wisconsin vs Arkansas
CBS Sports: Nebraska vs Arkansas
247Sports: Nebraska vs Arkansas
Citrus Bowl (Big Ten vs SEC)
USA Today: Michigan State vs Florida
Athlon Sports: Michigan State vs Florida
CBS Sports: Michigan State vs Kentucky
247Sports: Michigan State vs Arkansas
Gator Bowl (ACC vs SEC)
USA Today: Clemson vs Texas A&M
Athlon Sports: Clemson vs Texas A&M
CBS Sports: Pittsburgh vs Florida
247Sports: Florida vs Clemson
Duke’s Mayo (ACC vs SEC)
USA Today: Virginia vs Arkansas
Athlon Sports: North Carolina State vs Auburn
CBS Sports: Virginia Tech vs Auburn
247Sports: Virginia Tech vs Auburn
Music City Bowl (Big Ten vs SEC)
USA Today: Wisconsin vs Tennessee
Athlon Sports: Minnesota vs Tennessee
CBS Sports: Minnesota vs Ole Miss
247Sports: Minnesota vs Ole Miss
Cheez-It Bowl (ACC vs Big 12)
USA Today: Wake Forest vs Iowa State
Athlon Sports: Notre Dame vs Texas
CBS Sports: Clemson vs Kansas State
247Sports: Pittsburgh vs Kansas State
Alamo Bowl (Big 12 vs Pac-12)
USA Today: Oklahoma State vs Oregon
Athlon Sports: Oklahoma State vs Arizona State
CBS Sports: Oklahoma State vs Arizona State
247Sports: Oklahoma State vs Arizona State
Guaranteed Rate (Big 12 vs Big Ten)
USA Today: Texas Tech vs Purdue
Athlon Sports: Kansas State vs Purdue
CBS Sports: West Virginia vs Wisconsin
247Sports: Iowa State vs Wisconsin
Gasparilla Bowl (ACC/American/SEC)
USA Today: Georgia Tech vs Central Florida
Athlon Sports: Miami vs Air Force
CBS Sports: Miami vs Air Force
247Sports: Miami vs Air Force
October 6, 2021Soccer
HOUSTON (October 6, 2021) – The Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee today launched the Spirit of Houston campaign, underlining the city’s united, community-driven and innovative approach that sets it apart from other candidate cities. Coinciding with the reveal, at 10 a.m. CT, organizations and individuals from around Houston participated in a Spirit of Houston social ‘roadblock’ by sharing the campaign launch video on their digital channels.
Inspired by Houston’s unique spirit, the campaign is aimed at showcasing that the weight of the entire community is passionately rallying together to deliver future-focused initiatives in support of the city’s bid to host the most popular sporting event in the world.
That spirit has already brought several programs to life:
- Grow the Game initiative: forged a partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation on a fundraising campaign to build 30 mini-pitches; launched two grassroots programs – FreeKicks Soccer and Girls’ Intro to Soccer – with financial backing from Houston Dynamo and Dash owner Ted Segal
- Art of Soccer campaign: raised nearly $500,000 from more than 50 local businesses, which purchased and painted oversized ceramic soccer balls for display around the city
- Gateway to the World mural: seven local artists painted a 10,000-square-foot mural at one of Houston’s two international airports, with support from the Houston Airports and City of Houston
- Human Rights Committee: created a committee to oversee issues and opportunities around human rights around the World Cup, holding a series of workshops where input and ideas were conveyed from nearly 100 local human rights stakeholders
- Sustainability Committee: worked with many of Houston’s leading energy companies to develop concepts for sustainability and carbon reduction in 2026
Another marquee project under the Spirit of Houston banner will be unveiled next week, which will further harness Houston’s spirit of innovation with a creative and modern approach to legacy.
Houston 2026 President Chris Canetti said: “Houston is not only a great city with a proud history of hosting major sporting events and has full operational capabilities for the FIFA World Cup, we are a city with spirit. Through our deliberate actions, that spirit is already shining through, highlighting our region’s collective enthusiasm, commitment and investment in serving as a host city in 2026. We believe Houston’s unique spirit sets it apart from any other candidate city and ensures we will deliver a World Cup of the Future, in America's City of the Future.”
About the Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee
The Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee is leading the South Texas region’s efforts to host the FIFA World Cup 2026™. It is a subsidiary of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority. The FIFA World Cup 2026™ will be played in 16 cities across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Houston is among 17 cities vying to become a U.S. host city. A final decision is expected in the first half of 2022.
US: Lala Ismailova / Lala@jtapacific.sport / +1 323 246 1110
International: Nick Dawes / firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 7557 435851
Video: Spirit of Houston Website: Houston2026.sport
LinkedIn: Houston 2026 World Cup Bid Committee
Facebook: Houston 2026 World Cup
September 30, 2021CFB Insider
Sideline reporter Deepi Sidhu takes a deep dive into what to expect from this year's Match-up.
“I don’t know if you can get this game any more intense than it has been.” – K.C. Keeler
The 95th Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B, featuring the top-ranked Sam Houston Bearkats and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, is back at NRG Stadium on Saturday. Known as one of the oldest college football rivalries in Texas, this matchup again promises to be one of the top FCS games of the 2021 season.
This is the first time in the series history that either team has entered the game ranked No. 1 in the nation (at any level).
The defending national FCS champion Bearkats are ranked No.1 in the nation following a 3-0 start to their season. Head Coach K.C. Keeler’s team currently leads the WAC in scoring offense (46.3), total offense (533.0), rushing offense (259.0), rushing defense (77.33), third down conversions (.500) and sacks against (3).
This spring, Sam Houston wrapped up its final season in the Southland Conference as FCS national champions. The 10-0 Kats won the program’s first FCS national title with a dramatic 23-21 win over top-seeded South Dakota State in the 2020 FCS Championship game in Frisco. All 11 starters on offense and defense, in addition to specialists, from the Bearkats championship roster are back for the 2021 season.
Colby Carthel, now in his third season as head coach at SFA, has turned the Lumberjacks program around from a 3-9 finish in 2019 to a 6-4 record in 2020. This season, the Lumberjacks are 3-1 entering this matchup and have won eight straight games at Homer Bryce Stadium. The 2021 SFA team leads the league in a number of defensive and special teams categories, including total defense (266.5), scoring defense (16.0), defensive pass efficiency (86.2), passing offense (287.0), field goals made (9), net yards per punt (52.5), punt return average (22.1), punt return TDs (3), interceptions (8), turnover margin (+1.3), fourth-down conversions (.571), sacks by (14) and time of possession (31:42).
Last week against a nationally-ranked Central Arkansas team, Sam Houston QB Eric Schmid was named Western Athletic Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. The redshirt junior quarterback from the Woodlands completed 19-of-37 passes for 283 yards and four touchdowns, all before halftime. He also rushed for 48 yards on 10 carries. Seth Morgan, a freshman from Houston, earns his second WAC Special Teams Player of the Week honor after going 3-for-3 on field goals and 4-for-4 on extra points in a 45-35 win over nationally-ranked Central Arkansas. Now a perfect 17-for-17 on extra points and 4-for-4 on field goals, his scores against UCA came from twice from 22 yards and once from 32 yards.
Stephen F. Austin has outscored its opponents 119-26 in the past two weeks following a hard-fought 28-22 loss to Texas Tech. The Lumberjacks forced four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles), including pick returned for a touchdown in their only loss of the season. In last week’s 61-13 win over Lincoln (California), Lenard Lemonds had a 67-yard punt return for a TD and 23 yards on kick returns. Rayshad Nichols recorded seven tackles, including three tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.
Individually, Bearkats RB Ramon Jefferson is the WAC’s leader in rushing yards per game (133.3) and has scored four touchdowns, while Schmid is the leader in total offense (288.0) and passing yards per game (267.0). Sam Houston DB Jaylen Thomas and Stephen F. Austin CB Myles Brooks are tied for the lead in interceptions with three each.
The Texas rivalry dates back to 1923 with Sam Houston winning the last nine meetings and holding a 57-35-2 record over Stephen F. Austin. Nine of the past 11 BOTPW winners have gone on to advance to the NCAA postseason playoffs.
Kickoff for the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B takes place Saturday 4 p.m. CT from NRG Stadium. The game will be televised on Bally Sports Southwest and ESPN Plus.
September 28, 2021Football
H-E-B EXTENDS PRESENTING SPONSORSHIP, BALLY SPORTS SOUTHWEST TO BROADCAST 2021 BATTLE OF THE PINEY WOODS PRESENTED BY H-E-B
HOUSTON – Lone Star Sports & Entertainment announces H-E-B’s three-year extension of the presenting sponsorship for the Battle of Piney Woods presented by H-E-B through the 2023 game. The new agreement extends H-E-B’s role as presenting sponsor a full decade since the partnership started in 2015 and continues H-E-B’s support of LSSE in bringing major college football events to Houston.
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment also announced a partnership with Bally Sports Southwest to broadcast the 2021 edition of the game. This year’s game will air across Bally Sports Southwest’s four state footprint including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, airing on Bally Sports Southwest Plus with a 4:00 p.m. CT kickoff this Saturday, October 2, from NRG Stadium in Houston.
“H-E-B is excited to continue the partnership and see the Battle of the Piney Woods gain exposure to a larger audience via this new broadcast partnership with Bally Sports Southwest.” H-E-B Houston Director of Marketing, Joe Casiano said. “We can’t wait to see the fans in the stands to cheer on the Bearkats and the Lumberjacks as they take the field this Saturday afternoon.”
The Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B is the third oldest college football rivalry in Texas dating back to 1923 and featuring the Sam Houston Bearkats and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. This year’s event will be the 95th iteration of the game and the 11th year of the game hosted as a neutral site event at NRG Stadium. This year’s game is alsoas well as the first matchup between the two rivals as members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
In 2019, the Sam Houston Bearkats defeated the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks 31-20. Sam Houston holds a 57-35-2 edge in the series following they’re victory in 2019.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available by calling 832-667-2390 or visiting https://www.lsse.net/battle-of-the-piney-woods.
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Texas Bowl and the Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019 and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.
H-E-B, with sales of more than $26 billion, operates more than 400 stores in Texas and Mexico. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs over 110,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit heb.com.
September 16, 2021CFB Insider
Undefeated Teams Going Head-to-Head in Week 3
Two weeks into the season and there aren’t many teams without a loss on their record. As the undefeated teams become scarce, so do those season-shaping games that can turn the tide of team from undefeated success stories to desperate for a win heading into more conference play.
Continue reading to get for the top undefeated battles to watch in Week 3 head to @TexasBowl Twitter to let us know who YOU think will keep that zero in the loss column another week.
Being undefeated two weeks into the season isn’t some crazy feat that’s rarely achieved but playing against another undefeated team is not something football fans get to watch every week. We can’t wait to see these teams battle to keep their perfect record.
(1) Alabama vs (11) Florida
So far Alabama’s first two matchups haven’t even been a close. The defending champions have scored over 40 and held their opponents to under 20 points. While Florida has posted similar stats, they’ve played weaker opponents in closer games. Despite the Gators top 25 ranking, this matchup looks like an easy Alabama win.
South Carolina vs (2) Georgia
Georgia started off the season with a defensive statement holding Clemson to only three points and then proceeded to obliterate UAB 56-7. Meanwhile, South Carolina barely edged out East Carolina in Week 2. Maybe Georgia doesn’t score 56 again but don’t expect this to be a close one.
(22) Auburn vs (10) Penn State
The only other ranked matchup up of undefeated teams features an Auburn team that’s sleepwalked through its first two games winning them with a combined score of 122-10. Meanwhile Penn State took down a ranked Wisconsin team in a close matchup to start off the season with a bang. This game leans towards Penn State but don’t be surprised if Auburn comes out with a close win.
(19) Arizona State vs BYU
Arizona State has cruised to wins in the first two weeks, but this week should be a little different as they face a BYU. Don’t sleep on the Cougs as they look to prove they belong in the big leagues after officially accepting an invite to the Big 12.
Purdue vs (12) Notre Dame
Neither team boasts a very impressive resume so far with two games down. As the ranked team all the pressure is on Notre Dame to win and not join the list of ranked teams that have fallen out of the top 25. This should be a win for Notre Dame, maybe not a blowout, but a win is a win.
New Mexico vs (7) Texas A&M
This won’t even be close. Texas A&M should have this one locked up by half time. Our bet is on New Mexico waving bye-bye to that undefeated record, but you never know, anything can happen in college football.
Mississippi State vs Memphis
This is one of those matchups that isn’t very interesting outside of fans of the teams. Mississippi State should come out with a win, but it wouldn’t be totally shocking if Memphis managed the upset. Either way, these fan bases are licking their chops at the thought of going 3-0.
Nevada vs Kansas State
Even though neither of these teams are ranked, it’s honestly one of the matchups we’re looking forward to most. You could honestly just flip a coin to try and predict this matchup, there’s no clear-cut favorite. This will be a battle to the end to keep the title of undefeated.
Utah State vs Air Force
The final undefeated matchup is also a little bit of a toss-up. While there is no clear winner in this faceoff, both Utah State and Air Force have historically been a little streaky. It will be fun to see which team will step up to the plate.