Baylor University and Vanderbilt University Accept Bids to Play in Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl


Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018


Coaches to Discuss Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl in Conference Calls Today

HOUSTON – Baylor and Vanderbilt have accepted bids to play in the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, the bowl organizing committee announced today. Baylor will represent the Big 12 Conference and Vanderbilt will represent the Southeastern Conference. The 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 8 p.m. CT and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

“We are thrilled to announce the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl between the Baylor Bears and the Vanderbilt Commodores, two excellent institutions from the Big 12 and SEC,” remarked Board Chair June Deadrick. “The Bowl has grown into one of the largest annual events in our community and we’re excited to welcome Baylor and Vanderbilt to Houston. We look forward to hosting these teams and their passionate fan bases for a festive bowl week of Texas-themed events that will culminate in a primetime showdown at NRG Stadium on December 27.”

Baylor and Vanderbilt have met two times, with the Bears holding the series with a 2-0 record. The two programs first met in 1953 when Baylor was victorious 47-6. The last meeting occurred in 1954 when the Bears came out on top, 25-19.

Ticket prices for this game range from $25-200 and may be purchased online at or, on the phone at 832-667-2390 or in person at the NRG Stadium box office inside Bud Light Plaza. Special group packages are available by calling 832-667-2390. Fans can also call 832-667-2160 for more information on suites and premium hospitality. To date, nearly 50,000 seats have already been sold for the 2018 game.

The 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will mark Baylor’s first visit since 2010 after a 38-14 loss to the University of Illinois. The team became bowl-eligible after a win over Texas Tech in the regular season finale. With a history of 23 bowl appearances, the Bears are 12-11 overall in postseason play. In their second season under Head Coach Matt Rhule, the team finished their regular season with a 6-6 overall record and 4-5 in the Big 12. After navigating a young roster through a difficult Big 12 schedule, Coach Rhule followed a one-win season with a six-win, bowl-bound year. The Baylor offense ranks 8th nationally with an average of 25.1 first downs per game (301 total).

The 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be the Commodores’ first visit. Vanderbilt returns to the postseason for the first time since 2016. The team’s bowl berth marks the program's ninth all-time appearance, and its sixth in the past 10 seasons. The Commodores are 4-3-1 all-time in postseason play and seek their first bowl victory since a 41-24 win over Houston in the 2014 BBVA Compass Bowl. Vanderbilt finished their regular season with a 6-6 record and 3-5 in the SEC in their fifth season under Head Coach Derek Mason. Mason is just the second coach in program history to send Vanderbilt to two bowls in a three-season span.

Conference Call Information

The head coaches for Baylor University and Vanderbilt University will conduct conference calls this evening to discuss the 2018 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. Baylor’s Head Coach Matt Rhule will be available at 5:30 p.m. CT and Vanderbilt’s Head Coach Derek Mason will be available at 5:45 p.m. CT.

Phone Number: 1 (800) 747-5150

Participant PIN: 6672050


  • Baylor University Head Coach Matt Rhule at 5:30 p.m. CT
  • Vanderbilt University Head Coach Derek Mason at 5:45 p.m. CT

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl will showcase teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences, for the next two years. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over the years. The game has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014 behind only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. In terms of its community impact, the bowl has generated an average of $50 million annually for the Houston economy and through its relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, more than $1.4 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off; State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.


ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or

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 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including the 2017 Manchester Derby, 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 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait and Kenny Chesney.

CONTACTS: Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron, (860) 766-2233 or