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CFB Insider

Early Bowl projections are in!

It’s June and while we wait for football to return, all we can do is look at projections and predictions. Today, we’ll look at some of the VERY early TaxAct Texas Bowl projections to see who the experts think will take the field at NRG Stadium on December 28.

Last year’s matchup featured lots of purple with the K-State Wildcats facing off against the LSU Tigers. K-State took home the hardware after a 42-20 victory over LSU that featured four Deuce Vaugh touchdowns. With the 2022 TaxAct Texas Bowl in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look at some predictions for the 2022 game.

Bowl Projection: Baylor vs Auburn

The first projection features a matchup between two teams that haven’t faced off on the gridiron since 1976. Previous matchups have resulted in two Baylor wins, one Auburn win, and one draw. The Baylor Bears are 1-1 in their two TaxAct Texas Bowl games while the Auburn Tigers don’t have an appearance yet. With this being only their fifth matchup ever and their first in almost 50 years it makes for an interesting Bowl game.

Bowl Projection: Texas vs. Kentucky

This is another matchup that hasn’t happened in quite some time. These two teams last met on the field back in 1951 with the win going to the Longhorns by a score of 7-6. Now that Texas joining the SEC in the next couple of years this would be one of the last chances for these two to meet before becoming conference mates. Texas has one TaxAct Texas Bowl appearance while Kentucky is a fresh face for this Bowl game. With one team looking to bounce back after a down year and another looking to continue their success from the previous season this looks like a pretty good matchup overall.

Bowl Projection: Texas vs. Tennessee

Once again, we have Texas and a new face to the Bowl game. With these two teams in the game, it becomes a battle of orange schools whose names start with a ‘T’. It’d be the perfect follow-up to the purple vs purple matchup of the K-State vs LSU Bowl game. These two haven’t faced each other since 1969 and the current score is two Texas wins to one Tennessee win. It’s been a long wait but if this is the matchup then Tennessee finally has a chance to tie the series up.

            Join the waitlist to stay informed on all things TaxAct Texas Bowl. 

CFB Insider

There’s always time for new power rankings.

Big 12 and SEC post-spring football power rankings.

As spring football comes to a close and teams prepare for the final stretch before the season starts let’s take a look at some rankings. With no actual action on the field, all we can do is argue about where all our teams rank. Here are some post-spring football power rankings for both the BIG 12 and SEC.

In the first set of SEC rankings, there’s the usual Crimson Tide in first place followed up by the defending national champions, the Georgia Bulldogs. Bryce Young and Will Anderson leading their respective units have the Tide as the favorites to claim the National Championship after a one-year drought. With Georgia having 15 total players drafted they’ll be looking to reload and at worst be in the mix for a CFB playoff spot again. The Aggies are coming in hot this season after assembling the greatest recruiting class in CFB history. Anything other than a CFB Playoff birth will be seen as a wasted year. All those four and five-star players should be able to get the Aggies into their first-ever CFP.


Full rankings:

1.       Alabama – Crimson Tide

2.       Georgia – Bulldogs

3.       Texas A&M – Aggies

4.       Kentucky – Wildcats

5.       Arkansas – Razorbacks

6.       Tennessee – Volunteers

7.       Mississippi State – Bulldogs

8.       LSU – Tigers

9.       Ole Miss – Rebels

10.   South Carolina – Gamecocks

11.   Florida – Gators

12.   Auburn – Tigers

13.   Missouri – Tigers

14.   Vanderbilt – Commodores


The Big 12 rankings by USA Today have Oklahoma as the current favorites to claim the conference title. Even after taking some considerable loses at various coaching positions and some players transferring OU has done a lot of work to prove they’re still in contention. With Dillon Gabriel out of UCF stepping in at QB and Brent Venables taking over as HC the Sooners will most likely contend for a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl once again. Behind the Sooners are both Oklahoma State and Baylor who both had very successful seasons last year. After facing off for the conference championship last year both teams will look to contend with OU for the Big 12 title this year.


Full rankings:

1.       Oklahoma – Sooners

2.       Oklahoma State – Cowboys

3.       Baylor – Bears

4.       Kansas State – Wildcats

5.       Texas – Longhorns

6.       West Virginia – Mountaineers

7.       Iowa State – Cyclones

8.       TCU – Horned Frogs

9.       Texas Tech – Red Raiders

10.   Kansas – Jayhawks  



Tickets to go on sale on April 28 for inaugural Copa de Lone Star

Houston – Lone Star Sports & Entertainment announced today that reigning English Premier League champions Manchester City will meet Liga BBVA MX powerhouse Club América in the 2022 Copa de Lone Star at NRG Stadium on Wednesday, July 20, at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for this international friendly will go on sale to the public beginning on April 28. Fans can find ticket and match information at Television broadcast information will be announced at a later date.


The contest will mark Manchester City’s first international friendly in over two calendar years due to COVID-19 restrictions and the club’s return to NRG Stadium after taking on Manchester United on July 20, 2017, in the first overseas Manchester derby. Club América returns to NRG Stadium for the first time since meeting F.C. Barcelona on August 9, 2006. Manchester City will play a second U.S. preseason fixture to be announced in the near future.


“We are thrilled at the opportunity to welcome these two iconic teams and their passionate fans back to Houston for one of this summer’s most exciting events,” said Greg Grissom, President of Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. “Manchester City and Club América are truly global brands. On July 20, the stage will be set at NRG Stadium for another exciting chapter in each club’s storied legacy.”


“Houston is the nation’s most diverse and inclusive city. We love sports and welcome fans worldwide to come and enjoy the electrifying atmosphere of great competition and sportsmanship,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “We are honored to be the host city for the match between these two outstanding teams. The event is guaranteed to be huge for soccer fans and a big win for the City of Houston.”


“The game of soccer is as close as we get to having an international language,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “As the third largest county in America, the most diverse in the nation and a destination for people and businesses from across the globe, we are delighted to welcome these two teams to Harris County. I’m confident these teams and their fans will not soon forget the wonderful hospitality, energy, and spirit of competition our region is known for.”


Manchester City was originally founded as St. Mark’s West Gorton in 1880, later assuming its current name in 1894. The Club has secured a European Cup Winners’ Cup, seven League Championship titles, including five Premier League titles in the last seven years (2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2021) and six FA Cups. Manchester City is one of 11 clubs comprising the City Football Group (CFG). Under manager Pep Guardiola, one of the most highly decorated managers in world soccer, the Club plays its domestic and UEFA Champions League home fixtures at the 55,000 seat Etihad Stadium that City has called home since 2003.


“We are excited to return to the United States for this summer’s preseason trip, our first since before COVID. Our players and coaches cannot wait to play once again in-person in front of our American fans, who have shown us such great support and passion,” said Omar Berrada, Chief Football Operations Officer at City Football Group. “Our first stop will be to Houston where we will take on Club América in our first preseason exhibition match. Houston is a city we are familiar with and have had the privilege to play at NRG Stadium before. Houston welcomed us with southern hospitality when we came for preseason in 2017 and we are really looking forward to returning to see our Texan fans.”


Founded in 1916, Club América plays its home matches at the famous Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and has won a record 13 league titles, six Copa MX titles and six Campeón de Campeones cups. Club América’s 10 FIFA recognized club trophies are the most of any club in the Concacaf region, with a record seven Concacaf Champions Cup/Champions League titles, two Copa Interamericana titles and one Cocacaf Giants Cup.


“Facing a rival like Manchester City is always an exciting opportunity and we’re very thankful for the invitation,” said Santiago Baños, President of Club América. “The upcoming match on July 20 is an incredible chance for fans in the United Kingdom, United States and abroad to better get to know Mexican football, and of course this represents an amazing opportunity for the Americanistas to watch their favorite team play against an elite international opponent.”


The home of the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, NRG Stadium has also hosted numerous major sporting events, including two Super Bowls, two NCAA Men’s Final Fours, Copa America Centenario, Concacaf Gold Cup and various international soccer matches the United States Women’s and Men’s National Teams, the Mexican Men’s National Team and top soccer clubs from around the world.


About 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 producing major annual college football events like the TaxAct Texas Bowl and other leading entertainment properties, 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, the International Champions Cup, the 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019 and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cups.


About Manchester City Football Club

Manchester City FC is an English Premier League club initially founded in 1880 as St Mark’s West Gorton. It officially became Manchester City FC in 1894 and has since then gone onto win the European Cup Winners’ Cup, seven League Championship titles, including five Premier League titles (2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2021), and six FA Cups. Manchester City FC is one of 11 clubs comprising the City Football Group and counts New York City FC and Melbourne City FC among its sister clubs.


Under manager Pep Guardiola, one of the most highly decorated managers in world football, the Club plays its domestic and UEFA Champions League home fixtures at the Etihad Stadium, a spectacular 55,000 seat arena that City have called home since 2003. Today, the Stadium sits on the wider Etihad Campus, which also encompasses the City Football Academy, a state-of-the-art performance training and youth development facility located in the heart of East Manchester. Featuring a 7,000 capacity Academy Stadium, the City Football Academy is also where Manchester City Women’s Football Club and the Elite Development Squad train on a daily basis and play their competitive home games.


For more information, please visit


About Club América

Founded on October 12, 1916, Club América is the largest and winningest soccer team in both Mexico and North America. The Eagles have secured 13 Liga MX titles, six Copa MX titles and one Liga MX Femenil. At the international level, Club América has won two Inter-American Cups and a record seven Concacaf Champions Cup/Champions League tiles. Playing its home games at the historic Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Club América is also heavily involved in various social responsibility initiatives and activities.


For more information, please visit


TaxAct Texas Bowl Surpasses $2.1 Million in Total Giving to DePelchin Children’s Center

Sarah Frazier named Chair of TaxAct Texas Bowl Board


HOUSTON – The TaxAct Texas Bowl today announced a 10th consecutive six-figure annual donation to DePelchin Children's Center, providing the charity with a $100,000 contribution from the proceeds of the 2021 game. Since selecting DePelchin Children’s Center as its charitable beneficiary in 2006, the Bowl has provided over $2.1 million in direct financial support and millions more in promotional support.

 The Bowl presented the check to Jenifer Jarriel, President and CEO of the DePelchin Children’s Center.

 “On behalf of the board, staff, and families served at DePelchin Children's Center, we are so thankful for our long-standing partnership with the TaxAct Texas Bowl,” said Jarriel. “Over the last sixteen years, our friends at the Bowl have not only provided more than $2.1 million dollars to support and sustain children in our community, but they have given families memories that will last a lifetime by hosting fun events and gameday experiences. We are excited to see what more is to come from our amazing partnership.”

Helping to continue to foster this relationship with DePelchin will be Sarah Frazier, the new chair of the TaxAct Texas Bowl Board. Ms. Frazier currently serves as Senior Vice President and Market Manager for Audacy Houston and oversees the company’s multimedia enterprise in Houston that includes six major radio stations serving an estimated three million Houstonians each month.   

“I am honored to serve both the TaxAct Texas Bowl and our beneficiary DePelchin Children’s Center,” said Frazier. “Both are important to the heritage and culture of Texas, and I’m proud that giving back is in the Lone Star State’s DNA. It’s also in the DNA of Audacy Houston, and we’re proud to back both of these organizations.”

“Sarah is an integral leader in the community,” said David Fletcher, Executive Director of the TaxAct Texas Bowl. “She has a passion for not only college sports, but also giving back. With Sarah as chair, the TaxAct Texas Bowl will continue to make a positive impact throughout Houston. I would like to thank our previous chair, Pete DeLongchamps, for his leadership and contributions to the Bowl and its partners.”

In addition to her role with the TaxAct Texas Bowl, Frazier will continue her work on the Board of Rebuilding Together Houston, the Advisory Board of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, the Board of the Texas Association of Broadcasters, and as a proud member of the Houston Chapter of the University of Kansas Alumni Organization.

Founded in 1892 by Kezia Payne DePelchin, DePelchin Children’s Center is an accredited foster care and adoption agency serving the most vulnerable children and families in Texas and working to break the cycles of abuse and neglect. DePelchin’s approach to caring for kids integrates at-risk prevention, foster care, adoption and post-adoption programs to improve the mental health and physical well-being of children who are at risk of entering or are in the State’s child welfare system.

The 2021 TaxAct Texas Bowl matched the Kansas State Wildcats against the LSU Tigers in the eighth year of the Bowl’s partnership with the Big 12 and the SEC. Kansas State jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half and rolled to a 42-20 win in the 15th installment of the Bowl game.


Jackson Riebel, or (507) 272-9624

About the TaxAct Texas Bowl

The TaxAct Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl annually showcases teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier athletic conferences. Through the years, the TaxAct Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field. Since 2014 the game is the most attended Bowl in the country outside of the “New Year’s 6” games.  The bowl has also generated an average of $40 million annually for the Houston economy and has contributed over $2.1 million in financial support to DePelchin Children’s Center, The Bowl’s official charitable beneficiary and one of the oldest children’s organizations in the city.



CFB Insider

Who's up first?


The incoming crop of QBs doesn’t have the usual one or two prospects that blow experts away. This means that we’ll end up seeing the next GOAT taken in the first round when no one was expecting it. Where do the experts think all the top QB prospects are headed?

Read on to see where the experts think these top QBs are headed and give us your opinion on the latest @TexasBowl tweet.

These are the consensus top 5 QBs in the 2022 draft in no particular order.

1.       Kenny Pickett, Pitt

2.       Malik Willis, Liberty

3.       Matt Corral, Mississippi

4.       Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

5.       Sam Howell, North Carolina

There might not be a first overall pick at the QB position but lately there’s been a lot of noise around Malik Willis. As we approach the draft it seems like Willis is the favorite to be the first QB taken off the board or at least that’s what Twitter says.


In CBS Sports latest mock Malik is the first QB taken at #6 while the rest of the QBs fall into the second half of the first round. They even left Ridder out of the first round while other’s have Ridder going first. Without a consensus top QB opinions vary widely, so we’ll see the QBs move around quite a bit.

#6 Panthers – Malik Willis

#18 Saints - Kenny Pickett

#26 Titans – Matt Corral

#32 Lions – Sam Howell


Up next is the PFF mock which has just two QBs going in the first round. With two of the top four QBs going in the 40s PFF shows that they’re not very confident in the upcoming class. Just one top ten pick and a top 20 means all the others will have to wait until the second night to hear their name called.

#8 Falcons- Desmond Ridder

#20 Pittsburgh – Malik Willis


This one really decides to shake things up like no other. The Ringer’s draft has not just one but two QBs going in the top ten and then nothing for the rest of the first. For most of the draft process QBs haven’t been considered top three worthy but with his recent combine and pro day performances The Ringer believes that Willis is worthy. Pickett doubters believe that his hands will be a problem because QBs with smaller hands usually don’t find success in the league. Will hand size really matter to a team enough to stop them from picking Pickett?

#2 Lions – Malik Willis

#6 Pittsburgh – Kenny Pickett


Last one up is the Bleacher Report mock featuring a single QB picked in the top ten. This one is like your average mock draft with 3 QBs going in the first spread out around the mid and late round. Once again it features Willis as the top QB off the board showing that he’s probably seen as the top QB by most people. He’s at least a favorite for those who make mock drafts so that must mean something.

#9 Seahawks – Malik Willis

#11 Commanders – Desmond Ridder

#20 Steelers – Kenny Pickett

       With no surefire top overall QB who do you think will be the best pro of the bunch?