The Texas A&M Aggies will have the opportunity to stay close to home this bowl season as they travel to Houston to face off with the Kansas State Wildcats in the AdvoCare V11 Texas Bowl December 28 at NRG Stadium.
The Aggies will look to cap off a season that saw them climb as high as the fourth ranked team in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. A fade in November however has left them looking for a positive end to the season in three weeks.
Aggies head football coach Kevin Sumlin acknowledged the value of playing the Wildcats in a bowl game in Houston.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to compete against a coaching legend like Bill Snyder and the Kansas State Wildcats in the Texas Bowl,” he said, “A large portion of our team is from the Houston area, and we have a tremendous fan base in the city of Houston. We look forward to getting the chance to play in front of 12th Man in NRG Stadium, which is one of the top football venues in world.”
In addition to many current Aggie players being from the Houston area, Sumlinlikes the geography and time slot the game brings.
"Playing in Houston is never a bad thing," he said. "I think the slot at eight o’clock helps too. There’s a lot of games on that day. This year is a different year as far as game day for bowl games just because Christmas is on a Sunday and New Year’s following on a Sunday which is traditionally the NFL really dominates Sunday. College football had to move off those days for the Championship game, the New Year’s six games, even our day with games all day. To be at that eight o’clock spot and being in Houston I think gives you the exposure that you want for your program locally and in the fourth largest city and for us in recruiting in a great venue that our guys like to play in. Last time we were in there we won the game to kick off the season two years ago. It’s a great situation for us from an exposure standpoint and recruiting locally but also at the timeslot for national exposure.”
Wildcats long time head coach Bill Snyder shared his thoughts on matching up with the Aggies in Houston, including a trip down memory lane to the last match-up between the two that came out in the Aggies favor.
“We are honored to be at the bowl game," he said. "Kansas State has played there one previous time in the inauguration of the bowl. It’s my understanding that there are a lot of wonderful people. We always enjoy these opportunities. Texas A&M is an extremely talented football team. I don’t know a great deal about them at this particular point and time other than I have great respect for (Texas A&M Head Coach) Kevin (Sumlin) and Texas A&M in general. I think back to the last time we played them, I believe it was ‘98, the championship game. We lost that ball game to them. That was a hard loss. We had an opportunity to go to the National Championship had we won that one. They came back and beat us late in the ball game. That’s a tribute to them. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for their program.”