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Here are the 14 college football bowl games you should care about if you live in Texas

From UNT extending its winning streak to Texas Tech taking on a familiar coach, there is a lot for Texans to keep their eyes on this college football bowl season.
Credit: AP
North Texas linebacker Jordan Brown, left, defensive end Grayson Murphy and defensive end Gabriel Murphy celebrate a fumble recovery during the first half of an NCAA college football game against UTSA in Denton, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Jacobsohn)

TEXAS, USA — It's one of the best times of the year for many sports fans: college football bowl season.

Many people around the country will be trying to make it seem like they are working at the office while paying attention to a game on a hidden tab on their laptop or on their phone.

With 44 games happening in 25 days, there will be plenty of matchups and storylines to keep sports fans intrigued throughout the holiday season.

With some of the best athletes and collegiate programs in the country, Texas is well represented in this year's games. 

Here is a closer look at what to keep an eye on if you live in the Lone Star State.

Bowl games in Texas with Texas schools

Frisco Bowl

Tuesday, Dec. 21 (7:30 p.m.)

No. 24 San Diego State vs. UTSA

Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas

With a 12-1 record and winning the Conference USA Championship, the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has the chance to finish on a high note for easily the school's most successful season in program history. The second-best season happened in 2012 when the Roadrunners finished 8-4.

Frisco Football Classic

Thursday, Dec. 23 (3:30 p.m.)

Miami (Ohio) vs. North Texas

Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas

The Mean Green is going into the inaugural Frisco Football Classic with the chance to extend its current five-game winning streak and notch the fourth bowl game victory in program history. The last bowl win came in the 2013 season when North Texas beat UNLV 36-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. North Texas will only need to drive about 25 miles east to get to Toyota Stadium for the matchup.

Credit: AP
North Texas defensive backs Jaylen Smith, left, and Ridge Texada celebrate during the first half of an NCAA college football game against UTSA in Denton, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Jacobsohn)

RELATED: SMU, North Texas to play in inaugural bowls to cap off their 2021 seasons

Bowl games with Texas schools

New Mexico Bowl

Saturday, Dec. 18 (2:15 p.m.)

Fresno State vs. UTEP

Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is going to a bowl game for the first time since 2014. That year, the Miners also went to the New Mexico Bowl, losing to Utah State 21-6. If UTEP wins, the team would finish with eight wins for just the 11th time in the school's 84-year history.

Birmingham Bowl

Tuesday, Dec. 28 (12 p.m.)

No. 20 Houston vs. Auburn

Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama

Houston lost its first and last game of the regular season, first to Texas Tech 38-21 and most recently to Cincinnati 35-20 in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) Championship. The Cougars won all 11 games in between those two losses. Houston will have to deal with plenty of opposing Auburn fans with the team traveling in-state to Protective Stadium.

Liberty Bowl

Tuesday, Dec. 28 (6:45 p.m.)

Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State

Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee

The Red Raiders will be facing off against a familiar face at the Liberty Bowl. Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach coached Texas Tech for 10 years from 2000-2009 before the school fired him. He's been with the Bulldogs the past two seasons. This is the first time Leach will be playing against the Red Raiders since his firing.

Credit: AP
Texas Tech quarterback Donovan Smith throws downfield against Baylor in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Waco, Texas. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

Fenway Bowl

Wednesday, Dec. 29 (11 a.m.)

Virginia vs. SMU

Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Just like nearby school North Texas, Southern Methodist University (SMU) will also be playing in a new bowl game this year—the Wasabi Fenway Bowl. SMU will try to regain some of its early success as the team lost four of its final five games after winning the first seven games of the season. This is the first time these two football teams have played against each other.

Gator Bowl

Friday, Dec. 31 (11 a.m.)

No. 17 Wake Forest vs. No. 25 Texas A&M

TIAA Bank Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida

Texas A&M goes into its New Year's Eve game after a shaky season but with one of the best wins in all of college football. The Aggies beat the defending National Champions and the current No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 41-38 on Oct. 9. That's Alabama's only loss so far this year. 

Since Jimbo Fisher took the Texas A&M head coaching gig in 2018, the Aggies have won all three of its bowl games. This is also the third time in the last four years the Aggies will be playing a bowl game in Florida.

RELATED: Playoff: Alabama vs. Cincinnati, Michigan vs. Georgia

Sugar Bowl

Saturday, Jan. 1 (8:45 p.m.)

No. 7 Baylor vs. No. 8 Ole Miss

Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana

Baylor is headed to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl for the second time in the last three seasons after winning the Big 12 Championship for the third time in program history. 

Both of these teams exceeded expectations from before the season as neither were in the preseason AP Top 25 poll. 

The Bears go into this matchup with one of the more balanced offensives in the nation. The team averages 214.7 rushing yards and 216.0 passing yards per game.

Credit: AP
Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen (12) waits for the snap during the first half of the Big 12 Championship NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

Bowl games in Texas

Armed Forces Bowl

Wednesday, Dec. 22 (8 p.m.)

Missouri vs. Army

Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas

Formerly known as the Fort Worth Bowl for the first three years of existence from 2003-2005, the Armed Forces Bowl has happened at Amon G. Carter Stadium every year except 2010 and 2011. 

While the stadium was reconstructed during these two years, the bowl game happened at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in University Park, Texas. 

This is the fourth time Army has gone to the Armed Forces Bowl and the first time for Missouri.

First Responder Bowl

Tuesday, Dec. 28 (3:15 p.m.)

Air Force vs. Louisville

Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas

Since the first matchup in 2011, this Dallas bowl game has seen many name changes through the years. This has been known as the Dallas Football Classic, TicketCity Bowl, Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank, Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl and now the Servpro First Responder Bowl since 2018. 

This is the first time these two teams have gone to the First Responder Bowl.

Alamo Bowl

Wednesday, Dec. 29 (9:15 p.m.)

No. 14 Oregon vs. No. 16 Oklahoma

Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas

This will be the first time two 10-win teams will face off in the Valero Alamo Bowl. This will be Oklahoma's first game since Lincoln Riley announced he was leaving the program to become the head coach of the University of Southern California (USC). Former Sooners coach Bob Stoops will be the interim head coach.

Credit: AP
Oklahoma Sooners running back Kennedy Brooks, left, takes the hand-off from quarterback Caleb Williams, right, during an NCAA college football game against the Baylor Bears = in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Baylor won 27-14. (AP Photo/Ray Carlin)

Sun Bowl

Friday, Dec. 31 (12 p.m.)

Washington State vs. Miami (FL)

Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas

Being played since 1935, the Sun Bowl is tied as the second-oldest bowl game in the nation, only behind the Rose Bowl. The game happens at the Sun Bowl stadium on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), which is headed to New Mexico earlier in December to play in the New Mexico Bowl. Last year's Sun Bowl was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cotton Bowl Classic (College Football Playoff semifinal)

Friday, Dec. 31 (3:30 p.m.)

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Cincinnati

AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

Texas oil and business executive J. Curtis Sanford paid for the first Cotton Bowl Classic, as it was initially called in 1937. Since the 2014 season, it has served as one of the six bowl games that host the College Football Playoff semifinal. The rotation allows Arlington to be the host every three years. 

This is the ninth time Alabama has played in the Cotton Bowl and the first time for Cincinnati.

Texas Bowl

Tuesday, Jan. 4 (9 p.m.)

Kansas State vs. LSU

NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas

Since the first matchup in 2006, every Texas Bowl game has taken place at NRG Stadium. The previous two bowl games that have happened in Houston were the Houston Bowl (2000-2005) and the Bluebonnet Bowl (1959-1987). Similar to the Sun Bowl in El Paso, last year's game was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Credit: AP
Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn (22) runs against Texas during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

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