Rutgers slips to Texas Bowl

By PA SportsTicker

Rutgers may be going to consecutive bowl games for the first time, but not to the one it wanted.

One day after missing out on a BCS bowl berth because of a triple-overtime defeat, the Scarlet Knights accepted a bid to play Kansas State in the inaugural Texas Bowl on Sunday.

Rutgers (10-2) came up just short at West Virginia on Saturday, 41-39 in triple overtime. Had the Scarlet Knights won the game, they would have won the Big East Conference’s automatic BCS bowl bid. Instead, Louisville (11-1) secured the league title and will oppose Wake Forest (11-2) in the Orange Bowl.

West Virginia (10-2) accepted a spot in the Gator Bowl against Georgia Tech (9-4) on New Year’s Day, relegating Rutgers to the Big East’s third bowl spot, against Kansas State (7-5) in the first Texas Bowl in Houston on December 28. The Scarlet Knights went to just their second bowl in program history last year, losing to Arizona State in the Insight Bowl.

“We’re ecstatic about having Rutgers,” Texas Bowl director David Brady said. “This is a top-15 team that was three yards away from a BCS game. We couldn’t be happier to have them here. The fans of Houston will get a chance to see one of the top rushers in the country in Ray Rice and the national coach of the year, Greg Schiano.”

Another team surely unhappy about its bowl is No. 6 Wisconsin (11-1). The Badgers tied for second in the Big Ten Conference with Michigan and is ranked higher than half of the BCS teams but has been relegated to the Capital One Bowl against Arkansas (10-2) because three teams from the same league cannot all go to BCS games.

In another Big Ten-SEC clash on January 1, Penn State (8-4) will take on Tennessee (9-3) in the Outback Bowl.

“Tennessee is a great opponent for us,” Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. “They have a great football tradition and a very good team again this year. They played well in a tough league. It’s going to be a challenging game for us.”

Also on January 1, Nebraska (9-4) will play Auburn (10-2) in the Cotton Bowl.