The City of Houston already had a bowl game when the NCAA awarded a new game to organizers in the city on June 27, 2006. But the Houston Bowl had lost its sponsor and had trouble paying its bills. In stepped Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, a division of the Houston Texans, to take over. Shortly before the 2006 season began, organizers unveiled the new name — the Texas Bowl — and logo.
With the connection to the Houston Texans and the NFL, the game was initially broadcast on the NFL Network. But it moved to ESPN in 2009 after ESPN Plus became a part owner of the game and its operator.
Its conference affiliations were somewhat loose in the beginning. It had tie-ins with the Big 12, Big East, Conference USA, and TCU (in the Mountain West Conference at the time). It had a brief affiliation with the Big Ten from 2010-2013. The game currently has tie-ins with the Big 12 and SEC.
The name remained the Texas Bowl from its inception in 2006 through 2010 but was renamed the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas when Meineke became the title sponsor in 2011. When AdvoCare took over as its sponsor in 2014, the name went back to ‘Texas Bowl’.
Rutgers and Kansas State played in the first Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium (now NRG Stadium) on December 28, 2006. Rutgers running back Ray Rice pounded the K-State defense for 170 yards and a touchdown on the ground en route to a 37-10 win.
Last season’s game was played between the Kansas State Wildcats and Texas A&M Aggies. Despite seeing quarterback Trevor Knight throw for 310 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception, Texas A&M fell to Kansas State, 33-28.