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Texas Bowl could have Big 12 vs. SEC

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Industry sources told FOX 26 Sports the Texas Bowl, formerly known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, is moving toward a matchup of the Big 12 and the SEC beginning with the 2014 season.

Currently the Texas Bowl involves teams from the Big 12 and the Big Ten.

However, the Big Ten is replacing the Texas Bowl in its bowl game tie-ins beginning in 2014 according to ESPN.com.

The move enables the Texas Bowl to seek the attractive scenario of the Big 12 taking on the SEC at Reliant Stadium beginning in 2014.

"All of the bowls are in discussions with conference partners," said Jamey Rootes, president of the Houston Texans, which is closely associated with Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, a third-party event marketing company which manages the Texas Bowl. "We have our discussions that are going on.

"We are in the process. When we announce it, it will be very exciting for Houston. It will be a long-term great place for the bowl game to be."

The contracts with the Texas Bowl for both the Big 12 and the Big Ten expire after the 2013 season.

"We are currently in conversations with our targeted conferences," said Rootes. "Have (had) great discussions. There's a lot of interest in Houston. Certainly being as regionally, geographically connected as we can be, that's what we want to be.

"The fans in this area gravitate more directly to the conferences that are most proximate and look forward to having that announcement here in the near term."

Rootes would not confirm a Big 12-SEC matchup, but he expressed great enthusiasm for the game's tie-in with the Big 12.

"The Big 12 has been an anchor partner from the beginning of the bowl game and we continue to have our discussions with them and that relationship is great," Rootes said."

Rootes said Meineke Car Care, which opted out of its deal with the Texas Bowl after 2013, is working with ESPN to identify their long-term title partner for the bowl game.

ESPN owns the Texas Bowl.

"Our conversations have been very productive to date," Rootes said. "Hopefully, in the not-too-distant future we'll be in a position to make that announcement."

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