The 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas is just hours away. We’re sure you have so many questions. We’re here to help. (For an X's and O's breakdown, click through to Bill Trocchi's game preview.)
• Wait, we just had our bowl game in Charlotte. Not that Meineke Car Care Bowl. The title sponsorship has been moved to Houston and plopped onto the Texas Bowl, even going so far as to incorporate that game's belt buckle logo. Was this game ever a Tangerine Bowl? It was not! Are you sure? Not really!
• Where will this game be played? Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.
• When is it on television? Nightcap game! Coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, with Mark Jones, Brock Huard and Jessica Mendoza relaying the action. The game will also be streamed on WatchESPN.
• Whom does it feature? Big 12 versus Big Ten.
• What about this year? 7-5 Texas Tech versus 6-6 Minnesota. When was the last time Minnesota was in a bowl? Not as long ago as you might think, but this is the Gophers' first appearance in a postseason contest that's not the Insight Bowl since 2005. Minnesota played bowl games in Arizona in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Who's coaching Texas Tech in the bowl game? Red Raiders offensive line coach Chris Thomsen is serving as interim head coach.
• Does the bowl have a social media presence? Yes, and it is NOT afraid to make retractable roof puns:
It's gameday! Afraid of a little rain? Don't worry, we have you covered twitter.com/TexasBowl/stat…
— Texas Bowl (@TexasBowl) December 28, 2012
• What wacky activities will be on offer during bowl week? Unassailably the best bowl week diversion of 2012: the Rodeo Bowl.
• What shiny baubles will be showered on the players? Belt buckles, of course, are among the loot the Gophers and Red Raiders will haul out of Houston.
• What's the pick? Stewart Mandel expects a solid Tech win: "Texas Tech, which lost four of its last five games, may actually respond positively to coach Tommy Tuberville's departure. It also helps that the Red Raiders' struggling defense will face a lackluster Gophers' offense that's ranked 109th nationally (4.9 yards per play), shuffled quarterbacks all season and recently saw its top playmaker (wideout A.J. Barker) transfer." • Please impart any miscellaneous knowledge you might have concerning the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. You can't actually purchase belt buckles in the bowl's online shop. :(