Iowa St. to face No. 13 TCU in Houston Bowl

Updated: December 5, 2005, 2:05 AM ET
Associated Press

AMES, Iowa -- As expected, Iowa State Sunday accepted an invitation to the Houston Bowl to face No. 13 TCU in Reliant Stadium on Dec. 31.

Speculation that Iowa State (7-4) would land in the Houston Bowl picked up steam following a 24-21 loss to Kansas in the regular season finale that kept the Cyclones out of the Big 12 title game. Houston Bowl officials said this week they anticipated an Iowa State-TCU matchup would draw one of the largest crowds in the game's six-year history.

Iowa State was courted heavily by Houston Bowl officials last season, but the Cyclones wound up in Shreveport, La., for the Independence Bowl.

"They have wanted the Cyclones down in Houston for two years running now, and we are really thrilled and honored to accept the invitation," said Iowa State coach Dan McCarney. "It's going to be a great place to bring the Cyclone nation. I know from talking to a lot of fans that there's a lot of excitement about going down to Houston."

TCU, (10-1) which accepted its Houston Bowl bid on Nov. 22 after winning the Mountain West Conference title, is the nation's highest ranked team from a conference without an automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series. This will be the second Houston Bowl appearance for the Horned Frogs, who lost to Texas A&M 28-9 in 2001 before 53,000 fans, the largest crowd in the game's history.

In its only game against a Big 12 opponent in 2005, TCU shocked host Oklahoma 17-10 in the season opener. The Horned Frogs lost to Southern Methodist 21-10 the following week, then reeled off nine straight wins to close out the regular season.

Iowa State opened the season 3-3, but rallied to post wins in four of their final five games.

Iowa State and TCU have met twice before, in 1995 and 1998, with the Horned Frogs winning both games.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press