Texas Kickoff Classic college football matchup at Reliant Stadium announced

October 11, 2012 1:21:37 PM PDT
ESPN announced the creation of the Texas Kickoff Classic, an opening weekend college football game between Oklahoma State and Mississippi State at Reliant Stadium to be played on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013.

Managing the game is Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, which also operates the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, an annual college football game that has averaged more than 63,000 fans over the last six years. LSSE has also brought other matchups such as annual rivalries like the Bayou Bucket (Rice vs. Houston) and Battle of the Piney Woods (Stephen F. Austin vs. Sam Houston) to Reliant Stadium.

Oklahoma State, winners of the 2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, will be playing in Houston for the first time since September 23, 2006 when the Cowboys played at the University of Houston. This will be OSU's second game at Reliant Stadium, as the Cowboys won the 2002 Houston Bowl over Southern Mississippi.

"We're excited to open the season in Houston," said Mike Holder, OSU Director of Athletics. "We have a growing number of Texans attending Oklahoma State and a large alumni base in the area. We will be playing a high-profile season opener in a great stadium. I think our fans will be eager for this matchup all summer."

Mississippi State, No. 20 in the current Associated Press poll, won the 2012 Music City Bowl to record consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1997-2000. The Bulldogs last played in Houston on October 9, 2009 at the University of Houston. MSU has never played in Reliant Stadium.

"This is a great opportunity for our team to open the 2013 season in an NFL stadium," said Scott Stricklin, Mississippi State Director of Athletics. "It provides our fans a unique destination for the season opener. We have a great fan base in Texas, as well, who will be excited to see the Bulldogs play in their home state."

Oklahoma State and Mississippi State have met four times, most recently a 29-11 Bulldogs victory in Starkville, Miss., on September 18, 1999.

Tickets for the game will go on sale later this fall.

The Cowboys will serve as the home team in the 2013 game.


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