Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 12/4/11

Northwestern director of athletics Jim Phillips has done it again. He’s worked his magic to get his Wildcats up the bowl ladder, as NU landed in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston vs. Texas A&M.

Bowl executive director Heather Houston (really, that’s her name? What an awesome coincidence that bowl based in Houston is run by someone with that name) announced Sunday the bowl match-up in Texas on New Year’s Eve (Saturday, Dec. 31) at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

The home of the NFL Houston Texans will feature the Wildcats (6-6) vs. the Texas A&M Aggies (6-6), the third time in the last four years NU has met a representative of the Big 12 Conference in bowl play. It marks the first-ever meeting between Northwestern and Texas A&M. Just a couple days ago, A&M fired their Coach Mike Sherman, with a nearly $6 million buyout.

And their QB Ryan Tannehill has a super hot model fiance- pictured below: (more pics of Lauren Ufer here)

The game, now in its sixth year of operation, will kick off at 11 a.m. National television coverage will be provided by ESPN with the radio broadcast available on WGN720 and WNUR (89.3).

“Everyone associated with Northwestern is thrilled and honored to accept this invitation to play on New Year’s Eve in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas,” Phillips said. “Our football program and fans have tremendously enjoyed our recent bowl experiences in Texas so to have the chance to return there and be in a city with as much to offer as Houston is an exciting prospect. Add to that the opportunity to play in a beautiful NFL venue against a program the caliber of Texas A&M and you really have the ideal situation for another memorable bowl season.”

Northwestern achieved bowl eligibility for a program-record fifth consecutive year. It will be a virtual road game for NU given that College Station is just 90 miles from Houston. Just like it was last year for Illinois when they played Houston

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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