Once hailed as “unassailably the best bowl week diversion of 2012” by Sports Illustrated, the Rodeo Bowl has quickly become one of the most famous bowl week events in the country. Every year, both teams travel about an hour southwest of Houston to George Ranch Historical Park for a an evening filled with various rodeo themed shenanigans, delicious barbecue from Demeris Bar-B-Q, and live Texas Country music around the campfire.
From the moment the teams arrive, escorted in by members of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Speakers Committee on horseback and greeted by real-life rodeo clowns, they are immersed in an authentic Texas Rodeo experience. The teams square off in 7 competitions, ranging from an offensive line dance-off, to a hay bale toss, all the way to a race to see who can tackle and chalk brand a live calf the fastest. The winning team receives bragging rights and a shiny new Rodeo Bowl trophy to take back home.
As a bonus, Rodeo Bowl Champions are a remarkable 6-1 in their subsequent Texas Bowl matchups, with the only loss occurring when the Minnesota Golden Gophers took home the 2012 Rodeo Bowl crown but fell to Texas Tech on a last second field goal in the game a few days later.
Here’s a great video recap done by the Golden Gophers Athletic Department video staff did in 2013:
George Ranch Historical Park
The George Ranch Historical Park is an internationally recognized living history site that authentically preserves and interprets the four generational storyline of a remarkable Texas family beginning in 1824 and spanning more than 100 years. Just 30 miles southwest of downtown Houston, we are located on a 20,000-acre+ working ranch featuring historic homes, costumed interpreters and livestock. Visitors to the George Ranch Historical Park leave with a greater appreciation and understanding of everyday family life stretching from frontier Texas to the World War II era. Informal immersive experiences provide an environment that allows each guest the time and opportunity for personal reflection. The thought provoking timeless story of the personal struggles and triumphs of this multi-generational family resonates universally with both native Texans as well as visitors from distant lands.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Speakers Committee
The HSLR Speakers Committee is responsible for contacting business groups, service clubs, area schools and other interested organizations to offer speaker services to their members. The committee then coordinates programs, delivers presentations and entertainment, and promotes interest in the Show. Members hold Rookie Boot Camp for first-year Show volunteers and entertain at special events. They are a key component of providing and entertaining and authentic Texas Rodeo experience to the participating teams.