By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (November 12, 2017) — For the first time in 31 years, Tarleton State football is going bowling.
Tarleton (6-5) has been selected along with Central Oklahoma (7-4) to compete in the inaugural Corsicana Bowl set for noon on Saturday, December 2, at Tiger Stadium in Corsicana.
The Tarleton athletics department is hosting a press conference at 11 a.m. Monday in Wisdom Gym to formally announce they have accepted an invitation to the bowl.
In its last bowl appearance, Tarleton defeated Benedictine (Kan.) 40-38 in the Sunflower Bowl. That was on November 22, 1986. The Texans appeared twice against the Mexico All-Stars in the Aztec Bowl, winning 42-8 in 1966 and losing 22-15 in 1984.
Tarleton will prepare for the Corsicana Bowl on the heels of back-to-back loses oplayoff bound teams finishing first and second in the LSC and ranked among the top 10 teams in both the Division II Coaches’ and D2football.com polls. Tarleton lost 45-42 in overtime at No. 4 Midwestern State, the outright 2017 LSC champ and 33-21 at home Saturday to No. 8 Texas A&M-Commerce.
Central Oklahoma enters bowl season having won five straight, all by at least 14 points. The streak began immediately after a 17-10 loss to then – No. 1 Northwest Missouri State. The Bronchos lost four of their first six, with all their losses coming by seven points or less.
Tarleton is 3-7 all-time against UCO, an Bronchos won the last two meetings in 2009 and 2010. Tarleton beat its former conference rival in 2002, 2003 and 2008.
Posts confirming the participants in the bowl was published to the official Twitter account of the Corsicana Bowl, (@corsicanabowl) at 5:15 p.m. Sunday, and the official Twitter account of Tarleton Football (@tarletonfb) posted affirmation of the news just two minutes later.
Central Oklahoma was in the Lone Star Conference as part of its North Division until the LSC lost all its Oklahoma members except Cameron following the 2010 season. UCO went with Northeastern State to the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, while the others joined schools from Arkansas and Louisiana in forming the Great American Conference.
The Corsicana Bowl benefits Corsicana Special Olympics, helping special needs youth experience the joy of participating in sports.
Whitten did not immediately answer or return a phone call seeking comment, but will be available at the press conference on Monday, and The Flash Today will be among the attending media.