TCU, BYU, Utah and Colorado State accepted bowl invitations Tuesday, giving the Mountain West Conference four teams in the postseason.
TCU (10-1) will play in the Houston Bowl on Dec. 31 against a Big 12 opponent.
The Mountain West has tie-ins with the Las Vegas, Poinsettia and Emerald bowls - all games that pay less than the expected $1.2 million payout for the EV1.net Houston Bowl at Reliant Stadium.
The No. 15 Horned Frogs have a nine-game winning streak going into the Dec. 31 bowl game against a Big 12 team. The Southeastern Conference doesn't have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill its spot in Houston, which opened up the at-large spot for TCU.
The Horned Frogs also gave coach Gary Patterson a four-year contract extension Tuesday.
Since beating UNLV, 51-3, in their regular-season finale Nov. 12, the Frogs have moved up in the last two Bowl Championship Series rankings, advancing four spots to No. 13 - still one below what is needed to even be considered for one of the four big-money games. The Mountain West doesn't have a guaranteed BCS spot. Officials Tuesday released a list of 16 teams still under consideration for a BCS bid, and TCU was not among them.
BYU snapped a string of three straight seasons without a bowl bid, accepting an invite to the Las Vegas Bowl.
Colorado State will play Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 22 in San Diego.
A year after Utah played in the Bowl Championship Series, the Utes accepted a bid to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, where they could play a Pac-10 team or an Atlantic Coast Conference team.
The Music City Bowl announced it would take a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference to fill a spot the SEC cannot.
The SEC has eight bowl tie-ins, including sending its champion to the BCS, but only six bowl-eligible teams.
The Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl will be played Dec. 30, with a Big Ten team filling the other spot.
The ACC already was scheduled to start a tie-in to the Music City Bowl in 2006.