Texas finished the regular season with a record of 8–4 (7–2 Big 12), tied for second place in the Big 12. Oregon, ranked #10 in the BCS, finished the regular season with a record of 10–2 (7–2 Pac-12), co-champions of the Pacific-12 North Division.
Texas was selected to represent the Big 12 after an 8–4 season, finishing third overall in the conference. Starting the season ranked 15th in both major polls, Texas would start the season disappointingly by going 1–2 against non-conference opponents with a win over New Mexico State and losses to BYU and Ole Miss. They would eventually contend for the Big-12 Championship by starting their conference schedule at 6–0 with wins over Kansas State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, TCU, Kansas and West Virginia. They would finish their remaining conference slate with a home loss to Oklahoma State, rebound to beat Texas Tech after a bye week and finish the season with a road loss to Baylor, finishing the season unranked in the polls.
This was the second time that Oregon and Texas have faced off in the post-season, the only other time being the 2000 Holiday Bowl, where Oregon beat Texas 35–30, Oregon's only win in the series.
While all bowl games are technically considered neutral site games, the Longhorns are based less than 100 miles away from San Antonio, in Austin whereas the Ducks and their accompanying fans will have to travel either over 1,600 miles by air or drive over 2,000 miles from Eugene, Oregon.
December 10, 2013 – Oregon starting tight end Pharaoh Brown was suspended for the Alamo Bowl due to his role in a campus snowball fight on December 6 that got out of hand.
December 13, 2013 – Oregon defensive back Troy Hill was suspended from all football-related activities after being arrested for fourth-degree assault, menacing and strangulation.
December 14, 2013 – Texas head coach Mack Brown announced that his resignation following the Alamo Bowl after 16 years as head coach of Longhorns, having led them to six Big 12 South Division Championships, two Big 12 Conference Championships, and the 2005 BCS National Championship with an overall record of 158–47 (.771).
December 16, 2013 – Troy Hill was arraigned on lesser charges of menacing and criminal mischief, and entered a plea of not guilty.
December 22, 2013 – Texas wide receiver Daje Johnson (So.), offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle (So.) and runningback Jalen Overstreet (Fr.) were declared academically ineligible to participate in the 2013 Alamo Bowl. Johnson had 757 all-purpose yards on the year, Estelle had started 8 games at right tackle and Overstreet has 102 rushing yards with two touchdowns.
December 27, 2013 – Oregon Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti announced his retirement following the Alamo Bowl. Aliotti has coached at Oregon for a total of 26 years, as a graduate assistant from 1978 to 1979, as the outside linebackers coach from 1988 to 1992 and then as the defensive coordinator from 1993 to 1994. He would then follow former Oregon head coach Rich Brooks to the NFL in 1995 and returned to Oregon after coaching at UCLA for one season, in 1999, where he has coached ever since.