Cotton Bowl Classic
|Cotton Bowl Classic|
|Previous Stadiums||Cotton Bowl|
|Previous Locations||Dallas, Texas|
|Conference Tie-ins||Big 12, SEC|
|Previous Conference Tie-ins||SWC (1941-94)|
Southwestern Bell Corporation / SBC Communications / AT&T (1996-present)
|SBC Communications Cotton Bowl Classic - (2000-05)
Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic - (1996-99)
Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic - (1989-95)
Cotton Bowl Classic - (1937-88)
|Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss (Mississippi 47-34)|
|Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss (Mississippi 21-7)|
The Cotton Bowl Classic is a college football bowl game that was played annually since 1937 at its namesake stadium in Dallas, Texas. On February 27, 2007, it was announced that the game will move to Cowboys Stadium in nearby Arlington beginning on January 1, 2010. With the planned move, Cotton Bowl Classic officials also began a campaign to become part of the Bowl Championship Series when the current contract featuring the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange bowls expires in 2010. However, plans to join the BCS were scrapped shortly after ESPN acquired the rights to the series.
Since 1996, the game has been sponsored by Southwestern Bell Corporation; however, it went through several name changes, first in 2000 when the firm adopted a standardized "SBC" branding reflecting its name it adopted in 1995, SBC Communications, and since 2006, after their acquisition of AT&T, and its subsequent name change, as the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. From 1989 until 1995, the game was sponsored by Mobil Oil and known as the Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic.
The Cotton Bowl Classic was founded in Dallas in 1937 at the Texas State Fair Grounds, when Texas oil executive J. Curtis Sanford financed the first one out of his own pocket. TCU of Fort Worth took on Marquette, winning 16-6, but the game lost money even though some 17,000 attended. Nonetheless, Sanford persevered, and in 1938 the game made a profit as Rice defeated Colorado 28-14, in front of a crowd of 37,000.
In 1940, an underdog Clemson team surprised the Boston College Eagles 6-3, in the first and only appearance at the Cotton Bowl Classic by Tigers coach Frank Howard. Attendance at this game was given as 20,000. Later that year, a group of prominent Dallas citizens took over the staging of the game as the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. A few months later, the CBAA became an agency of the Southwest Conference. From 1941 to 1994, the SWC's champion hosted the Cotton Bowl Classic.
In 1947 LSU and Arkansas played in front of 38,000 people to a 0-0 tie in what would later become known as the "Ice Bowl." LSU got the better of Arkansas most of the game, but the game truly belonged to the weatherman.
In 1948 Penn State, in a bowl game for the first time in 25 years, played Dallas' SMU to a 13-13 tie. Because none of the Dallas hotels would provide accommodations for the two African-American members of the Penn State team, the Penn State team ended up staying at a Naval Air Station 14 miles from Dallas.
The 1954 Cotton Bowl Classic featured one of the most famous plays in college football history. Rice's Dickey Moegle (last name spelling later changed to "Maegle") began a run around end from his team's 5 yard line and down the open field. Alabama's Tommy Lewis jumped off the bench and tackled Moegle. The referee, Cliff Shaw, saw what happened and signaled touchdown even though Moegle was "tackled" at the 42 yard line.
In 1960, Syracuse defeated Texas 23-14 to win the national championship. Syracuse was led by bowl MVP Ernie Davis, who ran for one touchdown, caught a still Cotton Bowl Classic record 87 yard touchdown, and intercepted a pass leading to a third touchdown. In 1961, Davis became the first black athlete to win the Heisman Trophy, but died of leukemia before his pro career could begin.
In 1964, top-ranked Texas completed an undefeated season by defeating #2 ranked Navy (led by future Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach). The game was played six weeks after President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. The 1967 game was moved to Saturday, December 31, 1966, due to the Dallas Cowboys hosting the NFL Championship Game at the stadium on New Year's Day, a Sunday. (Note: The other major bowl games that year --- the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and Orange Bowl - were played on Monday, January 2.)
The 1970 game featured Notre Dame's return to bowl games, after a 45-year self-imposed ban. When the Irish made that decision, 9-1 LSU was overlooked for the game, and the Tigers stayed home instead. The Irish, led by quarterback Joe Theismann, faced top-ranked and undefeated Texas. Notre Dame led 17-14 late in the fourth quarter, but the Longhorns scored a late touchdown to clinch a 21-17 victory and an undisputed national championship. The same two teams met the next year, but this time, the Irish ended the Longhorns' 30-game winning streak with a 24-11 victory, denying Texas the Associated Press national championship (the Longhorns had already clinched the regular season championship in the UPI poll, a pre-bowl poll until the 1974 season; Nebraska won the AP title). Texas and Notre Dame met again in the 1978 game, with the Longhorns again top-ranked, only to see the Irish and quarterback Joe Montana roll to a 38-10 victory. The Irish vaulted from fifth to first in the final polls with the victory.
The 1979 Cotton Bowl Classic, nicknamed the Chicken Soup Game, featured one of the most historic comebacks in bowl history. Notre Dame trailed Houston 34-12 midway through the fourth quarter. Thanks to a blocked punt and the brilliance of future NFL Hall of Famer Joe Montana, the Irish rallied to win 35-34, their second consecutive Cotton Bowl Classic victory.
The 1989 game between UCLA and Arkansas was highly publicized in the Dallas area because Bruin quarterback Troy Aikman was expected to be the top pick in the 1989 NFL Draft; the first pick was held by the Dallas Cowboys. Much was made of Cowboys longtime head coach Tom Landry watching Aikman practice at Texas Stadium, UCLA's practice facility for game preparation. Landry never got to draft Aikman, because he was fired the next month, but his successor, Jimmy Johnson, did.
The Cotton Bowl Classic has seen its share of great quarterbacks. Sammy Baugh, Davey O'Brien, Babe Parilli, Bobby Layne, Norm Van Brocklin, Y.A. Tittle, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, Ken Stabler, Joe Theismann, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Doug Flutie, Troy Aikman, and Eli Manning all have played in the game.
Three of the four Heisman Trophy winners from the 1984-87 seasons finished their college career in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Doug Flutie for Boston College in January 1985, Bo Jackson of Auburn in 1986, and Tim Brown of Notre Dame in 1988.
For 40 years the champion of the now-defunct Southwest Conference (SWC) played as the home team in the Cotton Bowl Classic, a tie-in which continued through the 1994 season. Until the mid-1980s, the contest was universally considered as a major New Year's Day bowl. However, by the late 1980s the Cotton Bowl Classic's prestige had fallen, as many SWC teams served NCAA probations for rule violations, rendering them bowl-ineligible. Also, the conference's quality of play suffered a marked decline. The SWC champion lost the last 7 times they hosted the event, and the last national champion to play in the Cotton Bowl Classic was Notre Dame in 1977.
Meanwhile, the Fiesta Bowl, unhindered by conference tie-ins, was attracting national championship contenders, most notably with its January 1987 between Penn State and Miami. In the minds of many fans, the Fiesta replaced the Cotton as a major bowl. Despite this, the Cotton Bowl Classic still retained enough prestige that it was included as one of the top bowls in the Bowl Coalition when it was formed in 1992. However, in 1995, the new Bowl Alliance (the predecessor of today's BCS) chose to include the Fiesta over the Cotton in its national championship game rotation, sealing the Cotton Bowl Classic's displacement from the four "major bowls."
In 1995, the SWC gave up control of the Cotton Bowl Classic as part of its planned dissolution after the season. In 1996, the BYU Cougars became the first team from the WAC to play in the game, defeating the Kansas State Wildcats 19-15, winning an NCAA record 14th game, and finishing the season ranked fifth in the country with a 14-1 record.
Since 1996, the game has been anchored by the Big 12 Conference. The opponent in the late 1990s came from either the Pacific 10 Conference or WAC. Since 1999, however, a team from the Southeastern Conference (usually a Western Division team) has matched up in the game, with Southwestern Bell (now AT&T) sponsoring the event.
Through 2008, the Cotton Bowl Classic continued to be played on New Year's Day (except in 2000 and 2006, when January 1 fell on a Sunday; the game was moved to January 2 in those years), and was usually the second game of the day to kick off, generally following the Outback Bowl.
The 2004 Cotton Bowl Classic saw the return of the Ole Miss Rebels, whose last appearance in the Cotton Bowl Classic was a 7-12 loss to Texas in 1962. The 2004 Cotton Bowl Classic would also be current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning's last college football game. Manning led his team to beat Oklahoma State 31-28.
In the 2008 Cotton Bowl Classic, Missouri's running back Tony Temple broke the bowl game rushing record by gaining 281 yards on 24 carries. (The record was previously held by Rice's Dickey Maegle, who had rushed for 265 yards.) Missouri beat Arkansas 38-7.
In April 2008, Cotton Bowl Classic officials announced that in 2009 and 2010 the game would be moved from its traditional start time of 10 a.m. CST on January 1 to 1 p.m. CST on January 2.
In the final Cotton Bowl Classic game to be held in the Cotton Bowl stadium, the 8-4 #20 Ole Miss Rebels defeated the 11-1 #7 Texas Tech Red Raiders. It was in this game that Tech quarterback Graham Harrell tied, and then broke, the NCAA record for most touchdown passes thrown by anyone in Cotton Bowl Classic history.
In 2010, the Cotton Bowl Classic moved to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, leaving the recently remodeled historic Cotton Bowl facility. Reportedly, Cotton Bowl Classic officials sought for the game to become a BCS bowl game in 2011. (One of the concerns for this game having been the weather, since Dallas can be cold in January, but the new stadium would offer top amenities and a retractable roof.) However, a new four-year agreement between the BCS and ESPN has forestalled any possibility of the Cotton Bowl Classic joining the BCS until 2015 at the earliest.
In the 2010 Cotton Bowl Classic played between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Ole Miss Rebels at the new Cowboys Stadium, the Ole Miss Rebels shutdown the high scoring Cowboys offense to win the 76th annual Cotton Bowl Classic 21-7.
Fox Sports has televised the game since 1999. For many decades, the Cotton Bowl Classic was a New Year's Day staple on CBS, where the man most associated with the game, Lindsey Nelson, handled the play-by-play. NBC televised it for a brief period during the mid-1990s.
Currently, Brad Sham (best known as the voice of the Dallas Cowboys) is the radio voice of the Cotton Bowl Classic on the Westwood One network, while longtime NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall has come out of retirement to announce the annual game for Fox.
The Cotton Bowl is a stadium which opened in 1932 and became known as "The House That Doak Built" due to the immense crowds that former SMU running back Doak Walker drew to the stadium during his college career in the late 1940s. Originally known as the Fair Park Bowl, it is located in Fair Park, site of the State Fair of Texas. The Cotton Bowl Classic called its namesake home since the bowl's inception in 1937 until the 2010 game. The NFL's Dallas Cowboys called the Cotton Bowl home for 11 years, from the team's formation in 1960 until 1971, when the Cowboys moved to Texas Stadium. Although not the first established bowl game, the Cotton Bowl is a play on the phrase "cotton boll." Texas is the leading producer of cotton in the United States.
Cowboys Stadium is a new domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas. After failed negotiations to return the Cowboys to the Cotton Bowl, Jerry Jones along with the city of Arlington, Texas funded the stadium at a cost of $1.15 billion. It was completed on May 29, 2009 and seats 80,000, but is expandable to seat up to 100,000. Cowboys Stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world.
A highlight of Cowboys Stadium is its center-hung high-definition television screen, the largest in the world. The 160 by 72 feet (49 by 22 m), 11,520-square-foot (1,070 m2) scoreboard surpasses the 8,736 sq ft (812 m2) screen that opened in 2009 at the renovated Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri as the world's largest.
- ^ "Cotton Bowl moves; what about Texas-OU?". Austin American-Statesman. February 27, 2007. http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/sports/stories/longhorns/02/28/28cotton.html. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- ^ Carlton, Chuck (May 29, 2007). "Cotton Bowl Classic on BCS quest". The Dallas Morning News (The Dallas Morning News). http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/052907dnspocotton.279c005.html. Retrieved July 11, 2007.
- ^ 2009 AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
- ^ AT&T Cotton Bowl plans to move to Jan. 2 in 2009
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- ^ Cotton Bowl reportedly hoping to join BCS party in 2011
- ^ Cotton Bowl puts its BCS hopes on hold for now
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- ^ Murph, Darren (May 18, 2009). "Kansas City Royals to get 'world's largest' HD LED scoreboard". Engadgethd.com. http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/10/03/kansas-city-royals-to-get-worlds-largest-hd-led-scoreboard/. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
- ^ MJD (June 12, 2008). "Jerry Jones aims to make all Cowboys' fans blind by 2010". Sports.yahoo.com. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Jerry-Jones-aims-to-make-all-Cowboys-fans-blind?urn=nfl,87574. Retrieved November 28, 2008.
- ^ "Cowboys reveal world’s largest HD LED screen to the public ", LEDs Magazine, August 23, 2009. Retrieved on August 23, 2009.
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