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The Cotton Bowl Classic, is a college football bowl game that was played annually since 1937 at its namesake stadiummarker in Dallasmarker, Texasmarker. On February 27, 2007, it was announced that the game will move to Cowboys Stadiummarker in nearby Arlingtonmarker 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 Forth Worthmarker took on Marquettemarker, 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.

Some 40,000 attended the 1939 match between St. Mary's and Texas Tech, with the Gaels upsetting the undefeated Red Raiders 20-13.


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 1946, Missouri was defeated by Texas, despite the 4th quarter work of freshman fullback Robert Lee Clodfelter, who was to mature under Weeb Ewbank at Washington Universitymarker the next three years.

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 the 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 John F. Kennedy was assassinatedmarker 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 Bowlmarker, Sugar Bowl, and Orange Bowl - were played on Monday, January 2nd.)


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 Stadiummarker, 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, although the Irish again staked a claim to a championship after the 1994 contest.

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 2004 and 2006, when January 1st 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 Clasic 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.

The 2007 Cotton Bowl Classic was between Auburn Tigers played the Nebraska Cornhuskers; Auburn won 17-14.

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 1st to 1 p.m. CST on January 2nd.

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.

Move to Arlington

In 2010, the Cotton Bowl Classic will move to the new Cowboys Stadiummarker in Arlington, leaving the newly 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.


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.

Game results

Date Played Winning Team Losing Team notes
January 1, 1937 TCU 16 6 notes
January 1, 1938 28 14 notes
January 2, 1939 20 Texas Tech 13 notes
January 1, 1940 6 3 notes
January 1, 1941 Texas A&M 13 12 notes
January 1, 1942 29 Texas A&M 21 notes
January 1, 1943 Texas 14 7 notes
January 1, 1944 Texas 7 Randolph Fieldmarker 7 notes
January 1, 1945 34 0 notes
January 1, 1946 Texas 40 27 notes
January 1, 1947 Arkansas 0 0 notes
January 1, 1948 13 Penn State 13 notes
January 1, 1949 SMU 21 13 notes
January 2, 1950 27 13 notes
January 1, 1951 Tennessee 20 Texas 14 notes
January 1, 1952 Kentucky 20 7 notes
January 1, 1953 Texas 16 0 notes
January 1, 1954 28 Alabama 6 notes
January 1, 1955 14 Arkansas 6 notes
January 2, 1956 14 13 notes
January 1, 1957 28 Syracuse 27 notes
January 1, 1958 20 7 notes
January 1, 1959 0 0 notes
January 1, 1960 23 Texas 14 notes
January 2, 1961 7 Arkansas 6 notes
January 1, 1962 12 7 notes
January 1, 1963 13 0 notes
January 1, 1964 Texas 28 Navy 6 notes
January 1, 1965 Arkansas 10 7 notes
January 1, 1966 14 Arkansas 7 notes
December 31, 1966 Georgia 24 9 notes
January 1, 1968 20 Alabama 16 notes
January 1, 1969 36 13 notes
January 1, 1970 Texas 21 Notre Dame 17 notes
January 1, 1971 24 Texas 11 notes
January 1, 1972 Penn State 30 6 notes
January 1, 1973 17 Alabama 13 notes

Date Played Winning Team Losing Team notes
January 1, 1974 Nebraska 19 3 notes
January 1, 1975 Penn State 41 Baylor 20 notes
January 1, 1976 Arkansas 31 Georgia 10 notes
January 1, 1977 30 Maryland 21 notes
January 2, 1978 Notre Dame 38 Texas 10 notes
January 1, 1979 35 34 notes
January 1, 1980 17 Nebraska 14 notes
January 1, 1981 Alabama 30 Baylor 2 notes
January 1, 1982 14 Alabama 12 notes
January 1, 1983 SMU 7 Pittsburgh 3 notes
January 2, 1984 Georgia 10 9 notes
January 1, 1985 Boston College 45 28 notes
January 1, 1986 36 Auburn 16 notes
January 1, 1987 Ohio State 28 12 notes
January 1, 1988 35 Notre Dame 10 notes
January 2, 1989 UCLA 17 Arkansas 3 notes
January 1, 1990 Tennessee 31 Arkansas 27 notes
January 1, 1991 Miami 46 3 notes
January 1, 1992 Florida State 10 Texas A&M 2 notes
January 1, 1993 Notre Dame 28 Texas A&M 3 notes
January 1, 1994 Notre Dame 24 Texas A&M 21 notes
January 2, 1995 55 Texas Tech 14 notes
January 1, 1996 Colorado 38 6 notes
January 1, 1997 BYU 19 Kansas State 15 notes
January 1, 1998 29 Texas A&M 23 notes
January 1, 1999 Texas 38 11 notes
January 1, 2000 Arkansas 27 6 notes
January 1, 2001 Kansas State 35 Tennessee 21 notes
January 1, 2002 Oklahoma 10 Arkansas 3 notes
January 1, 2003 35 LSU 20 notes
January 2, 2004 Ole Miss 31 28 notes
January 1, 2005 38 Texas A&M 7 notes
January 2, 2006 Alabama 13 Texas Tech 10 notes
January 1, 2007 Auburn 17 Nebraska 14 notes
January 1, 2008 Missouri 38 Arkansas 7 notes
January 2, 2009 Ole Miss 47 Texas Tech 34 notes
January 2, 2010 Ole Miss TBD Oklahoma State TBD notes


Date Played MVP(s) Team Position
January 1, 1937 Ki Aldrich TCU C
Sammy Baugh TCU QB
L.D. "Dutch" Meyer TCU K
January 1, 1938 Ernie Lain Rice HB
Byron "Whizzer" White Colorado QB
January 1, 1939 Jerry Dowd St. Mary's C
Elmer Tarbox Texas Tech HB
January 1, 1940 Banks McFadden Clemson B
January 1, 1941 Charles Henke Texas A&M G
John Kimbrough Texas A&M FB
Chip Roult Texas A&M T
Lou DeFilippo Fordham C
Joe Ungerer Fordham T
January 1, 1942 Jimmy Nelson Alabama HB
Holt Rast Alabama E
Don Whitmire Alabama T
Martin Ruby Texas A&M T
January 1, 1943 Jack Freeman Texas G
Roy McKay Texas B
Stanley Mauldin Texas T
Harvey Hardy Georgia Tech G
Jack Marshall Georgia Tech E
January 1, 1944 Martin Ruby Randolph Field T
Glenn Dobbs Randolph Field QB
Joe Parker Texas E
January 1, 1945 Neill Armstrong Oklahoma A&M E
Bob Fenimore Oklahoma A&M RB
Ralph Foster Oklahoma A&M DT
January 1, 1946 Hub Bechtol Texas E
Bobby Layne Texas B
Jim Kekeris Missouri T
January 1, 1947 Alton Baldwin Arkansas E
Y.A. Tittle LSU QB
January 1, 1948 Steve Suhey Penn State G
Doak Walker SMU RB
January 1, 1949 Kyle Rote SMU RB
Doak Walker SMU RB
Brad Ecklund Oregon C
Norm Van Brocklin Oregon QB
January 2, 1950 Billy Burkhalter Rice HB
Joe Watson Rice C
James Williams Rice E
January 1, 1951 Andy Kozar Tennessee FB
Hank Lauricella Tennessee HB
Horace "Bud" Sherrod Tennessee DE
Bud McFadin Texas G
January 1, 1952 Emery Clark Kentucky HB
Ray Correll Kentucky G
Vito "Babe" Parilli Kentucky QB
Keith Flowers TCU FB
January 1, 1953 Richard Ochoa Texas FB
Harley Sewell Texas G
Bob Griesbach Tennessee LB
January 1, 1954 Richard Chapman Rice T
Dan Hart Rice E
Dickey Maegle Rice HB
January 1, 1955 George Humphreys Georgia Tech FB
Bud Brooks Arkansas G
January 2, 1956 Buddy Alliston Mississippi G
Eagle Day Mississippi QB
January 1, 1957 Norman Hamilton TCU T
Jim Brown Syracuse HB
January 1, 1958 Tom Forrestal Navy QB
Tony Stremic Navy G
January 1, 1959 Dave Phillips Air Force T
Jack Spikes TCU FB
January 1, 1960 Ernie Davis Syracuse HB
Maurice Doke Texas G
January 2, 1961 Dwight Bumgarner Duke T
Lance Alworth Arkansas HB
January 1, 1962 Mike Cotten Texas QB
Bob Moses Texas E
January 1, 1963 Lynn Amedee QB LSU
Johnny Treadwell Texas G
January 1, 1964 Scott Appleton Texas T
Duke Carlisle Texas QB
January 1, 1965 Ronnie Caveness Arkansas LB
Fred Marshall Arkansas QB
January 1, 1966 Joe Labruzzo LSU TB
David McCormick LSU T
December 31, 1966 Kent Lawrence Georgia TB
George Patton Georgia T
January 1 , 1968 Grady Allen Texas A&M DE
Edd Hargett Texas A&M QB
Bill Hobbs Texas A&M LB
January 1, 1969 Tom Campbell Texas LB
Cotton Speyrer Texas WR
James Street Texas QB

Date Played MVP(s) Team Position
January 1, 1970 Steve Worster Texas FB
Bob Olson Notre Dame LB
January 1, 1971 Clarence Ellis Notre Dame CB
Eddie Phillips Texas QB
January 1, 1972 Bruce Bannon Penn State DE
Lydell Mitchell Penn State RB
January 1, 1973 Randy Braband Texas LB
Alan Lowry Texas QB
January 1, 1974 Tony Davis Nebraska TB
Wade Johnson Texas LB
January 1, 1975 Tom Shuman Penn State QB
Ken Quesenberry Baylor S
January 1, 1976 Ike Forte Arkansas HB
Hal McAfee Arkansas LB
January 1, 1977 Alois Blackwell Houston RB
Mark Mohr Houston CB
January 1, 1978 Vagas Ferguson Notre Dame RB
Bob Golic Notre Dame LB
January 1, 1979 Joe Montana Notre Dame QB
David Hodge Houston LB
January 1, 1980 Terry Elston Houston QB
David Hodge Houston LB
January 1, 1981 Warren Lyles Alabama NG
Major Ogilvie Alabama RB
January 1, 1982 Robert Brewer Texas QB
Robbie Jones Alabama LB
January 1, 1983 Wes Hopkins SMU SS
Lance McIlhenny SMU QB
January 1, 1984 John Lastinger Georgia QB
Jeff Leiding Texas LB
January 1, 1985 Bill Romanowski Boston College LB
Steve Strachan Boston College FB
January 1, 1986 Domingo Bryant Texas A&M SS
Bo Jackson Auburn TB
January 1, 1987 Chris Spielman Ohio State LB
Roger Vick Texas A&M FB
January 1, 1988 Adam Bob Texas A&M LB
Bucky Richardson Texas A&M QB
January 2, 1989 Troy Aikman UCLA QB
LaSalle Harper Arkansas LB
January 1, 1990 Carl Pickens Tennessee FS
Chuck Webb Tennessee TB
January 1, 1991 Craig Erickson Miami (Fla.) QB
Russell Maryland Miami (Fla.) DL
January 1, 1992 Sean Jackson Florida State RB
Chris Crooms Texas A&M S
January 1, 1993 Rick Mirer Notre Dame QB
Devon McDonald Notre Dame DE
January 1, 1994 Lee Becton Notre Dame RB
Antonio Shorter Texas A&M L
January 2, 1995 Keyshawn Johnson USC WR
John Herpin USC CB
January 1, 1996 Herchell Troutman Colorado RB
Marcus Washington Colorado DB
January 1, 1997 Steve Sarkisian BYU QB
Shay Muirbrook BYU LB
Kevin Lockett Kansas State WR
January 1, 1998 Cade McNown UCLA QB
Dat Nguyen Texas A&M LB
January 1, 1999 Ricky Williams Texas RB
Aaron Babino Texas LB
January 1, 2000 Cedric Cobbs Arkansas RB
D.J. Cooper Arkansas LB
January 1, 2001 Jonathan Beasley Kansas State QB
Chris L. Johnson Kansas State DE
January 1, 2002 Quentin Griffin Oklahoma RB
Roy Williams Oklahoma S
January 1, 2003 Roy Williams Texas WR
Cory Redding Texas DE
January 2, 2004 Eli Manning Mississippi QB
Josh Cooper Mississippi DE
January 1, 2005 Rick Clausen Tennessee QB
Justin Harrell Tennessee DT
January 2, 2006 Brodie Croyle Alabama QB
DeMeco Ryans Alabama LB
January 1, 2007 Courtney Taylor Auburn WR
Will Herring Auburn LB
January 1, 2008 Tony Temple Missouri RB
William Moore Missouri SS
January 2, 2009 Dexter McCluster Ole Miss WR
Marshay Green Ole Miss CB
January 2, 2010 TBA TBA Pos.

Previous logos

Image:Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic.png|1995-1999Image:SBC Cotton Bowl Classic Logo.jpg|2000-2005Image:2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.jpg|2006Image:CottonBowlLogo.png|2007

See also


  2. AT&T Cotton Bowl plans to move to Jan. 2 in 2009
  3. [1]
  4. Cotton Bowl reportedly hoping to join BCS party in 2011
  5. Cotton Bowl puts its BCS hopes on hold for now
  6. [2]
  7. [3]

External links

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