Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

AT&T Cotton Bowl

Published on January 6, 2011 by   ·   No Comments

cotton-bowl-logoThe Cotton Bowl is a classic college football bowl game. It was founded one year after the Orange, Sugar and Sun bowls. The Cotton Bowl has been played each year in Dallas,Texas since 1937.

The first Cotton bowl was funded exclusively by one person, an oil executive named J. Curtis Sanford. He financed the bowl game until 1940 when a commission was formed and took over operations and formed a partnership with the Southwest Conference. The Southwest Champion played in the Cotton Bowl for the next 54 years.

The Cotton Bowl began to be known to be one of the biggest bowl games for several
reasons. It hosted its first national championship game in 1960. Notre Dame played in a total of four Cotton Bowls in the 1970’s; these were their first postseason trips in 45 years. The last time that the Cotton Bowl determined the national champion was in 1978 (1977 season) when Notre Dame defeated Texas 38-10.

The decline for the Cotton Bowl began in the mid to late 1980’s when several of the top Southwest conference teams were hit with violations and weren’t allowed to play in bowl games. Southern Methodist received the worst of it as they received the Death Penalty in 1987, the cancellation of their season schedule; these terms were harsh enough that they did not field a team in 1988 as well.

The series of 7 straight losing Southwest conference opponents during this time made the Cotton Bowl lose some of its prestige. The bowl game decided to cut ties with the Southwest conference got dissolved afterwards 1994. The Fiesta Bowl jumped over the Cotton Bowl in importance and became the fourth bowl in the Bowl Championship Series.

The Cotton Bowl did not receive a new conference tie-in until the Big 12 conference was formed in 1996. In 1999, the SEC became the second conference to have a tie-in with the Cotton Bowl and this has remained the matchup up to present.

This years Cotton Bowl sees LSU Tigers (10-2) face off against the Texas A&M Aggies (9-3). This game will begin tomorrow, January 7 at 8:00PM ET and can only be see on Fox. This will be the first year that the Cotton Bowl will be hosted in the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It was hosted at the Cotton Bowl stadium since the stadium was created.

Previous Bowl Results

Texas A&M is 4-7 in Cotton Bowl contests; they are 0-5 since 1990. LSU is 2-2 in the Cotton Bowl; but they have only played once in recent years, a loss to Texas in 2003. The SEC is winning this matchup 6-5 since 1999, but the SEC has won 6 of the last 7 times.

cotton-bowl-photo

Both teams have lost their respective bowl games last year. The Tigers lost 19-17 to Penn State last year in the Capital One Bowl. LSU won National Championships in 2003 (split with USC) and 2007.

Texas A&M (6-6) lost in the Independence Bowl to Georgia (8-4) by the score of 44-20. Since 1991, the Aggies are 2-11 in bowl games.

Cotton Bowl Breakdown

RecordsLSU: 10-2; Texas A&M: 9-3
All Time Bowl RecordLSU: 21-19-1; Texas A&M: 13-18
Key WinsLSU: West Virginia 20-14, Alabama 24-21, Florida 33-29; Texas A&M: Oklahoma 33-19, Nebraska 9-6, Texas 24-17
Key LossesLSU: Auburn 24-17, Arkansas 31-23; Texas A&M: Oklahoma State 38-35, Missouri 30-9

Both teams played and lost to Arkansas by 7 and 8 points respectively. LSU is 4-2 against ranked teams this year. Texas A&M has won their last 6 games (all conference opponents), four of which were teams that made bowl games. The Aggies lost three games in a row before that.

I’m not going to worry about that as much as the recent history of these two teams and bowl games. LSU has done well at bowl games ever since Nick Saban took over as the coach. They have lost a couple of heart-breakers to the Big Ten in the previous couple year but have also won two national championships. I mentioned how poorly the Aggies have been in recent bowl games above.

Points For/GameLSU: 28.8; Texas A&M: 31.8
Points Against/GameLSU: 17.8; Texas A&M: 20.3
Offensive Yards/GameLSU: 334.5; Texas A&M: 447.5

LSU hasn’t been very good passing the football this year, which may be their one flaw. They are excellent defensively. Several of the Tigers games this year have been very close and they have only had four blowouts this year (more than 10 points win) and only one of those was against a good team.

Texas A&M has a better than average chance of hanging around in this game. They have one of the better passing attacks in the nation and are in the top third in rushing yards, points for and points against.

Prediction

LSU knows how to win close games. This game should be a close matchup. You know as soon as I say that one team is going to win the Cotton Bowl, the other is likely to prevail; but I do think that LSU pulls this one out 24-17.

Highlights from Previous Cotton Bowls

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