Cotton Bowl Classic Details
The Cotton Bowl Classic is one of the older college football bowl games with an origin that dates back to 1937. A Texas oil executive, J. Curtis Sanford, financed the first game by putting up the $10,000 payout for each team. TCU ended up beating Marquette, 16-6.
Starting in 1941, the Southwest Conference agreed to send its champion to the game and continued to do so until 1995 (the conference dissolved in 1996). The Big 12 took over from 1997 to 2014 and was joined by the SEC starting in 1999.
The conference tie-ins ended when the game became part of the College Football Playoffs rotation. Every three years, the Cotton Bowl will be one of two CFB Playoffs Semifinal games. The 2015 edition saw Alabama crush Michigan State 38-0. It will next host a semifinal game in 2018.
From the inception of the game in 1937 through 2009, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, was the site of the annual contest. The stadium was built in 1930 and was known as Fair Park Stadium prior to hosting the Cotton Bowl. The game moved to AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington, Texas, in 2010.
Over the years, the Cotton Bowl has been the site of some classic football games.
- St. Mary’s defeat of an undefeated Texas Tech squad in 1939 is still considered one of the biggest upsets (20-13, St. Mary’s) in college football history.
- The 0-0 battle between LSU and Arkansas in 1947 would eventually become known as the ‘Ice Bowl’.
- Texas saw its 30-game winning streak come to an end against Notre Dame in 1971.
- Joe Montana led one of the most incredible comebacks in college football history when he helped Notre Dame overcome a 22-point deficit in the fourth quarter of the 1979 game.
- Michigan State and Baylor played in the highest scoring edition of the game in 2015, a 42-41 win by the Spartans. Baylor had a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter but couldn’t hold onto the lead.
Wisconsin won last year’s Cotton Bowl with a 24-16 win over Western Michigan. Next season’s game will be played on December 29 with a scheduled kickoff time of 8:30 pm EST. For years, the game was always held on January 1, but this will be the third time it is played in December.