In the realm of American football, few events capture the essence of competition, passion, and tradition quite like the Cotton Bowl. So, what is the Cotton Bowl in football? Established in 1937, this iconic college football game has become a celebrated fixture in the sporting calendar.
Held annually at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the Cotton Bowl showcases the finest collegiate teams from across the nation, pitting them against each other in a battle for gridiron supremacy.
The Cotton Bowl’s roots can be traced back to the early days of football when it was conceived as a means to promote the cotton industry in the Southern United States.
With its electrifying atmosphere, storied past, and a legacy of unforgettable moments, the Cotton Bowl has earned its place as one of the most cherished and anticipated events in American sports.
What Is the Cotton Bowl in Football?
The Cotton Bowl is a college football bowl game that has been played annually since 1937. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious bowl games in American football. The game takes place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which is the home stadium of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cotton Bowl is part of the “New Year’s Six” bowl games, which are considered the most prominent and lucrative bowl games in college football.
It traditionally features top-ranked teams from the Big 12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), although it has also hosted teams from other conferences in the past.
The game has a rich history and has seen many memorable moments and matchups over the years. It has served as the venue for several national championship games and has hosted some of the sport’s biggest stars.
The Cotton Bowl is known for its festive atmosphere and is a highly anticipated event in the college football calendar.
History of the Cotton Bowl
The Cotton Bowl has a long and storied history in college football. Here is a brief overview of its history:
The Cotton Bowl was first played on January 1, 1937, as part of the New Year’s Day bowl game tradition. The inaugural game featured TCU (Texas Christian University) and Marquette, with TCU emerging as the victor.
From its inception until 1994, the Cotton Bowl was held at the Cotton Bowl stadium in Dallas, Texas. During this period, the game primarily featured teams from the Southwest Conference (SWC) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
The Cotton Bowl gained prominence as a venue for national championship games. It hosted the national title game six times between 1941 and 1987, including the famous “Ice Bowl” in 1979 when Notre Dame defeated Houston in freezing conditions.
Over the years, the Cotton Bowl developed conference tie-ins with various conferences. From 1999 to 2014, it featured teams from the Big 12 Conference and the SEC.
However, since the inception of the College Football Playoff (CFP) in 2014, the Cotton Bowl has been part of the CFP rotation and has hosted semifinal games.
Move to AT&T Stadium
In 2010, the Cotton Bowl moved to its current home, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The state-of-the-art stadium, which is also the home of the Dallas Cowboys, offers modern amenities and a larger seating capacity.
New Year’s Six Bowl
Since the introduction of the CFP, the Cotton Bowl has become one of the prestigious New Year’s Six-bowl games. It is part of the rotation for hosting CFP semifinal games, which determine the teams that advance to the national championship game.
Throughout its history, the Cotton Bowl has showcased some of the most memorable moments and matchups in college football. It continues to be a highly anticipated event, attracting top-ranked teams and passionate fans from across the country.
Who Plays in the Cotton Bowl?
The teams that play in the Cotton Bowl vary depending on the year and the specific bowl game. Traditionally, the Cotton Bowl has featured teams from the Big 12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). However, it has also hosted teams from other conferences in the past.
Since the inception of the College Football Playoff (CFP) in 2014, the Cotton Bowl has been part of the CFP rotation and has hosted semifinal games.
In these cases, the teams that play in the Cotton Bowl are determined by the CFP selection committee, which selects the top four teams in college football to compete for the national championship.
Outside of the CFP, the specific teams that play in the Cotton Bowl are determined through various selection processes, including conference tie-ins and at-large bids.
The selection committee considers factors such as team rankings, records, and overall performance to determine the most deserving teams for the bowl game.
It’s important to note that the teams playing in the Cotton Bowl can change from year to year, so it’s always best to check the latest information and announcements regarding the specific teams participating in a given year.
How the Cotton Bowl Fits into the College Football Playoff?
The Cotton Bowl is one of the six bowl games that make up the College Football Playoff (CFP). The CFP is a postseason tournament that determines the national champion in college football.
The Cotton Bowl is part of the CFP rotation and serves as a host for semifinal games. The CFP selection committee, consisting of a group of experts, ranks the top four teams in college football at the end of the regular season.
The top four teams are then selected to participate in the CFP, with two of those teams being assigned to the Cotton Bowl as a semifinal matchup.
The Cotton Bowl typically hosts a semifinal game every three years, along with the other New Year’s Six bowl games. The specific bowl game that serves as a semifinal rotates each year, ensuring that each of the six bowls has an opportunity to host a semifinal game.
The winners of the two semifinal games advance to the CFP National Championship game, which is held at a different location each year.
The Cotton Bowl, as a semifinal host, does not directly determine the national champion but plays a crucial role in the CFP by providing a stage for high-stakes matchups and determining which teams advance to the championship game.
Notable moments from the Cotton Bowl
The Cotton Bowl has seen numerous notable moments and memorable games throughout its history. Here are a few examples:
Ice Bowl (1979)
The 1979 Cotton Bowl between Notre Dame and Houston is often referred to as the “Ice Bowl” due to the freezing conditions. Despite the icy field, Notre Dame’s Joe Montana led a comeback in the fourth quarter, throwing a touchdown pass with seconds remaining to secure a 35-34 victory.
Game of the Century (1969)
The 1969 Cotton Bowl between the University of Texas and the University of Arkansas is considered one of the greatest college football games ever played.
Dubbed the “Game of the Century,” it featured two undefeated teams and ended with Texas winning 15-14 after a late-game touchdown and a successful two-point conversion.
Johnny Manzi el’s Performance (2013)
In the 2013 Cotton Bowl, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel put on a dazzling display of skill and athleticism.
He became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy that season and solidified his status as a college football superstar by leading Texas A&M to a 41-13 victory over Oklahoma.
USC vs. Ohio State (1974)
The 1974 Cotton Bowl between the University of Southern California (USC) and Ohio State University is remembered for its dramatic finish.
USC’s Anthony Davis returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and the Trojans went on to win 42-17, securing their second consecutive national championship.
Alabama vs. Texas (2010)
The 2010 Cotton Bowl featured a matchup between the University of Alabama and the University of Texas. Alabama, led by quarterback Greg McElroy and running back Mark Ingram, defeated Texas 37-21 to win the BCS National Championship.
These are just a few examples of the many memorable moments and games that have taken place in the Cotton Bowl.
The bowl game’s rich history has provided fans with thrilling matchups and iconic performances over the years.
How did the Cotton Bowl get its name?
The Cotton Bowl got its name from the cotton industry, which played a significant role in the economy of the Southern United States. The bowl game was named after the cotton industry to honor the region’s agricultural heritage.
Where is the Cotton Bowl played?
The Cotton Bowl is currently played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The stadium, which is the home of the Dallas Cowboys, offers a state-of-the-art facility for the game and has a seating capacity of over 80,000.
How are teams selected to play in the Cotton Bowl?
Teams are selected to play in the Cotton Bowl through various selection processes. In the past, the game primarily featured teams from the Big 12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
However, since the introduction of the College Football Playoff (CFP), the selection of teams has been influenced by the CFP selection committee.
What is the significance of the Cotton Bowl in college football?
The Cotton Bowl is one of the oldest and most prestigious bowl games in college football. It has a rich history and has hosted many memorable moments and matchups.
The game is part of the “New Year’s Six” bowl games and has served as a venue for national championship games.
How can I attend the Cotton Bowl?
To attend the Cotton Bowl, you can purchase tickets through official channels such as the Cotton Bowl’s website or authorized ticket vendors.
Ticket availability and prices may vary depending on the year and the teams playing in the game. Check the official sources for the most up-to-date information on ticket sales and availability.
That was all about what is the Cotton Bowl in football. As the Cotton Bowl continues to captivate football enthusiasts year after year, its legacy remains firmly entrenched in the hearts of fans and players alike.
From the early days of promoting the cotton industry to its current status as a premier postseason bowl game, the Cotton Bowl has stood the test of time, showcasing the very best of college football.
With its iconic venue, the AT&T Stadium, serving as a backdrop for thrilling matchups, the Cotton Bowl has witnessed countless moments of triumph, heartbreak, and sheer athleticism.
As we eagerly anticipate the next chapter in the Cotton Bowl’s history, we can be certain that it will continue to provide us with unforgettable moments, fierce rivalries, and a celebration of the sport we love.