Let's not pretend here.
Face the facts. It doesn't have the three-letter stamp of approval or the $17 million payout. It doesn't have the shiny logo in the end zone.
It has everything else -- at least, everything else that counts from folks not getting a cut of the bowl money.
The Cotton Bowl isn't a BCS bowl. Yet. But it's the closest thing to it.
It has two top 10 teams. Two BCS bowls can't say that. It's played in an 80,000-seat, shiny new venue that's widely considered the best football stadium in the country. It may very well be filled to the brim on Friday night, as it was in last year's game between Texas A&M and LSU.
We know one BCS bowl definitely can't say that. Tuesday night's Sugar Bowl attracted just 64,512 fans, the third-lowest total in the past 72 years.
It also matches up two teams from college football's two best conferences, the SEC and the Big 12, the only bowl pairing those leagues.
Should it be in the BCS?