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January 1, 2008 9:30 AM

Bowl Preview: Cotton Bowl

AT&T Cotton Bowl

 

Date: Jan. 1, 11:30am
Site: Dallas, TX
Stadium: Cotton Bowl

Teams: #7 Missouri Tigers (11-2) vs. #25 Arkansas Razorbacks (8-4)

Betting Line: Missouri is favored by 3 points.

Brief History: The Cotton Bowl began play in 1937 as the idea of J. Curtis Sanford, a Dallas oilman and business executive. Sanford's first game promotion, a private enterprise guaranteeing each institution $10,000, matched TCU and Marquette. Since that time, the bowl has featured the Ice Bowl, Notre Dame's return to bowl games after a 45-year self-imposed ban, the Chicken Soup Game and a who's who of college quarterbacks: Sammy Baugh, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, Joe Theismann, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Doug Flutie and Troy Aikman. Looking ahead, Cotton Bowl officials have begun a campaign to become part of the BCS when the current contract featuring the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, and Orange bowls expires in 2010.

Fun Fact: Texas leads the U.S. in cotton production, annually producing about 25% of the entire U.S. crop. One bale of cotton can make 1,256 pillowcases.

Notable Schwag for the Players: Would not disclose. That's boring. I bet they all get cotton sheets.

Preview: Letdown alert! Missouri was left out of the BCS, after it seemed inevitable they were headed toward the National Championship game. Funny what one loss two losses to Oklahoma will do to your season. Illinois and Kansas were selected ahead of Mizzou for BCS bowl games (the Rose and Orange, respectively), despite the fact that they both lost to Missouri. Orange Bowl officials said that Kansas's historic connection to the old Big Eight Conference was one of the reasons they were picked. Sure, why not. This BCS system makes perfect sense!

Arkansas has their own off-the-field news: they have a new coach, perhaps you heard? Although Bobby Petrino will not coach the Razorbacks in the bowl game, surely his presence will be felt in one way or another.

On the field, the teams will be led by a couple of Heisman runner-ups. The Tigers' Chase Daniel was one of just six quarterbacks this season to throw for over 4,000 yards, to go along with his 33 touchdowns. Not bad for a guy who is "undersized," listed at just six-foot.

The Razorbacks' Darren McFadden finished second in the Heisman voting for the second straight year. The Walter Camp Award winner, McFadden set Arkansas single-season records this year with 1,725 rushing and 2,172 all-purpose yards in what likely his last season before joining the NFL.

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