Cotton Bowl faces continuing BCS question

January, 6, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- 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 might 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, in the only bowl pairing those leagues.

Should it be in the BCS?

"I only have one answer that I can make here, right? It has to be yes," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder joked on Wednesday.

Joking or not, Snyder says the bowl deserves the designation.

"From the bottom of my heart, I certainly think so," he said. "I think the Cotton Bowl Classic is a bowl deserving to be in the upper echelon of all the bowls throughout the country."

Could that change? The Cotton Bowl hasn't been shy about its desire to be officially designated as one of college football's upper echelon bowls.

Moving out of the stadium for which your game is named and into a primetime slot says plenty. Bowl chairman Tommy Bain said more last year.

"We're really preparing now for 2012 to position ourselves to make a compelling argument that we should be in the mix at the top of the college football landscape," he told the Dallas Morning News.

Well, here it is. Argument made. And it's a strong one.

The BCS exists in its current form until 2014, but the Cotton Bowl's best hope might be the BCS deciding to do away with a rotating national championship game that serves as a second game in the same stadium a week after a BCS bowl.

Instead of the double duty, the Cotton Bowl could become the fifth game. That, however, could renew rifts in conference ties, particularly the Big Ten and Pac-12's deep relationship with the Rose Bowl that was consistently broken before the advent of the additional BCS game in 2007.

The logistics are shaky. The game has to find a place, and there's not a clear one now. But there's no question: Top to bottom, the Cotton Bowl has done its part.

Five years ago, Arkansas played Missouri in this game shortly after the Hogs hired Bobby Petrino. It made an impact on him then, even with its morning kickoff and old home.

"At that time I was kind of surprised that it wasn’t in the BCS," he said. "Certainly we will see what happens here in the near future. Something always changes. That is one thing about college football, there is always going to be something that changes. The way we have been treated here and the move to Cowboys Stadium, I certainly think it will be."

It's not up to Petrino, though. It's not up to the Big 12, either, who would love to welcome a BCS bowl inside its footprint. If you let the ACC and Big East share the Orange Bowl, it joins the Big Ten as the only major conference without a BCS game on its home turf. The Big 12 would love that to change.

Change is slow in the world of college football. And for now, the Cotton Bowl is left at its mercy.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Fitzsimmons and Durrett: OSU scandal

Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Longhorns talk

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Barkley on Manziel

Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Kirk Herbstreit

Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Andy Dalton

Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.

Galloway and Company: Manziel talk

Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Dez Bryant sounds off

Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Dan Beebe

Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.