Kansas State, Arkansas in Cotton Bowl

Updated: December 5, 2011, 3:30 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Kansas State and Arkansas will meet in the AT&T Cotton Bowl in a matchup of top-10 teams left out of the Bowl Championship Series.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 8 in the BCS, enjoyed a resurgence of sorts this season under coach Bill Snyder, finishing 10-2. The win total is the school's highest since 2003 and one shy of the school record.

Kansas State finished second in the Big 12, with its only losses coming in back-to-back weeks to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

The Razorbacks are sixth in the BCS. Their only losses this season came on the road against the top two teams in the country -- No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama.

Arkansas and Kansas State accepted their Cotton Bowl bids on Sunday.

"Our team looks forward to becoming part of the long-standing tradition the Razorbacks have with the Cotton Bowl," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said Sunday. "I am very proud to be the coach of this team, which has stuck together all season long and kept competing. The mentality our players have demonstrated is what has allowed us to accomplish all we have this year."

Outback Bowl

Conference championship game losers Georgia and Michigan State have landed in the Outback Bowl.

The Bulldogs (10-3) and Spartans (10-3) will play in the Jan. 2 bowl in Tampa, a matchup of 10-win teams that had a chance to earn a berth in the Bowl Championship Series. Instead, they dropped below the Capital One Bowl. The Capital One chose Nebraska over Michigan State, and picked South Carolina over Georgia.

LSU drubbed Georgia 42-10 in the Southeastern Conference title game Saturday. Wisconsin edged Michigan State 42-39 in the Big Ten title game Saturday.

Georgia last played in the Outback Bowl in 2005. This will be Michigan State's first trip to Tampa.

For the Bulldogs, it will be a homecoming for quarterback Aaron Murray and tight end Orson Charles.

Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl

Urban Meyer's former and future teams will play in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl.

Florida (6-6) and Ohio State (6-6) have been chosen to meet in the Jan. 2 game in Jacksonville, a marquee matchup between once-proud programs that slipped significantly this season.

Meyer's hiring earlier in the week in Columbus makes the game even more intriguing.

Meyer won two national titles in six years with the Gators. He left Gainesville after last season, citing health concerns and a desire to spend more time with his family, and became a college football analyst for ESPN. He walked away from the network last weekend and was officially introduced Monday.

Interim coach Luke Fickell, who took over when Jim Tressel was forced out for breaking NCAA rules, will lead the Buckeyes through the bowl.

Champs Sports Bowl

Florida State will play Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 29 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

The Seminoles (8-4), representing the Atlantic Coast Conference, are making their third appearance in the Champs. FSU beat Wisconsin 42-13 in the 2008 Champs and beat Penn State in 1990 when it was known as the Blockbuster Bowl and playing in Miami.

FSU is looking for its fourth consecutive bowl victory.

The Irish (8-4) are making their first trip to Orlando and are looking for their second consecutive bowl win after beating Miami in the Sun Bowl last season.

The Champs is normally a matchup of ACC and Big East schools, but has the option of selecting the independent Irish (8-4) one time over the life of the current four-year contract.

TicketCity Bowl

The final game of Penn State's tumultuous season will be played on Jan. 2 in the TicketCity Bowl against Houston.

Penn State and the bowl made the official announcements Sunday night on their respective websites.

The Nittany Lions (9-3) finished tied with Wisconsin for first in the Big Ten Leaders Division.

But the program is in turmoil after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was charged last month with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span. The TicketCity Bowl, played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, had the seventh selection out of bowls with Big Ten tie-ins, after the BCS games.

Houston (12-1) was upset Saturday by Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA title game.

Capital One Bowl

South Carolina and Nebraska will play in the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 2 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Both teams accepted their bids Sunday. It will be the first meeting between the schools since 1987 and first-ever postseason matchup.

Nebraska (9-3) is wrapping up its first year in the Big Ten and has a chance to post 10 wins for the third straight season. The Cornhuskers are making their fourth straight bowl appearance, with their last win coming in the 2009 Holiday Bowl over Arizona.

South Carolina (10-2) is also making its fourth straight bowl appearance, but hasn't won a bowl game since beating Houston in the 2006 Liberty Bowl.

The Gamecocks won their final three games of the season, including a win over rival Clemson in the regular-season finale.

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

California and Texas will play in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28, the first matchup between the schools since 1970.

It will be the fifth meeting between the schools. Texas leads the series 4-0.

Both teams are 7-5. Texas will be playing in the Holiday Bowl for the fifth time while Cal is making its third visit.

Cal won three of its final four games.

Valero Alamo Bowl

Baylor has accepted an invite to play Washington in the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Dec. 29.

The Robert Griffin-led Bears (9-3, 6-3 Big 12) finished the season with five straight wins for their longest streak since 1991. The Bears' nine wins are their most since 1986.

Washington (7-5, 5-4 Pac 12) is in a bowl for the second straight year under third-year coach Steve Sarkisian.

The game could be Griffin's last as a collegian. He's projected as a high pick if he decides to enter the NFL draft.

The junior Heisman Trophy candidate leads the nation in passing efficiency and is on pace to break the NCAA single-season record. He's one of three players in FBC history with 10,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing.

Insight Bowl

Oklahoma and Iowa are returning to the desert to face each other in the Insight Bowl on Dec. 30 in Tempe, Ariz.

Iowa (7-5) beat Missouri 27-24 in last year's Insight Bowl for its school-record third-straight bowl win.

Oklahoma (9-3) also played in the Valley of the Sun last year, routing Connecticut 48-10 in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Sooners will be playing in their 13th straight bowl game, but had higher expectations after opening the season at No. 1. Oklahoma is coming off a 44-10 loss to Oklahoma State that spoiled any chance it had of playing in a BCS bowl.

Iowa, bowl eligible for the 11th straight season, had four wins over ranked opponents. The Hawkeyes struggled down the stretch, though, losing two of their final three games.

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

After missing out on a third straight BCS bowl berth, TCU will play Louisiana Tech in the S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 21.

The Mountain West Conference champion Horned Frogs (10-2) needed to move into the top 16 in the final BCS standings on Sunday to earn an automatic bid. TCU remained No. 18 in the BCS standings.

TCU beat Wisconsin 21-19 in the Rose Bowl last season. The season before that, TCU lost 17-10 to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.

This is TCU's third trip to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. It beat Boise State 17-16 in 2008 and beat Northern Illinois 37-7 in 2006.

Louisiana Tech (8-4) won the Western Athletic Conference.

AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl

Missouri will face North Carolina in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl on Dec. 26.

North Carolina is playing in its fourth bowl game in a row -- the program's longest such streak since a seven-year stretch from 1992-98. The Tar Heels finished the season with a 7-5 record, including a 3-5 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

North Carolina won five of its first six games before losing four of the past six.

Missouri is playing in its seventh consecutive bowl game, which is a program record. The Tigers have a 7-5 record this season, including a 5-4 mark in the Big 12.

Missouri and North Carolina will be playing in football for only the third time. The Tigers won the previous two meetings in 1973 and 1976.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl

After winning a share of the Big East championship, Cincinnati will face Vanderbilt in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31.

The Bearcats (9-3) will be making their 13th bowl appearance and first in the Memphis bowl game after missing the postseason a year ago. The Commodores (6-6) are making just their fifth all-time bowl appearance but second in the past four seasons.

Cincinnati more than doubled its win total of four games from a season ago thanks to a defense that leads the nation with 3.6 sacks and 8.9 tackles for loss per game.

Vanderbilt finished 2-10 for the last two seasons. First-year coach James Franklin injected some life into the program, which rewarded him Friday with a more lucrative contract.

The teams will meet for the first time since 1994.

Belk Bowl

Belk Bowl officials have announced Louisville will face North Carolina State in the game on Dec. 27.

Louisville (7-5) finished tied for the best conference record in the Big East at 5-2. After a rough start, the Cardinals finished with wins over West Virginia and Rutgers.

NC State (7-5) finished in fourth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with its signature win coming against eventual league champion Clemson. The Wolfpack overcame a 27-point second half deficit in the season finale to defeat Maryland and secure a bowl berth.

The two teams will be meeting for the fourth time with Louisville having won the previous three. The Cardinals defeated the Wolfpack 27-10 in the last meeting in 2007 at Carter Finley Stadium.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl

Mississippi State and Wake Forest will meet on Dec. 30 in both teams' first trips to the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.

Mississippi State (6-6) is trying to salvage a disappointing season. The Bulldogs rose as high as No. 16 in September before a string of losses dropped them to near the bottom of the Southeastern Conference's West Division.

They're making their second consecutive bowl appearance after getting a third straight win over rival Mississippi in the Egg Bowl. The Bulldogs haven't been to back-to-back bowls since reaching three in a row from 1998-2000.

Wake Forest (6-6) finished tied for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Atlantic Division. The Demon Deacons defeated Florida State and nearly upset eventual ACC champion Clemson, which needed a 43-yard field goal as time expired to win.

Hyundai Sun Bowl

Georgia Tech and Utah both accepted invitations on Sunday to play in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

The bowl appearance will be the 15th straight for the ACC's Yellow Jackets (8-4), tied for the fourth-longest active streak among FBS schools. It will be their first appearance in the Sun Bowl since defeating Texas Tech in 1970.

Georgia Tech opened the season with six-straight wins before losing four of its final six, including a 31-17 loss to rival Georgia in its regular-season finale on Nov. 26. The Yellow Jackets finished third in the ACC's Coastal Division.

The Utes (7-5) used a late four-game winning streak to earn a bowl bid in their first season in the Pac-12. Utah lost its final regular-season game 17-14 to Colorado to finish fourth in the South Division.

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Virginia will make its first appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 13 years when the Cavaliers play Auburn in the Dec. 31 game.

Virginia (8-4) and Auburn (7-5) were chosen for the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Sunday after Virginia Tech was invited to the Sugar Bowl.

The Cavaliers will be making their first postseason appearance since losing to Texas Tech in the Gator Bowl after the 2007 season. Virginia is playing in the Atlanta bowl for the first time since losing to Georgia, 35-33, after the 1998 season.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl annual matches teams from the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference.

Auburn, the defending national champion, suffered lopsided losses to Georgia and Alabama in its final two SEC games.

MAACO Las Vegas Bowl

Boise State will make a return visit to Las Vegas to play Arizona State in the MAACO Bowl.

The Broncos played in the same bowl last year, beating Utah 26-3.

The Broncos (11-1) earned the invitation to the Dec. 22 game with a second straight season with just one loss and a second-place finish in the Mountain West Conference. It's the 10th straight bowl appearance for the Broncos.

The Sun Devils (6-6) finished third in the Pac-12 South despite higher expectations for their season.

The Broncos and Sun Devils have played once, in 1996, when Arizona State -- on the way to a conference title and an undefeated regular season -- won 56-7 in Tempe, Ariz. But the Broncos now own a three-game winning streak over Pac-12 teams.

Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas

Texas A&M will play its final game before leaving the Big 12 against Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

The bowl announced the matchup Sunday night. The game is Dec. 31.

Texas A&M (6-6) is joining the Southeastern Conference next season. Aggies coach Mike Sherman was fired Thursday night. Tim DeRuyter is the interim coach.

Northwestern (6-6) had its four-game winning streak snapped by Michigan State in its final Big Ten game of the season. The Wildcats are playing in a bowl for the fourth straight season but last won one in 1949.

Texas A&M hasn't won a bowl since 2001.

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

UCLA and Illinois will bring interim coaches into their matchup at the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

The Bruins (6-7) and Illini (6-6) accepted their bids Sunday to the Dec. 31 game in San Francisco.

UCLA fell below .500 Friday night when it lost 49-31 in the Pac-12 title game to Oregon in coach Rick Neuheisel's final game. The NCAA approved a waiver for the Bruins because they were bowl eligible before the conference championship game. Offensive coordinator Mike Johnson will coach the Bruins in the bowl game.

Illinois opened the season 6-0 before losing its final six games of the season. That led to coach Ron Zook being fired and replaced by defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, who is the interim coach.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers will play Iowa State in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 30.

It's the first meeting between the Scarlet Knights of the Big East and the Cyclones from the Big 12.

Rutgers (8-4) is back in the postseason for the sixth time in seven years. The Scarlet Knights had their streak of five straight bowl appearances snapped last season. They finished tied for fourth in the Big East.

The Cyclones (6-6) have made only one bowl appearance since 2006. Iowa State knocked off Oklahoma State 37-31 in double overtime to become bowl eligible.

Syracuse beat Kansas State 36-34 in last season's inaugural Pinstripe Bowl.

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Purdue will become the first Big Ten team in four years to play in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl when the Boilermakers face Western Michigan.

The bowl announced the matchup Sunday night. The game is Dec. 27.

The bowl has a tie with the Big Ten, but it's not always clear whether enough Big Ten teams will be eligible. Last year, Florida International of the Sun Belt Conference beat Toledo of the Mid-American Conference 34-32.

Western Michigan (7-5) represents the MAC this year.

The last Big Ten team to play in this bowl was also Purdue, which beat Central Michigan 51-48 in 2007. Purdue (6-6) has won two of its last three games, including a win over Ohio State.

BBVA Compass Bowl

Pittsburgh will face SMU in its second straight trip to the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Bowl officials announced the matchup Sunday for the Jan. 7 game at Legion Field.

Pittsburgh beat Kentucky 27-10 last season in the first game after coach Dave Wannstedt was forced to resign. Now, his replacement, Todd Graham, must replace three assistants who have left the program to pursue other jobs, including co-offensive coordinator Calvin Magee.

Pittsburgh is making its fourth straight postseason appearance out of the Big East while coach June Jones has led SMU to three bowls in a row.

The two teams have split their first five meetings, 2-2-1. SMU, out of Conference USA, won their only other postseason matchup 7-3 in the 1983 Cotton Bowl.

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

Conference USA champions Southern Mississippi will face Western Athletic Conference runner-up Nevada in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

The Golden Eagles (11-2) and the Wolf Pack (7-5) accepted invitations Sunday to play in the Dec. 24 game at Aloha Stadium.

Southern Miss won a school-record 11 games this season en route to capturing its fifth straight C-USA title by upsetting previously unbeaten Houston 49-28 in Saturday's conference championship game.

The Golden Eagles will be making their 10th consecutive bowl appearance and 14th in the last 15 years.

Nevada is making its seventh straight postseason appearance and third in the Hawaii Bowl since 2005. Nevada defeated Central Florida 49-48 in 2005 and lost to SMU 45-10 in 2009.

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl

Tulsa accepted an invitation Sunday to play BYU in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

The Golden Hurricane (8-4) have won seven of their last eight games. They finished second in the Conference USA's West Division behind Houston, which was undefeated before losing in the C-USA championship game Saturday.

BYU (9-3), which is wrapping up a season of football independence, officially accepted its invitation two weeks ago. The Cougars had been granted a provisional invitation to the Armed Forces Bowl in April, as long as they were bowl eligible.

Tulsa's losses this season came against Oklahoma State, Boise State, Oklahoma and Houston.

This will be the Golden Hurricane's second Armed Forces Bowl. They lost 25-13 to Utah in 2006.

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman

The Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman will feature one of the military academies -- just not the one it was planning on.

Officials announced Sunday that Air Force will play Toledo in the fourth edition of the bowl game at RFK Stadium in the nation's capital on Dec. 28.

This year's game was planned to match Navy vs. a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference, but Navy isn't bowl-eligible and the ACC ran out of bowl-eligible teams before the Military Bowl could have its pick.

Air Force, from the Mountain West conference, is 7-5.

Toledo, from the Mid-American Conference, is 8-4.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

San Diego State will face Louisiana-Lafayette in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 17 at the Superdome.

Louisiana-Lafayette will be making just its third bowl appearance in program history and first in 41 years. The Ragin' Cajuns have an 8-4 overall record and finished third in the Sun Belt with a 6-2 mark under first-year coach Mark Hudspeth.

Louisiana-Lafayette averaged more than 32 points per game this season, led by quarterback Blaine Gautier, who threw for 2,488 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions.

San Diego State finished with an 8-4 regular season, including a 4-3 record in the Mountain West Conference. Aztecs running back Ronnie Hillman led the Mountain West with 1,656 rushing yards, averaging 138 yards per game.

GoDaddy.com Bowl

Arkansas State will face Northern Illinois in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in a matchup of conference champions with star quarterbacks.

Bowl officials announced Sunday that Mid-American Conference champion Northern Illinois accepted an invitation for the contest played Jan. 8, the eve of the national title game.

Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State was set as the other participant on Nov. 19. Both teams have won 10 games.

The Huskies claimed a 23-20 come-from-behind victory over Ohio University on Friday night to earn their first MAC championship in 28 years. Arkansas State ended its regular season with a 45-14 victory over Troy to secure the outright league title.

Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish ranks seventh nationally in total offense, while Arkansas State's Ryan Aplin is 11th.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Ohio University has accepted an invitation to play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

University and bowl officials announced Sunday the Bobcats will play Utah State on Dec. 17 on the blue turf at Bronco Stadium in Boise.

Ohio (9-4), of the Mid-American Conference, will be participating in its third straight bowl game. The Aggies (7-5), of the Western Athletic Conference, last played in a bowl in 1997 -- also in Boise, when it was called the Humanitarian Bowl.

The teams met once before, a 5-0 Utah State win on Sept. 17, 1994, in Athens, Ohio.

Ohio coach Frank Solich said the team is excited to play in the bowl game in Boise. The Bobcats landed a league-best 11 players on the all-MAC team this season.

Beef O'Brady's Bowl

Marshall and Florida International have been selected to play in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl Dec. 20 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Thundering Herd (6-6), out of Conference USA, became bowl eligible with its regular-season finale win over East Carolina last week. Marshall is making its 10th overall bowl appearance. It's most recent was a 2009 win over Ohio in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

FIU, from the Sun Belt Conference, finished a program-best 8-4. It won its first-ever bowl game over Toledo last season, also in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

The game was slated to pair Big East and Conference USA teams, but the Big East didn't have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all of its bowl contracts.

The Sun Belt had the next contractual tie-in.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl

Wyoming and Temple will kick off the bowl season Dec. 17 in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque.

The Cowboys (8-4) of the Mountain West Conference make their second postseason trip to Albuquerque in three years. They won the 2009 New Mexico Bowl in double overtime, beating Fresno State 35-28.

For Temple (8-4), it's also the second bowl game in three years, but that 2009 game -- a 30-21 loss to UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl in Washington -- was the Owls' first bowl in 30 years.

The Mid-American Conference East runners-up were glad to get a call from the New Mexico Bowl because last year, despite having an 8-4 record, Temple stayed home.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.