Some might have lamented, for tradition's sake, the move of the Cotton Bowl from the actual Cotton Bowl in Dallas to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, but the bowl game has never been more popular.
On the opening weekend of the college football season, the Cotton Bowl announced Friday that the 76th edition, to be played Jan. 6, is officially a sellout, the fastest the game has ever sold out, officials said.
The matchup between teams from the Big 12 and Southeastern conferences has generated sellouts nine of the past 10 years.
The 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl will mark the third year the game has been played at Cowboys Stadium, with the first two generating two of the top three largest crowds in Cotton Bowl history.
Last year's matchup between Texas A&M and LSU was played in front of 83,514, making it the second-biggest crowd ever, behind the 2009 game.
"This sellout just shows the passion North Texas has for great college football," Amy Scott, director of ticket operations, said.
The 2012 Cotton Bowl will be played in prime time for the second consecutive year and the second time in the history of the game.
Between 80,000 and 90,000 are expected for Saturday night's sold-out Cowboys Classic pitting No. 3 Oregon against No. 4 LSU (ABC, 8 p.m. ET).