FAYETTEVILLE (UofA) - The University of Arkansas football team has accepted an invitation to play Kansas State in the 76th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 6, 2012, in Dallas, Texas. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. CT in Cowboys Stadium and will be broadcast nationally on Fox.
Both teams enter the game ranked inside the top 10 of the final edition of the BCS rankings. Arkansas is ranked No. 6, which is the highest final ranking in school history and Kansas State is ranked No. 8. The matchup is the first between the two teams since 1967.
"The University of Arkansas is thrilled to accept a bid to play in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic following our second consecutive 10-win season," Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. "Congratulations to Coach Bobby Petrino, our coaching staff and our football student-athletes on earning the opportunity to participate in one of college football's greatest postseason traditions. The Cotton Bowl has been an integral part of our program's history for more than six decades playing host to many unforgettable moments and memorable games. Based on the tremendous response from our fans and messages on my twitter account, it is clear the Razorback Nation is excited to return to the Cotton Bowl."
Arkansas will be making its 39th bowl appearance and third straight under head coach Bobby Petrino. The bowl appearance will be the 11th in the last 14 years for the Razorbacks and will also be the 26th January bowl appearance in school history. The Razorbacks return to the Cotton Bowl for the 12th time, making it the most visited bowl in school history. Arkansas has appeared in the Cotton Bowl in 1947, '55, '61, '65, '66, '76, '89, '90, 2000, '02, and '08.
"Our team looks forward to becoming part of the long-standing tradition the Razorbacks have with the Cotton Bowl," head coach Bobby Petrino said. "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. We've enjoyed success in Cowboys Stadium and the hospitality and experience the Cotton Bowl provides gives our team a special opportunity to compete together one more time. We are excited to prepare for the challenge of facing Kansas State. I know the matchup will be highly anticipated by our fans and the support they will give the Razorbacks will once again be tremendous."
Arkansas enters the game with a 10-2 mark after having won 10 games in the regular season for the just the ninth time in school history. The Razorbacks also went undefeated at home for the first time since 1999. UA enters the game leading the SEC in passing offense (307.8), total offense (445.8) and ranked second in the league in scoring offense (37.4).
The Razorbacks are 3-0 all-time in Cowboys Stadium with victories over Texas A&M in the Southwest Classic each of the last three seasons.
Since 1937, the AT&T Cotton Bowl has contributed more than $180 million to participating institutions. Each year, football fans attending the AT&T Cotton Bowl generate close to $30 million in economic impact for North Texas.
Tickets for the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl are on sale to donors and season ticket holders and the deadline for priority tickets is 5 p.m. Monday. Following the deadline, requests for tickets and seat locations will be filled by Razorback Foundation levels, based on lifetime giving, followed by season ticket customers and the general public. Fans with further questions may contact the Razorback Ticket Office at 800-982-HOGS.
Arkansas Quarterback Tyler Wilson:
"I'm excited to play in such a great bowl in a great stadium. We have experienced success in Cowboys Stadium the last three years, and it was great helping lead our team to a victory there earlier this season. Our fans have traveled well to Dallas, which always helps us, and we expect them to be down there cheering us on and helping create a great atmosphere. The Cotton Bowl has a prestigious history, and I am happy to have the chance to be a part of that."
Arkansas Defensive End Jake Bequette:
"The Cotton Bowl is a highly respected bowl and one we are proud to get the chance to be part of. My grandfather played in the Cotton Bowl and I was able to experience it during my redshirt season, so this is nice for my family. I remember watching the Cotton Bowl growing up, and it has always been special to me. I'm happy for the opportunity to spend another month with this team getting ready for the game and for the chance to play one more time with these guys. We are going to focus on being prepared and going down there with the intent to finish this season with a win."