Moments before the BCS and Bowl Selection Show aired on ESPN, Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long tweeted via TwitLonger:
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.”
The Cotton Bowl will be held on January 6, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. CST and broadcast live by FOX from Razorback Stadium West:
It’s the Hogs’ 12th trip to the Cotton Bowl where they have an overall record of 3-7-1 since their first appearance in 1947 under the leadership of John Barnhill and playing ability of Clyde “Smackover” Scott. The Hogs’ last appearance was a 2008 loss to Missouri. See Hog Database’s Football Calculator for a complete list of all Arkansas Razorbacks’ Cotton Bowl appearances.
Without a similar payout to the BCS Bowls, the Cotton Bowl will be a de facto BCS Bowl between two Top 8 BCS Teams and is considered by many pundits to be one of the top bowl games this season. The Razorbacks will face the BCS No. 8 Kansas State Wildcats who finished with a 10-2 record in the Big 12. The key points for the Wildcats’ season came in the second half with back-to-back losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in games where KSU gave up 110 points collectively to the Sooners and Cowboys. Despite the two losses, the Wildcats have wins over Miami (Fla), BCS No. 12 Baylor, BCS No. 24 Texas, and over Big 12 spoilers Texas Tech and Iowa St who beat Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. respectively. The Hogs and Wildcats have faced one common opponent in the Texas A & M Aggies. KSU played A&M on November 12, 2011 and won 53-50 in four overtimes. The Hogs and Aggies met in the home of the Cotton Bowl on October 1, 2011 in a game where fans saw the Razorbacks overcome an 18 point half-time deficit to beat A&M 42-38. Kansas State brings to the game an offense ranked 96th in the country (Rushing No. 29, Passing No. 109) while at the same time being ranked No. 30 in scoring offense. They allow three sacks per game and rank 111 out of 120 Division I schools. Defensively the Wildcats rank 74th in Total Defense (Rushing No. 39, Passing No. 104) and turn in similarly poor rankings in Sacks (No. 90) and Tackles for Loss (No. 106). KSU does excel in turnover margin where the Wildcats rank No. 7 in the country with just over a +1 margin on average for the season. The Hogs come into the game with the No. 27 ranked offense in the country (Rushing No. 81, Passing No. 13) while ranked the No. 15 in scoring offense. Arkansas’ offense also allows about 2 sacks per game and is ranked No. 70. Defensively the Razorbacks are No. 51 overall (Rushing No. 79, Passing No. 27) and rank No. 37 in Scoring Defense while the Hogs rank Nos. 66 & 67 in Sacks and Tackles for Loss. Arkansas and Kansas State have faced each other four times in football with the Wildcats owning 3-1 record stretching back to 1910 and the last meeting being in 1967. Hog Database Football Calculator for Arkansas and Kansas State
CBS Rapid Reports quoted University of Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long as saying that former Razorback Coach Garrick McGee, who has been named as the new head coach at the University of Alabama Birmingham, will not be coaching for the Razorbacks in the Cotton Bowl. Separately, as reported Chris Bahn at Arkansas Sports 360.com,”Bobby Petrino not here to talk bowls tonight. Jeff Long says Petrino is busy recruiting to “help us beat No. 1 and No. 2.” In other reaction, Shawn Arnell The Sports Animals with Shawn and Wally adds Jerry Jones’ comments, “It’s means the world to me putting the Razorbacks in our stadium.”
Shortly following AD Jeff Long’s announcement, the ESPN BCS Selection show revealed that the Arkansas Razorbacks moved from No. 8 in the BCS Standings up to No. 6 which would normally qualify the Razorbacks for a BCS Bowl appearance. However, the BCS Championship rules generally exclude more than two teams from any conference from appearing in the BCS Bowls. LSU and Alabama flirted for a quarter or so in the SEC Championship Game with the very narrow exception allowing three same-conference teams when two non-champions in the conference are ranked as BCS No. 1 and No. 2 and where the Georgia Bulldogs won the SEC Championship Game and the automatic berth in the Sugar Bowl as SEC Champions. As Jacob from Hog Database pointed out earlier in the week, the BCS will do for itself which no other conference has been able to do, that is, ensure that an SEC team will lose in the BCS Championship Game. The matchup also ensures that the Southeast Conference will be the home to six straight BCS National Champions.
The Razorbacks’ No. 6 BCS ranking included No. 7 rankings in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and the Harris Polls while the average BCS computer ranking was No. 5 in the country behind LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, and Kansas State in that order.
Immediate reaction from Razorback players:
Knile Davis via Twitter: We still are going to put on a show the won’t forget…#letgo
CobiHam11 via Twitter: #6 team in the country and were going to the Cotton Bowl!!! Lose to the #1 team and #2 team at their place!!! *Pulls dreads out*
Both Kansas State and the University of Arkansas reported that around 8:30 p.m. CST on December 4, 2011, immediately following the Bowl Selection Show, that each had sold their allotment of 12,500 Cotton Bowl Tickets. However, regarding University of Arkansas season ticket holders, AD Jeff Long tweeted later Monday evening, “We anticipate notification will occur Wednesday if not sooner.” Additionally, AD Long responded to Hog Database’s question, and likely others with the same question, about student tickets. The response is lengthy so it will be included below, but the main point is that they go on sale this Wednesday, December 7, 2011, and lines may begin forming at 6:00 a.m. with no camping out permitted.
The Cotton Bowl organization handles the ticket information for Dallas Cowboy Stadium and on September 2, 2011, stated in a press release2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is Sold Out. The Cotton Bowl website has an “official ticket reseller,” but other than the reseller paying for the privilege of the title, there are no apparent distinctions between this and any other ticket exchange.
Student Ticket Information
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
STUDENT BOWL GAME TICKET INFORMATION
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Associated Student Government (ASG), in conjunction with Razorback Athletics and the Office of Student-Affairs, has announced the student ticket process for the University of Arkansas’ appearance in the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.
The Razorbacks (10-2) will play at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, Jan. 6 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Student tickets for the Cotton Bowl are $125 for a reserved seat or $50 for a standing room only ticket. Due to the limited ticket availability and anticipated demand for the Cotton Bowl, student tickets will only be made available to Razorback Student Access Pass holders. Those student access pass holders, who currently rank in the top 100 of RazorRewards points, were contacted via e-mail late last week by the Razorback Marketing office and will be given first priority to purchase student tickets to the game. Those that rank in the top 100 may purchase one student ticket, with a valid student access ID, at the ticket office on Monday from 8:30-4 p.m. and on Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. – Noon at the Razorback Ticket Office located on Razorback Road near Baum Stadium.
Beginning at approximately 2 p.m. on Wednesday, December 7, all remaining student access pass holders are eligible to purchase bowl tickets on a first come – first served basis. A student may purchase up to four (4) tickets with four (4) valid student access IDs. Payment for all tickets must be made in full using one form of payment (cash, one check or one credit card). A $10 processing fee will be applied to each order (not per ticket). No name changes will be permitted on purchased tickets. Students may pick up their individual bowl ticket with a matching student access ID at the bowl will call site on the day of the game. Details on location and times for the bowl will call will be distributed to those who purchase tickets.
Lines for the student bowl ticket purchase will begin at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7. No campouts or lines will be permitted prior to that time. For more information regarding Razorback Athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
— ArkansasRazorbacks.com || On Twitter @ArkRazorbacks || Facebook.com/ArkansasRazorbacks — (bold added)
Changes and edits may be made to this post as information as warranted. — Sharp “Tusk” Williams