Tahlequah Daily Press

January 3, 2014

OSU closes out Big 12 era in Cotton Bowl


— ARLINGTON, Texas — In the last year of the Big 12 Conference’s allegiance with the Cotton Bowl, Oklahoma State will get one last shot to create as memorable a moment as the first time Oklahoma A&M played in the proud Dallas bowl.

Just short of 70 years after Oklahoma State’s first bowl game, a 34-0 blowout of TCU by Oklahoma A&M behind tailback Bob Fenimore in the 1945 Cotton Bowl, the Cowboys will get a chance to bid the bowl adieu with the hopes of evening the all-time record.

Since winning its first bowl game, Oklahoma State returned twice more to the Cotton Bowl. Like this year, OSU’s opponent in both instances hailed from the Southeastern Conference — a pair of ball games against Ole Miss.

In 2002, Oklahoma State couldn’t quite overcome future Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and fell 31-28 at the old Cotton Bowl Stadium. Eight years later, OSU ushered in a new era for the Cotton Bowl, as it moved to what is now known as AT&T Stadium — home of the Dallas Cowboys. The game was much less competitive than the first, with the Runnin’ Rebels forcing seven turnovers to emerge as 21-7 winners.

With the Cotton Bowl returning to national prominence as one of six bowls in the semifinals playoff rotation under the new College Football Playoff System to begin next year, future matchups for the game will be assigned by the College Football Playoff officials. That means this will be the last guaranteed matchup of Big 12 and SEC schools for the Cotton Bowl — a matchup which dates back 16 years.

It all leaves not just conference bragging rights on the line, but a long-lasting memory for either team to claim as the final champion of the non-BCS Cotton Bowl.