Machup of two 10-2 teams at Cowboys Stadium
For the third time in Kansas State history, the Wildcats will play in the prestigious 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on Jan. 6, 2012. Ranked No. 8 in the final BCS poll, the 10-2 Wildcats will play the No. 6 and 10-2 Arkansas Razorbacks. The game will be one of just four this bowling season where two teams ranked in the Top 10 will be matched.
"We have had a lot of terrific games in recent years, but it's been a long time since the AT&T Cotton Bowl has hosted a pair of Top 10 teams," said Cotton Bowl President Rick Baker.
"Kansas State versus Arkansas is a blockbuster matchup for us. It's going to be a special night at Cowboys Stadium when the Hogs and Wildcats get together. Anyone who has a ticket for this game is in for a treat."
Equally excited were those on the K-State campus starting with athletics director John Currie: "With the excitement and integrity of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic at an all-time high, we couldn't be more proud to represent the Big 12 Conference in Dallas following a terrific and memorable season for our football program and our fans. Showcasing our football program and university on a primetime national stage in one of the nation's most tradition-rich bowl games is a tremendous opportunity."
Once the Bowl Championship Series cleared the teams that they were not going to select, Cotton Bowl Chairman Tommy Bain said, "It took us about three seconds to make the decision. Kansas State was one of our priorities."
The Cotton Bowl's call came around 3 Sunday afternoon with Currie saying, "For me personally to be in coach Snyder's office when the call came was truly a thrill and an honor to be associated with one of the most prestigious games in college football history."
Arkansas' season included five games against teams ranked in the Top 15. The Razorbacks lost to No. 1 LSU (41-17) and to No. 3 Alabama (38-14), which are the two teams playing for the national championship. Wins came over No. 10 South Carolina (44-28), No. 14 Texas A&M (42-38) and No. 15 Auburn (38-14).
On receiving the invitation, KSU quarterback Collin Klein said, "We are very excited for the opportunity and grateful to be selected to play in such a prestigious bowl."
Senior Tysyn Hartman added, "The opportunity to play in one of the top stadiums in the world and the best bowls in the country is a great reward for our hard work this season."
The Wildcats, 6-8 in their postseason history, will be making their third trip to the Cotton Bowl having lost to No. 5 BYU (19-15) following the 1996 season, and defeated No. 21 Tennessee (35-21) following the 2000 season.
It will be a 7 p.m. kickoff and the game will be televised nationally by FOX.
The A&TT Cotton Bowl will have a payout of $7.25 million split between the two schools. After a participation subsidy to cover expenses, and keeping a portion of tickets sold, the rest of K-State's share will go to the Big 12 Conference where it will be pooled with other bowl revenue and divided evenly between the 10 schools.
COMPARING 2011 STATS:
RECORD 10-2 10-2
SCORING 33.1 32.4
RUSHING 194 138
PASSING 150 308
TOTAL OFFENSE 344 446
SCORING DEF. 27.8 22.7
RUSHING DEF. 131 174
PASSING DEF. 267 197
TOTAL DEFENSE 398 371
TURNOVER MARGIN +13 O.0
K-State and Arkansas have played four times with the Wildcats wining three of those games. The most recent game was in 1967 in Little Rock with Arkansas winning, 28-7.
K-State's wins came in 1926 (16-7), 1911 (3-0 in Kansas City) and 1910 (5-0).