K-State Accepts Invitation to Play in AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic

(Photo/Shane Keyser)

MANHATTAN, Kan.– On the heels of the program’s best season in almost a decade and its eighth 10-win season under head coach Bill Snyder, Kansas State Athletics Director John Currie announced today that the Wildcats have accepted an invitation to play No. 6 Arkansas in the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on January 6 in Arlington, Texas.

The game, which will be one of just three bowl matchups along with the BCS National Championship to feature two Top 10 teams, will be played at Cowboys Stadium, one of the premiere sports facilities in the world, at 7 p.m. CT, with a nationwide television audience watching on FOX. The Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl are the other two bowls this season to include Top 10 matchups.

“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, fans and university community, and I am pleased to accept the invitation on behalf of President Kirk Schulz, Coach Bill Snyder and our entire institution,” said Currie. “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, and the experience our student-athletes, band members, cheerleaders and fans will have in Dallas will certainly be world-class.”

K-State’s trip to the Cotton Bowl will be its third in program history with the last appearance being in 2001 in a win over Tennessee. The Wildcats (10-2) will be playing in their 15th bowl game in school history and 13thunder Bill Snyder as the Cats are 6-6 all-time in bowls under the legendary head coach. Following 11 straight bowls from 1993-2003 under Snyder, the Cats have now gone bowling in each of the last two seasons following last year’s berth in the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

“On behalf of the Kansas State University community, we are extremely proud of Coach Snyder and our football team on a terrific 2011 season,” said Schulz. “We could not be more excited to head to the Dallas area, one of our top out-of-state alumni markets, and play in such a historic bowl as the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. We appreciate President Rick Baker, Chairman Tommy Bain and the entire Cotton Bowl staff for annually putting on one of the best bowls in the country, and we are looking forward to a wonderful week in Dallas.”

The Wildcats’ 10 regular season victories in 2011, the most since 2003 and one shy of the school record, included home wins over No. 15 Baylor, Missouri and Texas A&M and road victories at Miami, No. 23 Texas and Texas Tech. K-State also kept the Governor’s Cup trophy in Manhattan for the third straight season under Snyder with a 59-21 win over in-state rival Kansas.

In addition to sporting the Big 12’s No. 1 football graduation rate in four of the last five seasons, excitement in Wildcat football was also evidenced by three sell-out crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium this season and a No. 29 national ranking in percent of capacity.

“We are so very proud of the young men in our program and the courage they have shown this year, and we are very pleased to represent the Big 12 Conference in the Cotton Bowl,” said Snyder. “The Cotton Bowl is a first-class bowl organization and we appreciate Rick Baker and the entire bowl staff for their efforts and support of college football.”

The Razorbacks (10-2) finished the season ranked sixth in the BCS standings with both losses coming at the hands of No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama.

K-State has faced Arkansas four times in its history and will square off in a bowl game for the first time. The Wildcats hold a 3-1 advantage in the series with the last meeting between the two schools coming back in 1967.

– KSU Media Relations –