IT’S OFFICIAL: No. 9 TEXAS A&M VS. No. 11 OKLAHOMA IN THE 77th AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
ARLINGTON, Dec. 2, 2012 – Johnny “Football” Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies are coming to Cowboys Stadium to face Landry Jones and the Oklahoma Sooners in a battle of top-ranked teams in the 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. “We hit a home run today,” Tommy Bain, Chairman of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic said. “When our Team Selection Committee met for the first time a few weeks ago, we circled this matchup as the one we most wanted, and the cards fell in our favor today.”
This is the first-ever Cotton Bowl meeting between these storied programs. The Sooners are representing the Big 12 Conference and are making only their second appearance at the Classic. Oklahoma defeated Arkansas, 10-3, in the 2002 Cotton Bowl.
The Aggies are making their first appearance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl as a member of the Southeastern Conference. Texas A&M last appeared in the Classic in 2011, losing to LSU, 41-24.
“Oklahoma is a BCS-caliber team, and the Aggies are one of the hottest teams in college football,” Fin Ewing, AT&T Cotton Bowl Team Selection Chairman said. “The 2013 Classic is chalked full of great story lines and should be a great matchup of high-powered offenses.”
Oklahoma, 10-2 and 8-1 in the Big 12, leads the all-time series against A&M, 19-11, with the Sooners winning last year’s meeting 41-25 in the final meeting as conference foes. The Aggies, 10-2 and 6-2 in their first season in the SEC, have surpassed all expectations this season and are coming into the Classic on a five-game winning streak, including a win over then-No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The AT&T Cotton Bowl matchup pits two of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Jones is a four-year starter with close to 4,000 passing yards this season. He’s OU’s all-time passing leader with 12,379 yards. Johnny Manziel is a Heisman Trophy finalist and could become the first freshman to capture the award after becoming the first SEC quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000. He ranks second nationally in total offense behind Baylor’s Nick Florence.
Kickoff of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4th and will be nationally televised on FOX. All club and reserved seats sold through the AT&T Cotton Bowl are sold out. Tickets are only available through the two participating schools.
AT&T COTTON BOWL STATEMENTS
TOMMY BAIN, CHAIRMAN, AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
“This is such an exciting matchup for us. Texas A&M has enjoyed a tremendous season. Potentially, the Aggies could bring the Heisman Trophy back to our game for the first time in 14 years with quarterback Johnny Manziel. Of course, when you talk about college football’s most storied programs, Oklahoma tops the list. The Sooners have won seven national championships, five Heisman Trophies and five Outland Trophies. However, to me, the most exciting aspect of this game is the special friendship that exists between the two head coaches. Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin spent five seasons on the OU coaching staff under Bob Stoops. It’s going to be fun getting them back together at this year’s Classic.”
FIN EWING, TEAM SELECTION CHAIRMAN, AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
“We hit the ball out of the park again with this matchup. You never know what might happen on selection day. Obviously, we have two great teams that are sure to pack the stadium. Both the Aggies and Sooners have won five games in a row to get here and they have played in some of the most exciting games of the college football season. The 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl is truly a blockbuster matchup.”
RICK BAKER, PRESIDENT, AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
“Every time I stood at the chalkboard to jot down dream matchups in the last couple weeks, this game between the Aggies and the Sooners kept coming up. Yes, I was dreaming and I had no idea that it might happen. However, when things began to fall just right, we jumped at the opportunity. Needless to say, we are ecstatic to put this game together. It’s going to be a fun month of preparation for an outstanding week leading up to our 77th game. We can’t wait to get started.
TEXAS A&M STATEMENTS
ERIC HYMAN, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS
“We are very excited about the opportunity to represent the Southeastern Conference in the 77th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. Without a doubt the hospitality shown by the Cotton Bowl is legendary and I am sure our Aggies, the 12th Man, will be well-represented at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.”
KEVIN SUMLIN, HEAD COACH
“Our football team is excited to play another game against a storied program such as Oklahoma. We have been led all year by a great group of seniors and to be rewarded with a great experience like the Cotton Bowl is something they will cherish. Plenty of their family and friends will be able to watch them play as well and the hospitality is second to none.”
JOE CASTIGLIONE, VICE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS
“The University of Oklahoma is honored to represent the Big 12 Conference in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The Cotton Bowl possesses a rich history and has a stellar reputation for providing a spectacular experience for student-athletes. The Sooners are excited to compete in this game once again. Our fans and team will enthusiastically embrace the opportunity.”
BOB STOOPS, HEAD COACH
“Our players are enthusiastic about winning another Big 12 Championship and look forward to competing against Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The Cotton Bowl has long been a marquee postseason destination, and we’re excited about being selected to play there a second time. Cowboys Stadium is a great venue, and I know Sooner fans will be excited to make the trip to support us.”