Ole Miss Cotton Bowl

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ole Miss heads to Cotton Bowl vs. Texas Tech

By Kyle Campbell
Ole Miss Sports Info.

OXFORD — Ole Miss will be returning to postseason play, as the Rebels accepted an invitation to the 2009 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Sunday. No. 20 Ole Miss is matched up with No. 8 Texas Tech, Jan. 2, 2009 at 1 p.m. CT in a FOX televised game from Dallas.

Tickets are available online at OleMissSports.com or by calling 662-915-7167.

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“We are honored to be chosen to participate in the 2009 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic,” said Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone. “Being in the Cotton Bowl is perfect recognition of the accomplishments this outstanding football team worked so hard for this year.”

Houston Nutt becomes just the fifth Ole Miss head coach to guide the Rebels to a bowl in his first season at the helm. With an 8-4 regular-season record and a 5-3 mark in the SEC, Nutt revived a Rebel squad that was coming off four straight losing seasons and a 3-8 campaign with no conference wins in 2007. It marked the team’s best improvement from one season to the next since legendary Ole Miss Coach John Vaught‚s debut in 1947.

 Projected to place fifth in the SEC Western Division in the preseason, the Rebels finished second in the West, knocked off the last two national champions on the road in No. 4 Florida and No. 18 LSU and ended the year on a five-game win streak.

“I’m so excited to take this team to a bowl game,” Nutt said. “I missed the bowl game last year, so I’m doubly excited. Rick Baker and the entire staff at the Cotton Bowl do a tremendous job. They are very hospitable, and the team has such a great time. Bowl people talk about how well they run the bowl.

“The Cotton Bowl is such a famous and historic bowl game. We are very proud to take Ole Miss to the Cotton Bowl.”

 The Rebels‚ last bowl bid came five years ago and ironically in the Cotton Bowl, in a 31-28 victory over Oklahoma State. Ole Miss will be appearing in its fourth Cotton Bowl Classic, posting a 2-1 record. The Rebels defeated TCU 14-13 in the 1956 game and dropped a 12-7 decision to Texas in 1962.

Ole Miss is continuing a rich bowl tradition with its 32nd all-time appearance, which is tied with Miami (Fla.) for 17th on the NCAA Division I-A’s list of all-time bowl berths. The Rebels are 19-12 in bowl games, with the 19 wins tied for the 12th most in college football.

 Ole Miss is 6-1 in its last seven bowl games dating back to a 13-0 win over Air Force in the 1992 Liberty Bowl. The Rebels’ only loss during that span came during the 2000 Music City Bowl, falling 49-38 to West Virginia.

 This encounter will mark the third bowl meeting between Ole Miss and Texas Tech, who ended the regular season with an 11-1 record. With this game, the Red Raiders will tie the Texas Longhorns and the Air Force Falcons as the Rebels’ most frequent bowl opponent. The teams’ other two postseason battles occurred at the Independence Bowl with Ole Miss prevailing both times, 20-17 in 1986 and 35-18 in 1998.  

Including the regular season, the all-time series is tied at 2-2. Texas Tech won both games of a home-at-home series in 2002 and 2003.

 The Rebels are 6-2 in bowl games against the Big XII Conference and have won five straight. This matchup will mark Ole Miss‚ fifth bowl game against a Big XII team in its last six bowl appearances and third straight.