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Founded a few years after the Sugar, Sun and Orange Bowls, the Cotton Bowl is the second youngest bowl game in the College Football Playoffs. The first Cotton Bowl was held in Dallas, Texas at the Texas State Fair Grounds and funded from oil executive J. Curtis Sanford’s own pocket.

The venue named Fair Park Stadium, was changed in 1936 to Cotton Bowl Stadium to accommodate the bowl game. That first game saw TCU take on Marquette, defeating them 16-6 and though over 17,000 people were in attendance for the game, the event still managed to lose money. The following year, they nearly doubled attendees and the event continued to grow year after year. In 2010, the Cotton Bowl moved to the Dallas Cowboys' home, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, as the venue offers top amenities and a retractable roof which would ensure Dallas’ cold January weather wouldn’t affect the game.

In 1941, a group of Dallas Citizens formed the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association and took over the Cotton Bowl, who at the time, were affiliated with the Southwest Conference. So naturally, the Cotton Bowl then became the host to the Southwest Conference champions. Over the years, the Southwest Conference lost credibility, and by the 1980’s, many teams were on probation for rule violations making them ineligible to participate in the bowl games. It also didn’t help that the SWC champions lost the last seven times they hosted the Cotton Bowl, hindering the competitiveness of the event. In 1995, the Cotton Bowl and Southwest Conference severed ties, and the Big 12 Conference took over, facing off against a Western Athletic Conference or Pac-10 Conference champion.

Many Cotton Bowl matchups have made the college football history books, but one stands out among the rest. The 1979 Cotton Bowl Classic, also known as the Chicken Soup Game, was host to the most historic comeback in the entire college football playoff history. Notre Dame was well behind Houston, and just as things were a bleak 34-12 in the middle of the fourth, a blocked punt by legend Joe Montana flipped the switch, and Notre Dame turned it around and won the game 35-34.

You can bet that Joe Montana won the Game MVP Award that year, and in years to come, other recipients of the MVP award included big names like Bo Jackson, Troy Aikman, Roy Williams and Eli Manning. When it comes to team records, Texas has made a whopping 22 appearances at the Cotton Bowl, boasting 11 championships, with Texas A&M not far behind with 13 appearances and 5 wins, and Arkansas with 12 appearances and 4 wins.

January 2nd, 2017 is fast approaching, and we are getting fired up here at OddsShark to present the best odds, editorial content and trends for the upcoming Cotton Bowl. Last year’s matchup between Alabama and Michigan State was a bit of a bore with Alabama creaming Michigan 38-0. This year, the Wisconsin Badgers opening as a 6.5-point favorite against the Western Michigan Broncos, and it’s still early, so stay tuned and we will provide you some great Cotton Bowl content this December leading up to the game.

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