Football Cotton Bowl

Football Cotton Bowl

The Cotton Bowl (also referred to as the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic) is one of the six major College Football Bowl Games, also known as the “New Year’s Six,” due to their being held on New Year’s Day each year. As with its fellow bowl games, the Cotton Bowl has a lengthy and prestigious history, which dates all the way back to 1937. Read on to learn more about the history, location, affiliation, and payout of the Cotton Bowl!

What is the Cotton Bowl in Football?

The Cotton Bowl is one of the six major Bowl Games that are held in college football every year, usually on or around January 1. The Cotton Bowl has been held at two stadiums throughout its history, the first and longest being the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, and the second being AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which has hosted the game since 2009. As of 2014, the Cotton Bowl joined the Sugar Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Peach Bowl, and the Rose Bowl in the College Football Playoffs (CFP). Every year, these games rotate between hosting one of two National College Football semifinals, with the Cotton Bowl hosting its first semifinal in 2015.

Basic Information:

  • Stadium: AT&T Stadium (2009-Present); Cotton Bowl (1937–2009)
  • Location: Arlington, Texas (2009-Present); Dallas, Texas (1937-2009)
  • First Game: 1937
  • Conference Affiliation: American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West USA, Sun Belt (when not a CFP Semifinal)
  • Most Appearances: Texas (22 appearances)
  • Most Wins: Texas (11 wins)

Cotton Bowl 2022

The 2022 Cotton Bowl Classic will be held on Monday, January 2, 2023, and will be played between the USC Trojans and the Tulane Green Wave. The game will begin at 1:00 p.m. EST and will be located at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and will air on ESPN. Tickets for the 2022 Cotton Bowl cost as low as $12 for 400-level seating and as high as $579 for seats in the C100s and C200s sections.

Conference Affiliation

The Cotton Bowl has been associated with various conferences over the years. Currently, teams who are part of the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, the MAC, Mountain West USA, and the Sun Belt Conference are eligible to play in the Cotton Bowl whenever it does not function as a CFP semifinal. Previously, the Cotton Bowl has been affiliated with the SWC, the Big 12, and the SEC.

Cotton Bowl History

The Cotton Bowl was first conceived in 1936, when J. Curtis Sanford, an oilman and entrepreneur from Dallas, Texas, attended the 22nd Rose Bowl Game between Southern Methodist University and Stanford University. Watching the game, Sanford was inspired by the dedication and excitement of its fans and decided to create a similar bowl game for his hometown of Dallas. Using $6,000 of his own money, Sanford created the Cotton Bowl Classic, and the first game was held on January 1, 1937, between Texas Christian University and Marquette University. Texas Christian University won the game 16-6.

The name of the Cotton Bowl was derived from the fact that Texas was a major producer of cotton at the time of the game’s creation. Additionally, the name is a pun on the term “cotton boll,” which refers to the covering which protects the clumps of fluff produced by the cotton plant, which is spun into cloth.

From 1937 to 2009, the Cotton Bowl Classic was held in the Cotton Bowl, a stadium named for the game, which is located in Fair Park, the site of the Texas State Fair. The stadium, which was built in 1930, was originally named “Fair Park Stadium” but was renamed for the Cotton Bowl.

In 2010, the Cotton Bowl officially changed locations to be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The move was intended to be a bid by bowl officials to make the Cotton Bowl part of the BCS. However, this never occurred, though the Cotton Bowl has remained at AT&T Stadium through the present day.

The sponsorship of the Cotton Bowl has changed over the years. Between 1989 and 1995, the game was sponsored by Mobil Oil as the Mobil Cotton Bowl Classic. From 1996 to 2013, the game was sponsored by Southwestern Bell Corporations, as well as AT&T, after their buyout of SBC. In 2014, sponsorship for the game switched from AT&T to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, and Goodyear currently sponsors the game as the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

Cotton Bowl Payout

As with the other Bowl Games, the Cotton Bowl is extremely competitive, and as such, the payout is significant. In 2022, the estimated payout for the Cotton Bowl will be $4,000,000 for both USC and Tulane University. Other teams who have played and won the Cotton Bowl include: Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Alabama, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.


Why is it called the Cotton Bowl?

The Cotton Bowl was named for the cotton plant, which is the major crop of the State of Texas, where the game is held each year. As of today, Texas remains the largest producer of cotton in the United States, producing 40% of the cotton used throughout the nation. Thus, it makes sense that the bowl game of Texas would be named after this trademark crop.

When is the Cotton Bowl?

The Cotton Bowl for the 2022-2023 season will be held on January 2, 2023. This is in line with the other five members of the “New Year’s Six,” Bowl Games that are held on or around January 1 each year. The other five New Year’s Six games are the Sugar Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Peach Bowl, and the Rose Bowl.

Where is the Cotton Bowl played?

The Cotton Bowl is played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Originally, the game was held at the Cotton Bowl, a stadium located at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas, but beginning in 2010, the game was moved to AT&T Stadium. The Cotton Bowl is currently sponsored by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.