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Sunday, December 4th, 2011

It's Official: No. 6 Arkansas vs. No. 8 Kansas State in the 76th AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic

A battle of Top-10 teams has been set as the No. 6 Arkansas Razorbacks will meet the No. 8 Kansas State Wildcats in the 2012 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on Friday, Jan. 6th at Cowboys Stadium.

“We truly feel like we ended up with one of the top bowl matchups in the country,” Tommy Bain, Chairman of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic said. “This is the first Top-10 matchup at the Classic since 1994 and one of only four bowls this year pitting two Top-10 teams.”

This is the first-ever Cotton Bowl meeting between these two top-ranked teams. Arkansas last played Kansas State in 1967.

The Wildcats will be making their third appearance at the AT&T Cotton Bowl, and their first since 2001 (Kansas State 35, Tennessee 21). Arkansas will tie Texas A&M with the second-most appearances at the Classic with 12. The Hogs last matchup at the Classic came in 2008 (Missouri 38, Arkansas 7).

“From top to bottom, the SEC and Big 12 are arguably the two best football conferences in the country,” Fin Ewing, AT&T Cotton Bowl Team Selection Chairman said. “The 2012 Classic should garner some significant attention since it’s the only bowl matchup between the Big 12 and SEC.”

Kansas State, 10-2 and 7-2 in the Big 12, is led by legendary coach Bill Snyder, who is 1-1 in previous Classic appearances. Arkansas is making its third bowl appearance under head coach Bobby Petrino. The Hogs finished the regular season 10-2 and 6-2 in the SEC.

Kickoff of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6th and will be nationally televised on FOX. Tickets are only available through the two participating schools.

AT&T COTTON BOWL STATEMENTS

TOMMY BAIN, CHAIRMAN, AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
“We are so excited with our lineup of teams for the 76th Classic. This is our first Top 10 matchup in 18 years and it’s the first time Arkansas and Kansas State have faced once another in 44 years. Coach Petrino and Coach Snyder are remarkable coaches. Their track records prove that and more. The Razorbacks and Wildcats have been permanent fixtures in the BCS rankings all season long and that in itself is a wonderful tribute to the hard work of their players and coaching staff and the tremendous support of their fans. It’s going to be a fun month as we count down their arrival in North Texas.”

FIN EWING, TEAM SELECTION CHAIRMAN, AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
“When you stop and think about our matchup for the 2012 Classic, you can’t help but break into a huge smile. Arkansas is No. 6 and Kansas State is No. 8. What does this mean? It means two awesome teams that are evenly matched, and that should translate into a heck of a football game. The Razorbacks and Wildcats have enjoyed many great moments in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic through the years. Getting them together under the roof at Cowboys Stadium in primetime on FOX is going to be special and fun for everybody.”

RICK BAKER, PRESIDENT, AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
“We have had a lot of terrific games in recent years, but it’s been a long time since the AT&T Cotton Bowl has hosted a pair of Top 10 teams. You have to go all the way back to 1994. Kansas State vs. Arkansas is a blockbuster matchup for us. This is exciting. Few bowls have a matchup that is as intriguing as our game. It’s going to be a special night at Cowboys Stadium when the Hogs and Wildcats get together. We can’t wait. Anyone who has a ticket for this game is in for a treat.”


ARKANSAS STATEMENTS

JEFF LONG, VICE CHANCELLOR AND DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS
"The University of Arkansas is thrilled to accept a bid to play in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic following our second consecutive 10-win season. Congratulations to Coach Bobby Petrino, our coaching staff and our football student-athletes on earning the opportunity to participate in one of college football's greatest postseason traditions. The AT&T Cotton Bowl has been an integral part of our program's history for more than six decades playing host to many unforgettable moments and memorable games. Based on the tremendous response from our fans and messages on my twitter account, it is clear the Razorback Nation is excited to return to the Cotton Bowl."

BOBBY PETRINO, HEAD COACH
"Our team looks forward to becoming part of the long-standing tradition the Razorbacks have with the AT&T Cotton Bowl. I am very proud to be the coach of this team, which has stuck together all season long and kept competing. The mentality our players have demonstrated is what has allowed us to accomplish all we have this year. We’ve enjoyed success in Cowboys Stadium and the hospitality and experience the AT&T Cotton Bowl provides gives our team a special opportunity to compete together one more time. I know this game will be highly anticipated by our fans and the support they will give the Razorbacks will once again be tremendous.”


KANSAS STATE STATEMENTS

JOHN CURRIE, DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS
“We couldn’t be more proud to represent the Big 12 Conference in the AT&T Cotton Bowl following a terrific and memorable season for our football program, fans and university community. I am pleased to accept the invitation on behalf of President Kirk Schulz, Coach Bill Snyder and our entire institution. 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 Texas and at Cowboys Stadium will certainly be world-class.”

BILL SNYDER, HEAD COACH
“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 AT&T Cotton Bowl. The Cotton Bowl is a first-class bowl and organization and we appreciate Rick Baker and the entire bowl staff for their efforts and support of college football.”

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