Category Archives: Cotton Bowl Countdown

Cotton Bowl Countdown: Comparing Arkansas and K-State with bowl records

Arkansas and Kansas State have combined to play in 52 bowl games.

Heading into the 2012 Cotton Bowl, the Razorbacks sport a 12-23-3 bowl record. The Wildcats are 6-8 in bowl games.

Depending on how you look at it, you could say either team has been more successful in bowls. Arkansas has a much longer history of success than K-State and has played in 24 more bowl games. But it only has a .315 winning percentage, while K-State has gone .428 in the postseason.

The same thing applies to both team’s Cotton Bowl records. Arkansas is 2-8-1 in the game, while K-State is 1-1.

Below is a deeper look at the bowl history of both teams:
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: Revisiting the most memorable Cotton Bowl of all time

Joe Montana is considered by some to be the best quarterback of all time in large part because he orchestrated some of the greatest fourth-quarter comebacks of all time.

The most memorable of those come-from-behind victories may have come at the Cotton Bowl.

In his final game with Notre Dame, Montana fought off the flu and a brutally cold day in Dallas by eating a bowl of chicken soup at halftime, and then leading the Fighting Irish to a 35-34 victory over Houston after trailing by as much as 34-12.

“What a finish. I’ve never seen anything like it,” is how the TV announcer described the ending in the above video. “Notre Dame, completely dead, came back in the fourth quarter to win it by one.”

Added his broadcast partner: “Montana has done it again!”

The Chicken Soup Game (as they now call it) was played in 1979 and has little to do with this season’s Cotton Bowl between Kansas State and Arkansas, but it is still worth revisiting. It is one of the most famous games in college football history, and a big reason why the Cotton Bowl is considered a prestigious event today.
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: Arkansas defensive end was first recruited by K-State

Before Jake Bequette could decide whether he wanted to accept a scholarship to Arkansas and play football for the Razorbacks, he had to decide whether he wanted to play for the Wildcats.

Bequette, a senior defensive end who has made plenty of sacks as a member of Arkansas’s defensive line, told the Times Record of Arkansas that his first scholarship offer came from Kansas State.

It’s only fitting, then, that the senior’s career will end with the Razorbacks playing Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 6.

“It’s kind of funny how it kind of comes back to that,” said Bequette, who said he had offers from Kansas State, Mississippi State and then Arkansas.

Bequette was recruited by former Kansas State coach Ron Prince, who coached at the school for three seasons before being fired in 2008.

Arkansas running backs coach Tim Horton was on Prince’s staff at Kansas State the first season and joked that the offer from the Wildcats is what helped Bequette land at Arkansas in 2006.

“I think I got Jake the scholarship to Arkansas because once K-State offered, then Arkansas offered,” Horton said. “So I give Jake a hard time about that.”

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Cotton Bowl Countdown: Bill Snyder praises K-State’s assistant coaches

What a difference a year makes.

At this time last season, Kansas State football fans were upset with several of Bill Snyder’s assistant coaches and took to the Internet to discuss who should be replaced.

Turned out Keith Burns, the Wildcats’ secondary coach, and Ricky Rahne, the team’s quarterback coach, were the only assistants to leave. Burns took a similar job with Mississippi, and Tom Hayes was brought in from Tulane to replace him. Del Miller slid over to coach quarterbacks, and Sean Snyder moved up to coach special teams.

Some viewed that limited turnover as a bad sign for this season, but things worked out well for K-State.

The Wildcats improved significantly on defense, became more dependable on offense and produced several highlight plays on special teams.

Miller has done a great job with Collin Klein, Chris Cosh has turned around K-State’s defense and Snyder has helped improve K-State in the kicking game.
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: Making a pit stop on the way to Texas? Here’s where to eat

Today’s blog comes to you courtesy of Kit Lewis, a Kansas State fan from Oklahoma who saw my blog two days ago about the best fast food joints to eat at in Arlington and thought he could name a few much better choices for anyone who wants to make a pit stop on the way to Texas and grab some food.

My favorite point of the e-mail he sent me: “With the exception of Taco Cabana (fairly decent) why didn’t you just suggest taking a grease dagger and stabbing yourself in the heart! Guilty pleasures, to be sure, but I hardly consider burger joints to be heart healthy or necessarily worthy of being mentioned. With all gentleness, either you have plebeian tastes in food, or are not sufficiently experienced to find good dining.”

He clearly thinks he can do better, and lists his suggestions below. And while I’m letting him throw out food choices here, anyone else can feel free to e-mail me theirs or post them in the comments section below. Either way, they will find a spot on this blog.

Without further delay, here are Kit’s recommendations:

1. Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant: Located on the Airport at Ponca City. Has a good rep for their hospitality and food.

2. Cattleman’s Steak House: 1309 South Agnew, OKC. Located in the stock yards area on the west side of town. Great reputation for steaks. President Bush (#1) ate there.
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: K-State and Arkansas are two valuable football teams

Forbes Magazine released two interesting statistics in terms of college football teams and their values on Thursday.

Arkansas and Kansas State, who will meet next month in the Cotton Bowl, were both mentioned.

The Wildcats were ranked as the nation’s top college football team for the money. According to Forbes, K-State had $11 million in football expenses this season. Based on its 10-2 record, it spent a nation low $1,086,705 per win.

The Razorbacks, meanwhile, came in as the eighth most valuable college football team in the nation. According to Forbes, the Arkansas football team was worth $89 million this past season. That number is up 59 percent from a year ago, when it came in at No. 17 at $56 million.

Topping the list of most valuable college football teams: Texas at $129 million.

Editor’s Note: On Jan. 6, the Kansas State football team will face Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. With that in mind, I began counting down to the big game in Cowboys Stadium on Dec. 6 by attempting to write 31 blog posts in 31 days. I use the word “attempting” because I can only think of so many blog ideas at the moment. I’m confident that I can go 31 for 31, but your help is appreciated. Feel free to send a blog idea (or two) my way at

Cotton Bowl Countdown: If you like fast food you will like Arlington

Say you’re out late one night leading up to the Cotton Bowl next month and the urge to eat greasy, fried food in a hurry strikes. What are you going to do?

Choose from a throng of fantastic fast food joints you can’t find in Manhattan, that’s what.

Whataburger, In-N-Out Burger, Jack in the Box, Taco Cabana … the Dallas/Fort Worth area has all of them, and they are all open late. Three of them 24 hours a day. Yum! Gotta like that lineup.

As a native Texan (and frequent visitor to California) I have eaten at all four many times.

My personal preference is Whataburger, a great establishment that boasts not only tasty burgers, but amazing chicken and breakfast, too. My three favorites: The bacon and cheese Whataburger, the chicken strip basket with gravy and toast and any taquito.

For quick Mexican food any time of day, Taco Cabana is hard to beat. High-quality chips and queso, great enchiladas and cheap prices. They also sell alcohol (if you’re into that sort of thing) and have a happy hour with low-price margaritas and beer.
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: Bill Snyder calls Arkansas ‘well-balanced football team’

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder prefers motivating his team with bulletin-board material rather than supplying it.

Whether the Wildcats are preparing to play Eastern Kentucky or Oklahoma, he goes out of his way to praise opposing teams. That’s just the way he is.

And if his news conference today at all resembles the type of comments he will say about Arkansas when the Wildcats arrive in Arlington, Texas later this month for the Cotton Bowl, that won’t change anytime soon.

When asked to describe what makes Arkansas such a strong defensive team, he decided to speak highly of the Razorbacks in every area.

“I don’t know so much that it’s just their offense or just their defense,” Snyder said. “I just see them as a well-balanced football team. They have strengths in all segments of the game.

“I think they are a very physical defensive football team, they’re a very fast football team, they’re a sound defensive football team. But I could say very, very positive things, which I have, about their offense and their kicking game. I just think they are a well-balanced football team.”
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: K-State shouldn’t be surprised by Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson

Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson might be the best quarterback in the Southeastern Conference.

The 6-foot-3 junior is coming off a regular season in which he threw for a SEC-best 3,422 yards and tossed 22 touchdowns compared to six interceptions. Good numbers for any quarterback. Extraordinary numbers for a quarterback in the defensive-minded SEC, where only three quarterbacks topped the 2,000-yard mark.

But only ho-hum numbers for a Big 12 quarterback.

OK, maybe ho-hum isn’t the right term. Perhaps above average is more accurate. No matter how you say it, though, no member of K-State’s defense is going to do a spit take when he looks at Wilson’s numbers.

Maybe if the Wildcats just got done playing a Big 10 or Big East schedule they would. But unlike many teams across the nation, they didn’t have to start thinking of ways to adjust their defense and prepare for an air raid the way others would have when they learned they were going to see the leading passer from the SEC in the Cotton Bowl.

After facing Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden (4,328 yards), Oklahoma’s Landry Jones (4,302 yards), Texas Tech’s Seth Doege (4,004 yards) and Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III (3,998 yards) the Wildcats are used to throwing an extra defensive back on the field and defending the pass.
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Cotton Bowl Countdown: K-State, Arkansas share one common opponent

Let’s start today’s Cotton Bowl Countdown blog with a question from an e-mailer named Brian: “Can you analyze the matchup in terms of common opponents, including any common opponents and perhaps those once or twice removed?”

You bet I can.

I’ve got to warn you now, though, Kansas State and Arkansas don’t have a ton of overlap with their schedules. Their only common opponent was Texas A&M, which they both defeated in dramatic fashion.

Here is how Arkansas did against the Aggies: Playing a nonconference game in Cowboys Stadium, the Razorbacks had to come from way behind to defeat Texas A&M. The Aggies took leads of 21-7 and 28-14 early, and led big 35-17 at halftime. But behind 510 passing yards from Tyler Wilson, the Razorbacks stormed back to win 42-38. Wilson connected with Jarius Wright for 281 of those yards.

Arkansas finished with 581 yards, while allowing 628.

Texas A&M made a habit of blowing big leads in the second half to opponents, and lost to K-State in exactly the same way.
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