Texas oil tycoon J. Curtis Sanford financed the first Cotton Bowl out of his own pocket in 1937. TCU defeated Marquette in that first game 16-6 in front on about 17,000 fans. The game did not make a profit until the next year, when Rice beat Colorado in front of 37,000.

The game featured the Southwest Conference winner until the conference's disbandment in 1996. It is now a matchup of a Southeastern Conference team against a Big 12 team. However, beginning in 2014, the Cotton Bowl Classic will be one of the rotating hosts of a game in the new playoff format.

Memorable moments

• The 1947 Cotton Bowl between Arkansas and LSU would be one of several games to become known as "The Ice Bowl." It was played in a wintry mix in front of about 38,000 brave souls. The final score? 0-0.

• The first interracial Cotton Bowl was played in 1948 between SMU and Penn State, which had not been to a bowl in the previous quarter century. Penn State ended up staying at a Naval Air Station outside of Dallas because no Dallas hotels would allow Penn State's two African-American players to stay there.

• The 1954 game featured one of the most unusual plays in football history. Dickey Maegle of Rice was running in the open field when Tommy Lewis of Alabama came off the bench and tackled him. Even though Maegle was down at the 42-yard line, he was given credit for a touchdown.

• In 1961, Ernie Davis, who would go on to become the first African-American Heisman Trophy winner, ran for a touchdown, caught a Cotton Bowl record 87-yard touchdown pass and intercepted a pass for a third touchdown to lead Syracuse to a 23-14 win against Texas -- and the national championship.

• In 2010, the Cotton Bowl Classic moved to Cowboys Stadium. Ole Miss beat Oklahoma State 21-7.

COTTON BOWL RESULTS
YEARWINNERSCORELOSERSCORE
1937TCU16Marquette6
1938Rice28Colorado14
1939Saint Mary's (Calif.)20Texas Tech13
1940Clemson6Boston College3
1941Texas A&M13Fordham12
1942Alabama29Texas A&M21
1943Texas14Georgia Tech7
1944Texas7Randolph Field7
1945Oklahoma A&M34TCU0
1946Texas40Missouri27
1947LSU0Arkansas0
1948SMU13Penn State13
1949SMU21Oregon13
1950Rice27North Carolina13
1951Tennessee20Texas14
1952Kentucky20TCU7
1953Texas16Tennessee0
1954Rice28Alabama6
1955Georgia Tech14Arkansas6
1956Ole Miss14TCU13
1957TCU28Syracuse27
1958Navy20Rice7
1959TCU0Air Force0
1960Syracuse23Texas14
1961Duke7Arkansas6
1962Texas12Ole Miss7
1963LSU13Texas0
1964Texas28Navy6
1965Arkansas10Nebraska7
1966LSU14Arkansas7
1966 *Georgia24SMU9
1968Texas A&M20Alabama16
1969Texas36Tennessee13
1970Texas21Notre Dame17
1971Notre Dame24Texas11
1972Penn State30Texas6
1973Texas17Alabama13
1974Nebraska19Texas3
1975Penn State41Baylor20
1976Arkansas31Georgia10
1977Houston30Maryland21
1978Notre Dame38Texas10
1979Notre Dame35Houston34
1980Houston17Nebraska14
1981Alabama30Baylor2
1982Texas14Alabama12
1983SMU7Pittsburgh3
1984Georgia10Texas9
1985Boston College45Houston28
1986Texas A&M36Auburn16
1987Ohio State28Texas A&M12
1988Texas A&M35Notre Dame10
1989UCLA17Arkansas3
1990Tennessee31Arkansas27
1991Miami46Texas3
1992Florida State10Texas A&M2
1993Notre Dame28Texas A&M3
1994Notre Dame24Texas A&M21
1995USC55Texas Tech14
1996Colorado38Oregon6
1997BYU19Kansas State15
1998UCLA29Texas A&M23
1999Texas38Mississippi State11
2000Arkansas27Texas6
2001Kansas State35Tennessee21
2002Oklahoma10Arkansas3
2003Texas35LSU20
2004Ole Miss31Oklahoma State28
2005Tennessee38Texas A&M7
2006Alabama13Texas Tech10
2007Auburn17Nebraska14
2008Missouri38Arkansas7
2009Ole Miss47Texas Tech34
2010Ole Miss21Oklahoma State7
2011LSU41Texas A&M24
2012Arkansas29Kansas State16
2013Texas A&M41Oklahoma13
2014Missouri41Oklahoma State31
* -- Game played on Dec. 31