The Dallas Cowboys’ new 80,000-seat stadium in Arlington, Texas might be just the key to unlock the Cotton Bowl’s inclusion in one of college football’s most exclusive clubs: The BCS.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has a special place in his heart for the Cotton Bowl after helping Arkansas win the national championship there in 1965 with a win over Nebraska, hopes the bowl game that has been played since 1937 can join the BCS, according to a published report.
Cotton Bowl Classic chairman Bruce Gadd notes that if it weren’t for Jones’ new stadium, the talk of BCS inclusion would be a short discussion. “The missing piece has been that stadium,” Gadd told the Kansas City Star.
Weather is traditionally not an issue for the hosts of the other BCS bowl games. Those sites — Orange Bowl (South Florida), Sugar Bowl (Superdome), Fiesta Bowl (Arizona), Rose Bowl (California) — are all either indoors or in warm weather climates. Mother Nature has been known to wreak havoc on Texas in January.
“What we didn’t have was a world-class stadium with weather protection,” Gadd told the paper. “We were perceived as a cold-weather bowl a lot.” The Cowboys’ new stadium is expected to have a retractable roof.
Missouri athletic director Mike Alden believes that once the Cotton Bowl moves to the Cowboys new stadium, it “would be an ideal addition” to the BCS bowl lineup. “People in this area and this state believe in that,” Alden told The Star.
While the BCS bowls are lined up through the January 2010 games, Gadd expects to know as early as next year if the Cotton Bowl will get invited to the BCS party. “Decisions will be made probably in 2008,” Gadd told the paper, “about the next generation of the BCS.”
The Cotton Bowl was always one of the most exalted of the postseason games; it certainly has more tradition than the freakin’ Fiesta Bowl. My hope, though, is that the BCS system will have collapsed of its own weight by 2011, replaced by a legitimate playoff. There’s no reason, though, that the Cotton Bowl can’t be part of that.
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