Texas Tech Accepts Cotton Bowl Invitation

The Texas Tech Red Raiders, ranked 18th in the latest AP poll, will face the 13th-ranked Crimson Tide of Alabama on Jan. 2 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

“We appreciate Gayle Earls and the Cotton Bowl committee for extending this invitation to play in the AT&T Cotton Bowl and we’re excited to accept the invitation and to represent the Big 12 in such a prestigious bowl,” says Texas Tech Director of Athletics Gerald Myers. “The Cotton Bowl has a long tradition, particularly with all of the schools in the state of Texas, of being one of the outstanding bowl games in the country. It will be a great event for our team as well as our fans and alumni.”

By accepting the invitation, Texas Tech will make its third appearance in the game and first since 1995. Kickoff for this year’s event is 10 a.m. and the game will be aired nationally on FOX. The Red Raider program made its debut performance in the third Cotton Bowl in 1939.

“The AT&T Cotton Bowl is ecstatic to have two tremendous teams with such passionate fans in Texas Tech and Alabama,” Earls says. “With the extraordinary talent on both rosters, January 2nd is already setting up to be a classic to remember.”

Sixth-year head coach Mike Leach has led Texas Tech to an unprecedented six-straight bowl appearances, while the program is making its 29th postseason event overall. Leach also is the first coach in school history to lead Texas Tech to three consecutive bowl wins (2002-04). Texas Tech is one of seven schools nationally to have won three bowl games in the last three years.

“I want to thank the AT&T Cotton Bowl for the invitation. This is a credit to our team, coaches and staff,” Leach says. “We are excited about playing in one of America’s greatest and tradition-laden bowls. It’s legendary how well they treat you at the Cotton Bowl and it’s exciting for our team.”

The Red Raiders finished the regular season with a 9-2 mark and a program-best 6-2 record in Big 12 play to position themselves for the league’s number one bowl outside of the BCS. TTU leads the nation in passing and is among the top five in scoring and total offense. Defensively, the Red Raiders turned in one of their best seasons and are currently ranked 26th in total defense and eighth in pass defense.

Alabama, the dean of postseason play, extends its NCAA record to 53 bowl appearances and is making its first visit to the Cotton Bowl since 1982. The Crimson Tide finished the season with a 9-2 overall mark and 6-2 record in the Southeastern Conference. The Alabama defense has been its staple this season, ranking among the nation’s top ten in every defensive category, including first in scoring defense.

The game will mark the first against Alabama for Texas Tech and the ninth overall after New Year’s Eve for the Red Raider program. In addition to the previous two Cotton Bowl appearances, the Red Raiders also played in the New Year in the 1938, ’42, ’48, ’52 and ’56 Sun Bowls and 1953 Gator Bowl.

Cotton Bowl officials announced last week that the game is a sellout and the only remaining tickets are available through the respective institutions’ ticket offices. Pre-orders for Red Raider Club members and season ticket holders will be processed during the upcoming week.

Tickets will be made available for purchase to the general public Mon., Dec. 12, once pre-orders are filled. Red Raider Club members and season ticket holders who did not submit pre-order forms should contact the ticket office. Student Red Raider Club members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets Thursday, Dec. 8, and general student tickets will go on sale Friday, Dec. 9. Ticket office hours are from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The ticket office is located in the north end of Jones SBC Stadium.