Southern California and Texas Tech meet today in what they’re calling the “Forgotten Bowl” because of the lack of national attention.
But the 59th Cotton Bowl certainly means something to two schools trying to find prominence and respect for their programs.
USC (7-3-1), ranked 21st, wants to set the foundation for the future under coach John Robinson. It’s the Trojans’ first Cotton Bowl appearance.
Unranked Texas Tech (6-5) wants to show it deserves to be in the game. The Red Raiders have tried since 1939 to qualify to play in the Cotton Bowl and have a tremendous amount of pride at stake.
Tech lost 20-13 to St. Mary’s back in the days when the Red Raiders were in the old Border Conference.
Tech hadn’t previously represented the Southwest Conference in the Cotton Bowl, and had to survive a five-way tie for the title to get to Dallas. Texas A&M, which swept through the league undefeated, was ineligible because of probation.
It’s the last time an SWC team will host the game. In the future, the Cotton Bowl will pick both teams through the bowl coalition.
Tech is sensitive to criticism that it backed into the game.
“We feel like we deserve to be here,” said coach Spike Dykes.
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