The AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic announced on Sunday afternoon that the 2007 game will pair Nebraska against the Auburn Tigers. The 2007 Cotton Bowl is set for New Year’s Day with kickoff at 10:40 a.m. CST and the game televised on Fox.
“The University of Nebraska proudly accepts the opportunity to play in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic," Athletic Director Steve Pederson said during the formal announcement via teleconference. "We are thrilled to be coming to Dallas. It has been too long, and we are thrilled to be going back there."
Nebraska’s appearance in the Cotton Bowl marks the Huskers’ first trip to Dallas for the game in 27 years, dating back to a loss to Houston in the 1980 Cotton Bowl. Nebraska also appeared in the Cotton Bowl following the 1964 and 1973 seasons.
“This is certainly a pleasure and an honor to be participating in this year’s Cotton Bowl Classic against Auburn," Head Coach Bill Callahan said. "We have a tremendous respect for Auburn and for what they have achieved the last several years under Coach (Tommy) Tuberville. He and his staff represent a lot of class. We are just really excited to go down to the Dallas area, an area where we place a lot of emphasis on our recruiting, and also to compete against a top-caliber SEC team in Auburn."
Auburn will enter the AT&T Cotton Bowl with a 10-2 record and ranked 10th in both the USA Today Coaches poll and the Associated Press poll. The Tigers were ranked as high as second in the polls in early October and own victories over second-ranked Florida and No. 4 LSU. Auburn’s lone setbacks this season came against Arkansas and Georgia. The matchup with Auburn will mark Nebraska’s fourth game of the season against a top-10 opponent, its most since also meeting four top-10 teams in 1995.
The Tigers are among the nation’s best defensive units, ranking seventh in scoring defense and 25th in total defense. Offensively, Auburn has a strong rushing attack, ranking fourth in the Southeastern Conference in that category.
Tommy Tuberville is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Tigers and has guided Auburn to a bowl appearance in each of the past seven seasons. Over the past three years, Auburn has compiled the third-best record in college football (32-5), trailing only USC and Texas, who also appeared on the 2006 Nebraska schedule.
Nebraska owns a 3-0 series advantage over the Tigers, including a 13-7 victory in the 1964 Orange Bowl. The Huskers also defeated Auburn in the regular season in 1981 and 1982. Nebraska’s bowl appearance will be the school’s 44th all-time postseason trip, the fifth-most in NCAA history. Nebraska has played in several January bowl games in recent years, but this year will mark Nebraska’s first bowl game on New Year’s Day since a 24-17 victory over Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl.
Tickets for the Cotton Bowl are available on Huskers.com, in person at the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office (Stadium Parking Garage) or over the phone by calling 1-800-8 BIG RED. Nebraska’s allotment of tickets for the Cotton Bowl is 12,500, with tickets costing $90 each.