Steve Davis, Oklahoma's two-time national championship quarterback in the mid-1970s, was a college football broadcaster for 18 years and covered several Cotton Bowls.
“They do it Texas-style,” Davis said. “The Cotton Bowl takes no backseat to any bowl in terms of hospitality, the professionalism and how they execute the event. It's a big deal for the city of Dallas.”
The Cotton Bowl's hospitality — along with its move to the plush, climate-controlled Cowboys Stadium — has helped it persevere since 1993, when the Bowl Championship Series' precursor didn't designate it a “Tier 1” bowl.
Oklahoma's clash with Texas A&M marks the fourth Cotton Bowl Classic played in nearby Arlington, instead of at the game's namesake in Dallas' Fair Park.
Beginning with the 2014-15 season, college football will move to a highly anticipated four-team playoff. Semifinal sites will be selected and rotate between the current BCS games and two others. Super Bowl-like organizing committees will place bids for each year's national championship game.
“They want to be recognized as one of the important bowl games,” Norvell said. “They're doing everything in their power to make it a special, special game.
“We're excited to be a part of it ... I know I am, and I've expressed that to our players.”