The Cotton Bowl is known for its hospitality and team events, with this year's functions starting Saturday night when Oklahoma State and Missouri gathered at AT&T Stadium for a joint welcome dinner.
Entertainment included a “speed painter,” who pulled starting quarterbacks Clint Chelf and James Franklin on stage for a presentation and then painted Pistol Pete, the Missouri Tiger and AT&T Stadium.
Several more events will take place throughout the week.
RECRUITING TEXAS STILL IMPORTANT TO MISSOURI
Playing in a Dallas-based bowl game is a big recruiting benefit for OSU, which gets the majority of its roster from Texas.
For many years, it was huge for Missouri, too.
The Tigers got at least one-third of its recruiting class from Texas six times from 2004 to 2012, as coach Gary Pinkel built a strong program in Columbia. Many of those players will be on display Saturday, including Franklin, running back Henry Josey and sack master Michael Sam.
But with the move to the SEC, Missouri is now looking to recruit more to the south and east.
Just four of its 21 signees in 2013 were from Texas, while just two of its 26 current commitments for the 2014 class are from the state. Instead, the Tigers have six commitments from Florida, three from Georgia and three from Tennessee.
Still, Pinkel recognizes the importance of keeping a recruiting presence in Texas.
“We've done really well in Texas,” Pinkel recently told reporters in Columbia. “As we make gains in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida, we won't have as many in Texas, but we have a really good reputation there and I'd like to think we'll get our share of guys form there.”
Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said he will be interested to see where the Tigers recruit as they become more entrenched in the SEC, but added that OSU coaches still “see them in Texas all the time.”
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