1999 Cotton Bowl Classic
|1999 Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic|
Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic logo
|Date||January 1, 1999|
|MVP||RB Ricky Williams (Texas)
LB Aaron Babino (Texas)
|Referee||Dan Blum (Conference USA)|
|United States TV coverage|
||This article reads like an editorial or opinion piece. (February 2016)|
The 1999 Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic was a post-season college football game played on January 1, 1999. It pitted Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams and the Texas Longhorns against the SEC West champions Mississippi State Bulldogs. This was the first Cotton Bowl Classic broadcast by Fox.
This game was notable in that it was the first time Texas had reached the post-season since the 1996 season. It was the first bowl game for Texas under new head coach Mack Brown, who transformed Texas back into a strong college football team. Texas had compiled an 8–3 season record.
Meanwhile, Mississippi State had compiled an 8–3 regular season record under head coach Jackie Sherrill. They won the SEC West division title before falling to Tennessee 24–14 in the SEC Championship game. The loss knocked them to 8–4 coming into the bowl game.
Behind the rushing of Ricky Williams, who was declared the Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker award winner a few days before, Texas raced to a 14–3 lead by halftime. They would score 24 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter en route to a 38–11 victory.
It was Texas's first bowl game win since the 1994 Sun Bowl, and their first 9-win season as a Big 12 team (Texas had left the Southwest Conference and joined the Big 12 at the start of the 1996 season). It was also Texas's first New Year's Day bowl win since the 1981 season. It was also the first Cotton Bowl Classic on Fox.