Wisconsin, Western Michigan Set to Clash in 2017 Cotton Bowl Classic
By Office of Communication
Posted on December 14, 2016, December 14, 2016

Cotton Bowl Classic


Photo courtesy: Cotton Bowl Classic


Row the Boat vs. Bucky Badger... Mid-American Conference Champion vs. Big Ten West Division Champion... a battle with abundant storylines will ensue on Jan. 2nd as No. 15 ranked Western Michigan will face off against No. 8 Wisconsin in the 81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium in The American Dream City.

The Broncos and Badgers will be making their first appearances at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl and meet for only the fifth time in series history. All four meetings have occurred at Madison with Wisconsin holding a 3-1 advantage. The last meeting was in 2000, a 19-7 win for the Badgers.

"Western Michigan is one of two undefeated FBS conference champions, and Wisconsin is the Western Division champion in the toughest conference in college football this year," said Jay McAuley, Chairman of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. "As we prepare to celebrate these two teams' tremendous accomplishments, lots of Texas hospitality is in store for them and their fans. Everyone associated with the Cotton Bowl is excited about the matchup and ready to put on a great show."

The Broncos (13-0, 9-0 in the MAC) come to North Texas after winning the MAC Championship, defeating Ohio University, 29-23, on Friday night to claim their second football conference title (1988). WMU has a 15-game winning streak, second only to Alabama (25), the only other undefeated team in the FBS.

"There is a lot of cotton falling from the sky here in Kalamazoo today." P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan Head Football Coach said. "We are very honored and very humbled to be a part of the Cotton Bowl. Our goal all season is to take it one game at a time and this game will be no different. We've got to prepare to be 1-0 in the Wisconsin week. Coach Chryst has done a great job. This is a very talented Wisconsin team, and we've got a lot to prepare for. Row the boat, and we'll see you in Arlington, Texas."

Wisconsin (10-3, 7-2 in the Big Ten) finished the regular season with a hard-fought 38-31 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Championship last night. The Badgers will be making their second appearance at AT&T Stadium. Wisconsin lost to Alabama, 35-17, in the AdvoCare Classic to kick off the season in 2015.

"I'm excited for our players to have the opportunity to be a part of a game with the long and storied history like the Cotton Bowl has," Paul Chryst, Wisconsin head coach said. "This game has featured a number of great programs and great players throughout the years and we are proud to now have a chance to be a part of that history. I appreciate what our players have done to earn the right to play in this game. Western Michigan has had a tremendous year and will present a terrific challenge for us. I look forward to starting our prep and having one more opportunity with this great group of players."

The Broncos are led by senior wide receiver Corey Davis who became the all-time Football Bowl Subdivision receiver in yards with 5,068 yards. He is the only player in FBS history with 300-plus catches, 5,000-plus yards and 50-plus receiving touchdowns. He made the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Watch Lists and is a Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist.

Wisconsin is 17-4 in their last 21 games dating back to last season. The Badgers have amassed six 10-win seasons in the last eight years. Senior running back Corey Clement has rushed for 100-plus yards in seven of the Badgers' last eight games.

The Classic will be televised on ESPN at noon CT on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. Tickets distributed through the Cotton Bowl office are sold out. Bronco and Badger fans are encouraged to work through their athletic department ticket office for information about available tickets.

There are still a limited number of tickets available to the general public on the Cotton Bowl Classic website.

Entertainment, Headlines, News, Sports