Eli Manning, Edd Hargett to enter Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame

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Eli Manning, Edd Hargett

ARLINGTON, Texas – Seven individuals who helped shape the tradition of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and college football history will be honored with their induction into the Cotton Bowl Classic Hall of Fame during enshrinement ceremonies on May 11, 2023, at AT&T Stadium.

The honorees in the 13th Hall of Fame class include former Florida State defensive back Terrell Buckley, Texas A&M quarterback Edd Hargett, Auburn linebacker Will Herring, Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning, Past CBAA Chairman Fred McClure, Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel, and Missouri tailback Tony Temple.

These seven honorees will add their names to a group that has grown to 85 men and women who have left an indelible mark on the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, one of America’s original bowl games.

“There is nothing quite like our Hall of Fame celebration,” said Dave Brown, Chair, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. “It is a special time where we have a chance to relive great moments from the past and honor those truly exceptional people who have built our game’s traditions. Anyone who loves college football should make plans to join us for this memorable celebration in May. It’s going to be a fun day for everyone.”

Brad Sham, the Voice of the Dallas Cowboys and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, is set to return as Master of Ceremonies for the enshrinement activities. Each member of the Hall of Fame Class will receive a personalized bronze statue in the likeness of a 1930s football player, the era in which the Classic was founded.

A judging committee comprised of media representatives and athletic administrators voted from a long list of former players, coaches, bowl administrators and others to select the 2023 Class. Selection criteria for the Hall of Fame include the following:

• Voting was based solely upon the nominee’s performance or impact upon the success of the Cotton Bowl Classic rather than on the person’s overall college and/or professional career.
• An individual is eligible five years after his/her final Classic appearance.

Since its first game in 1937, the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic has hosted:
• 157 College Football Hall of Famers
• 33 Pro Football Hall of Famers
• 11 Heisman Trophy winners
• 9 Maxwell Award winners
• 8 Walter Camp Award Winners
• 6 Outland Trophy winners
• 5 Davey O’Brien Award winners
• 5 Johnny Unitas Award winners
• 4 Lombardi Award winners
• 4 Jim Thorpe Award winners
• 3 Doak Walker Award winners
• 3 William V. Campbell Trophy winners

1992 Classic: Florida State 10, Texas A&M 2
Defensive Statistics: 2 unassisted tackles, 1 TFL for -1 yard, 1 interception, 2 PBU
Punt Returns: 4 returns, 16 yards
Interception Returns: 1 return, 0 yards
Florida State was arguably one of the stingiest defensive units in the land when the Seminoles came to North Texas to play Texas A&M in the 56th Cotton Bowl Classic in 1992. Terrell Buckley, the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award as college football’s top defensive back, served as the ringleader of this defensive juggernaut. He was all over the field that day, both on defense and returning kicks, but the most important piece of turf he covered all afternoon was in the corner of the Florida State end zone. Four minutes before halftime, the Aggies were on the move and driving for the go-ahead score. That’s when Buckley came up with one of the biggest defensive plays of the game. With a leaping grab he came down with the interception that knocked the air out of the Aggies. Buckley, the Seminoles and Chief Osceola left town with a well-deserved 10-2 victory.

1968 Classic: Texas A&M 20, Alabama 16
Rushing: 11 attempts, -11 yards
Passing: 11-22-0, 143 yards, 2 TD
Edd Hargett was blessed with a rocket for a right arm. He could throw. And he did just that in lighting up the Southwest Conference in the late 1960s. Hargett set the bar with his passing proficiency at Texas A&M. By the end of his senior season, every school passing record carried his name. He guided the Aggies to the conference championship in 1967 and was instrumental in a 20-16 upset of Alabama in the 32nd Cotton Bowl Classic. Hargett aired out the stadium with 21 pass attempts in the first half alone to build a 13-10 lead over the Crimson Tide. He threw for two touchdowns that day and had 74,000 fans sitting on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Hargett and his teammates gave their head coach Gene Stallings one of his sweetest career moments by upsetting his mentor Paul “Bear” Bryant and securing Texas A&M’s first victory in the Classic in a quarter-century.

2007 Classic: Auburn 17, Nebraska 14
Defensive Statistics: 7 unassisted tackles, 2 TFL for -4 yards
Will Herring had the blue and orange of Auburn University in his DNA. Born and raised less than 10 miles from the Auburn campus, he was a Tiger through and through. Herring was tough, smart, and possessed that all-important team-first mentality. He led Auburn in tackles as a junior at safety and again as a senior at linebacker. The 71st Cotton Bowl Classic was Herring’s 49th consecutive and final start for the Tigers, and his seven solo tackles were instrumental in helping Auburn take home a 17-14 victory over Nebraska. But it didn’t come easy. An Auburn turnover near midfield with just 5:24 to play could have proved costly, but it presented Herring and his defensive teammates one last opportunity to shine. They met the challenge and dashed Nebraska’s comeback hopes at the Auburn 30 to preserve a hard-fought victory for the Tigers.

2004 Classic: Ole Miss 31, Oklahoma State 28
Rushing: 1 attempt, 1 yard, 1 TD
Passing: 22-31-1, 259 yards, 2 TD
Eli Manning was quite familiar with the pressures that came with being a high-profile quarterback at Ole Miss. He was faced with the challenge of leading the Rebels to their first major bowl victory in 34 years. His job was to outscore Oklahoma State’s high-octane attack in the 68th Cotton Bowl Classic. And Manning delivered in a big way. He threw for two touchdowns in the first half after long drives through enemy territory. At the start of the fourth quarter, he pushed the Rebels to a 31-14 lead with a quarterback sneak to wrap up a 97-yard march. But the Cowboys were far from finished and they pulled within three points of the Rebels in the game’s closing minutes. Manning dug in and led his team on another time-consuming drive. This one covered 65 yards and chewed up the final 4:38 on the clock. It was a clutch performance by the Rebels and Manning in particular. Ole Miss won a thriller, 31-28.

CBAA Chairman: 1998-2002
When the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic needed a strong leader to step forward at a crucial time in its history, along came Fred McClure to assume the role of Chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. His political background provided the Board of Directors the needed expertise to engineer a change in conference affiliation and television networks in 1998. McClure’s vision and determination led to a 16-year relationship with both the Southeastern Conference and FOX Sports, thus turning an uncertain time for the Classic into a pillar of strength. His leadership abilities were deemed of such importance that he was appointed to back-to-back terms as Chairman, a first in the bowl’s history. Today, a program for young people launching a career in college athletics is named in his honor, the CBAA Fred McClure Internship Program. Good things always seem to happen under his discerning eye.

2008 Classic: Missouri 38, Arkansas 7
2014 Classic: Missouri 41, Oklahoma State 31
Classic Record: 2-0-0
Don’t mess with Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel, especially in Texas. He knocked off Arkansas 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl Classic in 2008 and then beat Oklahoma State 41-31 in 2014. Pinkel’s Tigers literally flew past the Razorbacks. Mizzou rolled up 323 rushing yards and 459 yards in total offense, produced four rushing touchdowns and returned an interception for another score. The Tigers rode the momentum of the victory to a No. 4 finish in the final national rankings. Six years later, Coach Pinkel had Missouri back in North Texas to face Oklahoma State. The SEC Eastern Division Champions led the Cowboys by a narrow 17-14 margin entering the fourth quarter, then exploded for 24 points to ice the game away and post a 41-31 victory. Missouri’s all-time winningest coach was simply unbeatable in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

2008 Classic: Missouri 38, Arkansas 7
Rushing: 24 attempts, 281 yards, 4 TDs
Nothing could slow down Missouri tailback Tony Temple. A tweaked hamstring couldn’t do it, and neither could Arkansas. In the 72nd Cotton Bowl Classic in 2008, Temple ran for 281 yards to erase the Classic’s 54-year-old rushing record and registered four touchdowns to help secure a 38-7 victory. The exclamation point on Temple’s amazing afternoon came on his final carry. Breaking a tackle at the line of scrimmage and then spinning away from another defender, he raced 40 yards straight up field and dove into the end zone for the game’s final score. Then came his biggest challenge of the day – getting back to the Missouri bench after his record-setting touchdown run. Exhausted and nursing that aching hamstring, Temple’s teammates happily scooped him up with tender loving care and carried him to the sideline. The Tigers’ victory celebration was well underway.

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