Cotton Bowl: No plans to leave prime time

The Cotton Bowl's growth continues.

Two years ago, it moved from its namesake stadium to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Last year, it moved to primetime, kicking off nearly a week after its usual date and playing under the lights in JerryWorld.

Now, it's announced plans to stay in primetime for 2013. It will be played on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. It's a good call for a bowl with clear BCS aspirations.

The past two years have been huge for the bowl. This year, its matchup features No. 6 Arkansas and No. 8 Kansas State, two teams worthy of BCS bids in their own right, and the result is a matchup better than two BCS bowls.

"Moving our game to Friday night has been a huge success, and last year, we had record numbers both at Cowboys Stadium and with our national television ratings on FOX," bowl chairman Tommy Bain said in a release. "With our great matchup of Arkansas against Kansas State this year, we expect great numbers again. It just makes sense for us to lock in our date now."

Last year, it renewed a rivalry between two of the nation's largest fan bases, LSU and Texas A&M. The result was an atmosphere unlike anything you'll see at most bowl games.

For now, the Cotton Bowl will still have to serve as just a de facto BCS game, the closest thing just outside the real thing, but staying in primetime is a nice step to keeping that status.