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The chairman and vice chairman of the Cotton Bowl were on hand Saturday to officially invite the Longhorns to their postseason game, which will be played Jan. 1 in Dallas. The likely opponent will be Arkansas.
The Cotton Bowl's $2.3 million payout will be sent to the Big 12 Conference office. The five other conference teams in postseason bowls also will send their bowl payouts to the Big 12, which probably will collect about $18 million total.
Each of the six conference bowl teams will be given about $1 million to cover expenses, with Nebraska, which earned a spot in the Fiesta Bowl, getting $1.4 million. The rest of the money will be divided 12 ways and equally dispersed among all conference schools.
The Cotton Bowl and the Outback Bowl, which both air at 10 a.m. New Year's Day, share the distinction of being the first football games to be played in the new millennium. Expect to hear a lot of comparisons, too, to the 1969 UT-Arkansas game, which, coincidentally, was dubbed the ``game of the century.''
Texas middle linebacker D.D. Lewis said the team was excited to accept the invitation.
``Whenever someone wants you to play in their game, that's an honor,'' Lewis said. ``The loss hurt, but we were still excited to be going to the Cotton Bowl.''
Former Texas quarterback James Brown, who three years ago orchestrated the Longhorns' first upset of Nebraska in the inaugural Big 12 championship, was on the sideline for Saturday's game.
Texas Coach Mack Brown had James Brown talk to his team Friday night about playing in conference championship games.
``I couldn't tell them much,'' said James Brown, who is in school at UT, working on his degree. ``When I was running my mouth back then, I could do something about it.''
James Brown made national news before the 1996 game when he predicted that there was no reason why his Longhorns couldn't beat Nebraska, although UT was a three-touchdown underdog.
On Saturday, Brown, along with former UT wideout Mike Adams, was a spotter for ABC. Adams, who caught six passes for 92 yards from Brown in the 1996 game, picked up his diploma during UT's Saturday morning graduation ceremonies before driving to San Antonio to watch his old teammates.
It's safe to say there's no love lost between UT and Nebraska. In the last three games the teams have played against each other, Cornhuskers fans have been overly polite, even applauding the upstart Longhorns after their upset of Nebraska last season that snapped the school's 47-game home winning streak.
But Nebraska fans lost their manners after three straight defeats.
After Saturday's game, the Nebraska band, cheerleaders and dance team collectively gave the ``horns down'' symbol and yelled an anti-Texas chant as the Cornhuskers players ran through the tunnel leading to the locker rooms.
Kwame Cavil's 90 receiving yards Saturday gave him 1,188 for the season. That was enough to break the Big 12 record of 1,116 set by Colorado wideout Rae Carruth in 1996.
Cavil's five catches gave him 100 for the season. Earlier in the season, he broke the previous conference record of 75 set last year by Kansas State's Darnell McDonald.
Longhorns tailback Hodges Mitchell missed half of the game after he twisted an ankle on the opening kickoff of the second half. Mitchell tried to come back, but was forced to give way to freshmen Kenny Hayter and Victor Ike. Mitchell gained only 17 yards against the Huskers, which snapped his consecutive 100-yard-game streak at four.
Offensive guard Roger Roesler, who was suffering from flu-like symptons, also missed the final half. He was replaced by freshman Derrick Dockery.
Nebraska's All-Big 12 tight end Tracey Wistrom, who injured his knee in practice last week, did not suit up Saturday.
Thanks to Ahmad Brooks' fumble recovery for a touchdown, UT has posted a non-offensive score in the past five games.