DALLAS (AP) Nebraska is playing football in January again, against #10 Auburn in a Cotton Bowl match-up of teams with little history in that game.
The #22 Cornhuskers (9-4) are in a January game for the first time in five seasons. The New Year's Day game will be only their fourth Cotton Bowl, and first since 1980.
Nebraska's last January game was a 37-14 loss to Miami in the Rose Bowl on January 3, 2002, that gave the Hurricanes the national championship. The Cornhuskers beat Michigan in the Alamo Bowl last December.
Auburn (10-2) of the Southeastern Conference will play in its third straight January game, but only its second Cotton Bowl. The Tigers lost to Texas A&M 36-16 in the 1986 game in Dallas.
There have been only three games between Nebraska and Auburn, the last in 1982. The Cornhuskers have won all of them, including 13-7 in the 1963 Orange Bowl that is their only previous bowl match-up.
The Cornhuskers are 1-2 at the Cotton Bowl, beating beat Texas 19-3 in the 1974 game. They lost to Houston 17-14 in 1980 and Arkansas 10-7 in 1965.
Before a loss to Mississippi in the 2002 Independence Bowl, Nebraska had won 10 straight bowl games against SEC opponents since 1969.
Only four teams have made more bowl appearances than Nebraska, which is playing in its 44th post-season game. They are Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and USC.
Nebraska played in its first conference championship game since 1999 after winning the Big 12 North, and lost 21-7 to #7 Oklahoma in the title game Saturday night. The Cornhuskers' regular season losses were to USC, Texas and Oklahoma State, the last two by a combined 14 points.
Auburn finished tied with LSU for 2nd place in the SEC West behind Arkansas, one of the two teams the Tigers lost to this season. The other was Georgia.