OXFORD, Miss. -- Ole Miss will be returning to postseason play, as the Rebels accepted an invitation to the 2009 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic Sunday. No. 20 Ole Miss is matched up with No. 8 Texas Tech, Jan. 2, 2009 at 1 p.m. CT in a FOX televised game from Dallas.
"We are honored to be chosen to participate in the 2009 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic," said Ole Miss Athletics Director Pete Boone. "Being in the Cotton Bowl is perfect recognition of the accomplishments this outstanding football team worked so hard for this year."
Houston Nutt becomes just the fifth Ole Miss head coach to guide the Rebels to a bowl in his first season at the helm. With an 8-4 regular-season record and a 5-3 mark in the SEC, Nutt revived a Rebel squad that was coming off four straight losing seasons and a 3-8 campaign with no conference wins in 2007. It marked the team's best improvement from one season to the next since legendary Ole Miss Coach John Vaught's debut in 1947.
Projected to place fifth in the SEC Western Division in the preseason, the Rebels finished second in the West, knocked off the last two national champions on the road in No. 4 Florida and No. 18 LSU and ended the year on a five-game win streak.