Monday, December 26th, 2016


Western Michigan didn’t have to wait long to start enjoying some of the perks of participating in its first New Year’s Six bowl game.

The Broncos arrived Monday and deplaned to find waiting for them charter buses fully wrapped in colorful team photos, including a post-game celebration shot from their Mid-American Conference championship game. Later, it was on to watch the Dallas Cowboys play the Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium, where the Broncos will meet Wisconsin on Jan. 2 in the 81st Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

This is Western Michigan’s third consecutive postseason appearance but this one is different than the previous two. The Broncos (13-0, 9-0 Mid-American), who are 15th in the College Football Playoff rankings, bring an undefeated record into the game and want to prove that they belong in the same conversation with the Power Five schools like the No. 8 Badgers (10-3, 7-2 Big Ten).

The Broncos started the day with a team meeting and short walk-through in Kalamazoo, Mich., before flying to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The players’ faces lit up when they saw the buses and, once they were off the plane, many of them started taking photos of the buses and gathered in groups to have their picture taken next to the rolling photo exhibits.

The red carpet was rolled out for the Broncos as the Dallas Cowboys treated Western Michigan and Wisconsin to a night out at AT&T Stadium with tickets to the Lions-Cowboys game after their arrival.

When they return to AT&T Stadium on Tuesday, the Broncos will be focused on their first on-site practice. The practice is closed to the public.

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic celebrates its 81st anniversary on Monday, January 2. Airtime on ESPN is set for noon CST, with kickoff slated for 12:01 p.m.

This marks the third consecutive year for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl to be a part of the ESPN bowl lineup. Bob Wischusen and Brock Huard will provide the call from the booth with Allison Williams reporting from the sideline.

ESPN Radio returns as the Classic's national radio partner for the fifth consecutive year. Brad Sham, the "Voice of the Dallas Cowboys," teams with Rod Gilmore in the booth and Quint Kessenich on the sideline to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium. This is Sham's 20th consecutive year as the Classic's play-by-play voice and his 24th overall.

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