The meeting between the Tigers and the Aggies was the 50th all-time between the teams, but the first since the 1995 season (A&M won, 33-17). LSU and Texas A&M met every year from 1986 through 1995 before the series was discontinued. It was the second time LSU and Texas A&M squared off in a bowl game, the first being the 1944 Orange Bowl. LSU leads the series, 26-20-3 going into the game.
It was the fifth Cotton Bowl Classic appearance for the Tigers and the first since the 2002 season. The Tigers are the conference statistics leader on pass defense (165.83 ypg). They are rated second in pass efficiency defense (112.94 rating), kickoff returns (25.79 avg.), punt returns (13.50 avg.), scoring defense (17.75 ppg), and total defense (301.67 ypg). Senior Josh Jasper has kicked 31 of 32 point-after-touchdowns, and 26 of 31 field goals for a total of 109 points.
Texas A&M finished the 2010 season 9-3 after starting the season 3-3 and winning their final 6 games. Led by 3rd year head coach Mike Sherman and 1st year defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Tim DeRuyter, the team finished the season by beating 2 top 10 teams, Oklahoma and Nebraska, as well as in state rivals Baylor and Texas. The Aggies finished their conference schedule in a 3-way tie with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Oklahoma won the tiebreaker by having a higher BCS Ranking and eventually beat Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship.
It was Texas A&M's twelfth Cotton Bowl Classic appearance, tied for the second-most visits among any team. The Aggies' last trip to the Classic was in 2005 when they were defeated by Tennessee, 38-7. Overall Texas A&M holds a 4-7 record in Cotton Bowl Classic games, however the Aggies have lost five straight with their last win being a 35-10 victory over Notre Dame in 1988.