1989 Cotton Bowl: Aikman’s final act
With Troy Aikman back at quarterback, UCLA climbed all the way to No. 1 in the AP Poll but was upset by Washington State 34-30 in the regular season to set up a matchup with USC for the Pac 10 title and a spot in the Rose Bowl. USC beat UCLA in Pasadena and the Bruins became the first Pac 10 team to ever appear in the Cotton Bowl, which agreed to take the second-place team from the conference that season.
UCLA came into the game at 9-2 and dispatched 10-1 Arkansas 17-3 to record back-to-back 10-win seasons with Troy Aikman. Aikman was named the MVP of the game, which was his last in a UCLA uniform. A few months later he was the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft.