With Christmas about to descend on the nation, a pair of college football teams hope that one week later provides them the gift they really want, a victory in their final game of the college football season.
Alabama (9-3), the defending national champion, and Big 10 power Michigan State (10-1), meet Saturday, Jan. 1 in Orlando in the Capital One Bowl, with No.15 taking on No.7, respectively.
“This is another game that we need to win,” sophomore defensive back Robert Lester told www.rolltide.com earlier in the week. ”As Coach Saban says, every game is important. I’m pretty sure everybody on our team is motivated to go in and win, so we’re going to execute and play our game.”
Saban, who formerly coached the Spartans, was 0-3 in bowl games at Michigan State, resigning before the team’s Citrus Bowl victory after guiding the Spartans to a 9-2 record in his final season. Current Alabama assistant Bobby Williams, who succeeded Saban as head coach, led Michigan State to a 37-34 victory over Florida
As Michigan States sees it, a matchup with the preseason No. 1 and 2009 national champion Crimson Tide will be a good measuring stick in determining if they were worthy of competing at that level.
“They are a football team who has lost two of their three games by four points total,” Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio commented. “So when you look at BCS-type teams and the teams we would have played had we gotten the opportunity to go to a BCS (game), I don’t think we could have picked a better team than Alabama.”
Michigan State has dropped its last four bowl games, while Alabama has alternated wins and losses in its past eight.
The game will be televised by ESPN with Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe on the call.
Editor’s note: Look for more pre-game coverage in the coming days as the Crimson Tide and Spartans prepare for their match up.
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Written by Dave Thomas