Sunday, December 6th, 2015

The Matchup Is Set!


No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Michigan State…Saban vs. Dantonio…Saban vs. his old team.

The storylines are abundant as the two college football heavyweights prepare to meet at the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

A sellout crowd will descend on AT&T Stadium on New Year’s Eve to witness a battle of SEC and Big Ten Conference champions with the winner advancing to Arizona for a shot at the College Football Playoff National Championship.

“We couldn’t have written a better script for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl to play host to our first College Football Playoff Semifinal,” said Dan Novakov, Chairman of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. “The hype surrounding the 80th Classic will be befitting of these two magnificent teams and their passionate fans.”

The Crimson Tide (12-1, 8-1 in SEC), led by Heisman frontrunner running back Derrick Henry, will be making their eighth appearance in the Cotton Bowl and first since 2006 when Alabama kicked a game-winning field goal on the final play to beat Texas Tech, 13-10. Alabama played in the CFP Semifinal last season falling to eventual National Champion Ohio State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The Spartans (12-1, 8-1 in Big Ten), led by quarterback Connor Cook, are returning for their second consecutive trip to the Classic after last year’s remarkable 42-41 come-from-behind victory over Baylor. Fans voted last year’s Classic the top college game of the 2014 season. Michigan State has developed a reputation for heart-pounding victories, including this year’s win at Michigan and last night’s 16-13 victory over Iowa in the Big Ten Championship in the final 22 seconds. Coach Dantonio is attempting to guide the Spartans to their first National Championship since 1966.

The Cotton Bowl will mark just the second time the Spartans and Tide have matched up with the only previous meeting coming in 2010 at the Capital One Bowl. Saban guided the Tide to a 49-7 victory over State.

Saban’s only appearance at the Classic came in 2003 when LSU fell to Texas, 35-20. He will be gunning for a fifth National Championship and first since back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. He is making his second appearance at AT&T Stadium this season, guiding the Tide to a 35-17 victory over Wisconsin to begin the 2015 campaign. 

“What a way to ring in the New Year,” Novakov said. “We have a great week of events planned for both teams, and you can be guaranteed that AT&T Stadium will be a site to behold with all the crimson and green expected on New Year’s Eve.”

Tickets sold through the Cotton Bowl ticket office are sold out, including over 6,000 standing room only. Fans are encouraged to contact the schools for tickets.




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