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Bowl Preview: Alamo Bowl

by Ryan Hudson

Valero Alamo Bowl


Date: Dec. 29, 8:00pm
Site: San Antonio, TX
Stadium: Alamodome

Teams: Penn State Nittany Lions (8-4) vs. Texas A&M Aggies (7-5)

Betting Line: Penn State is favored by 5 points.

Brief History: Since its inception in 1993, the Alamo Bowl has quickly become one of the most popular bowls in the country, producing seven of the top 20 most-watched bowl games in ESPN history. In 2006, the Alamo Bowl featured Texas and Iowa in a game that earned a 6.0 rating making it the most-watched college football game in ESPN history.

Fun Fact: In a recent poll by Proctor & Gamble, San Antonio was named the 5th Sweatiest City in America.

Notable Schwag for the Players: Nintendo Wii, Fossil watch and a Swiss Army sling bag.

Preview: Neither team comes in to this bowl playing their best football. Penn St. enters having lost their last game and two of their past four, while A&M has lost four of their past six contests, including a three-game losing streak. This is a rematch of the 1999 Alamo Bowl, in which Penn St. blanked A&M, 24-0. This year's game should feature plenty of running from the Aggies, who finished with an average of 215 yards per game, good for second in the Big XII.

This features a match-up of coaches in slightly different points in their career. The Aggies' Gary Darnell will be coaching his first ever game (and probably his last, as he's just the interim), while Joe Paterno will be leading his team in a game for the 500th time.

Texas A&M will be short at least one yell leader (a "manly" cheerleader) for this game, after one of them screamed, "Joe Paterno's on his death bed! And someone needs to find him a casket!" at Thursday night's dual-school pep rally on the Riverwalk. Since 1995, when this bowl became a match-up of Big XII and Big Ten schools, the latter owns a 7-5 record.