TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- The University of Alabama football team has accepted an invitation to meet the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2006 PetroSun Independence Bowl, according to Director of Athletics Mal Moore, who accepted the invitation Sunday evening.
Alabama (6-6, 2-6 SEC) is set to make its NCAA-leading 54th bowl appearance on Thursday, December 28 when the Crimson Tide meets the Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-6, 3-5 Big 12) at Independence Bowl Stadium in Shreveport, La. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN and kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. (CST).
This will mark the first meeting ever between Alabama and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys represent the Crimson Tide’s 33rd different bowl opponent. In addition, Alabama has played a Big 12 foe in three of its last four bowl games, dating back to the 2001 Independence Bowl.
“We are all very proud of the tradition here at The University of Alabama,” Moore said. “And that tradition includes an illustrious bowl history. The Crimson Tide has played in more bowl games and has more bowl wins than any other school in the nation. We are all proud of that tradition and are looking forward to continuing that tradition at the Independence Bowl.
“I recall our visit there in 2001 and know our players and coaches had a great time. We expect nothing less than that this time. We urge all the Crimson Tide fans to support this coaching staff and this team as they prepare for this game with Oklahoma State.”
Alabama (30-20-3) has more bowl wins than any team in NCAA history, following last year’s 13-10 win over Texas Tech in the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. Alabama is bowling for the third consecutive year after playing in the Music City Bowl (2004) and Cotton Bowl (2006) the last two seasons. The 2006 PetroSun Independence Bowl marks the first time since 1992-94 that Alabama has gone bowling in three consecutive seasons.
Alabama’s bowl history dates back to the Jan. 1, 1926 Rose Bowl where coach Wallace Wade’s team upset the Washington Huskies 20-19 to finish with the school’s first perfect 10-0 season. The landmark win over the Huskies also secured the Crimson Tide the 1925 national championship, the first of 12 titles won by the school.
Alabama has played in 16 different bowl games in its storied history and is making its second appearance in the Independence Bowl. The Crimson Tide defeated Iowa State, 14-13, in the 2001 Independence Bowl.
The Crimson Tide has played bowl games in 10 different states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Hawai’i, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. Alabama has played bowl games in 19 different stadiums.
ALABAMA INTERIM HEAD COACH JOE KINES
“We are very excited to be playing in the Independence Bowl. This is a great opportunity for our team. We have the opportunity to work and get better and that is what we are going to try and do. We appreciate this opportunity against a quality team. I remember Coach (Mike) Gundy from my days at Arkansas when he played at Oklahoma State. They always had really good teams with an explosive offense. We are very excited and looking forward to this game.”
WALLACE GILBERRY (Junior, Defensive Lineman, Bay Minette)
“We are very excited to be playing in a bowl game. We hope to send the seniors out on a better note. Not only that, just some extra time with each other and play more football. It means a lot to me personally. It’s an opportunity to play some more football and it means a lot to this program. It is an honor for us and our coaches to be able to end this season on a high note.”
JOHN PARKER WILSON (Sophomore, Quarterback, Hoover)
“We are real excited about the bowl game and getting this bid today. This means a lot for our program. We will have an opportunity to get some of the younger players some extra work and the extra practices are huge for us and our program as we move forward. This is a great opportunity and we look forward playing in this game.”
TERRENCE JONES (Senior, Linebacker, Fosters)
“We have the opportunity for the seniors to go out on a winning note and to give the younger guys and opportunity to improve and get ready for next season. We have worked hard to get this bid and we will work hard to try and end the season with a win.”