The University of Alabama football team has accepted an invitation to play in the 2007 PetroSun Independence Bowl, Crimson Tide Director of Athletics Mal Moore announced Sunday night. The Crimson Tide will be making their NCAA-record 55th bowl appearance.
Alabama (6-6, 4-4 in the SEC) will play the Colorado Buffaloes (6-6, 4-4 in the Big 12) in Shreveport, La., on Sunday, December 30, at 7 p.m. (CST) in a nationally televised game by ESPN. The PetroSun Independence Bowl is the only college football bowl game slated to take place that day.
"We are pleased and excited to being playing Colorado in the Independence Bowl," Moore said. "We certainly appreciate the Independence Bowl Committee's confidence in us and we are happy to have the opportunity to participate. Our players and staff had a great experience in Shreveport last season and we are looking forward to a return trip. The Independence Bowl staff did an excellent job last year and we look forward to being back with those fine folks again this year."
"I'm pleased and excited to be invited to participate in the PetroSun Independence Bowl against Colorado," said head football Coach Nick Saban. "It's a great opportunity for our players to end this season on a positive note and for us to continue to build on what we accomplished this season. I am especially excited for the opportunity this presents for our seniors to go out on a winning note. This game will be about the team, our program and our fans as we continue to build our program at Alabama.
"It's a great opportunity for both teams to get some national exposure as the only bowl game being played that day, and we are excited to face Coach Hawkins and the Colorado team. I have a lot of respect for the job Coach Hawkins has done and for the Colorado program, and the tradition they represent. Coach Hawkins has an outstanding record and, with his son being the quarterback for their team, I am sure this must be a special time for his family."
Alabama is bowling for the fourth consecutive season, something that has not happened since the Tide played in 10 straight bowl games from 1985-94. Alabama will also be making its third appearance in the PetroSun Independence Bowl. The Crimson Tide defeated Iowa State, 14-13, in the 2001 I-Bowl and lost to Oklahoma State, 34-31, in last year's game.
The Tide is playing in the same bowl game in consecutive seasons for the first time since making back-to-back Cotton Bowl appearances in 1981-82. Alabama beat Baylor, 30-2, in the 1981 Cotton Bowl and then lost to Texas, 14-12, in the 1982 Cotton Bowl.
The 2007 Independence Bowl will mark the Tide's third straight bowl appearance against a Big 12 opponent. The Crimson Tide played Texas Tech in the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and faced Oklahoma State in the 2006 Petro Sun Independence Bowl. The Tide has not played three straight bowl games against teams from the same conference since the playing three straight Southwestern Conference teams in New Year's Day bowls from 1980-82 when UA faced Arkansas (1980 Sugar), Baylor (1981 Cotton) and Texas (1982 Cotton).
Alabama's allotment of 12,000 tickets is now on sale through the UA Athletics Ticket Office via online orders at rolltide.com with no restriction of how many tickets can be ordered. Fans can purchase tickets via telephone at 205-248-BAMA (2262) or 877-BAMA-TIX (226-2849) beginning Monday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST. The UA Athletic Ticket Office at Coleman Coliseum will open for public sale of tickets beginning Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST. Prices are $40 and $35, with student tickets listed at $25. All Tickets will be shipped to all recipients on Monday, Dec. 17, via two-day delivery by United Parcel Service. TIDE PRIDE members should note that the priority seat allocation deadline, originally set for Nov. 28, has been extended to Monday, Dec. 10, at 5 p.m. CST.