Bowl games help ring in new year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 1, 2000

Every year, dozens of college football bowl games invade the TV set.

This year is no exception.

From Alabama playing Michigan in the Orange Bowl to Florida State meeting Virginia Tech in the National Championship Game in New Orleans, this season has some great matchups.

This year, after an early falter, the Tide turned and rose to the top of the SEC en route to a Bowl Championship Series matchup against the Wolverines.

The Tide's two wins against Florida were unique. In the first meeting, Alabama won a nail-biter that eventually was voted

the No. 9 game of the year according to ESPN's top 10 of 1999.

Two of those lucky Tide fans who made the trip were my cousin, Tricia, and my mom.

In the second meeting in Atlanta, they blew the Gators out of the water.

If Alabama can play the way they did in the SEC Championship Game, look for them to earn their national record best 29th bowl game win.

Michigan, on the other hand, came down to Miami earlier than the Tide to get used to the warm weather.

Soon as they stepped off the plane, they put their pads on and went to practice.

Playing in what will be a very physical game on Jan. 1, both teams will be looking to ring each other's bell and clean one another's clock in the new year.

Another physical game that has all the meaning in the collegiate football world is the battle between FSU and Virginia

Tech.

I'm sure that Virginia

Tech will be the underdog. Naturally, that will give the Hokies more motivation.

Frank Beamer has a sound squad that has played consistently the whole year.

Well, so has FSU. Like every year, Bobby Bowden's juggernaut continues to be one of the best teams in the country.

Like any of the other big matchups, I think this game will be decided by the defense.

I look for a close game like last year's championship game between Tennessee and FSU.

But, this time, I think FSU will silence the critics and win Bowden his second ring.

Another interesting game will be between Tennessee and Nebraska in Fiesta Bowl.

After being embarrassed two years ago in the national championship game by the Cornhuskers, look for the Volunteers to win behind the offensive spark of Jamaal Lewis and junior

quarterback Tee Martin.

Like any other year, the SEC will shine in the bowl season.

By far, the Southeastern Conference offers the best brand of football in the country.

So, from the entire staff at The Greenville Advocate, we would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.