The San Antonio Bowl Association (dba the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl) officially announced the selection of Texas A&M (8-3) as the Big 12 representative in this year’s SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl.
Texas A&M will play Penn State (9-3) in this year’s game on Tuesday, December 28 at 6:30 p.m. (CST). The Aggies are ranked #13 in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Top 25 poll and #18 in the AP poll, while the Nittany Lions are ranked #17 and #13, respectively.
This will be the Aggies second appearance in the Alamo Bowl. In 1995, #19 Texas A&M beat #14 Michigan 22-20 in front of an Alamo Bowl record crowd of 64,597 and the second highest bowl television audience in ESPN history.
“This year’s SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl will feature two of college football’s most tradition rich programs who both finished the year in the top 20,” said Frank G. Felicella, Chairman of the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl. “In our last game of the century, we are going to have a game with tremendous national interest that will be a great showcase for the city of San Antonio.”
Texas A&M and Penn State’s only two previous match-ups were regular season games in 1979 and 1980 with the Aggies winning the first contest 27-14 and the Nittany Lions winning the second 25-9. Penn State (96-26 in the 1990s) and Texas A&M (94-27-2 in the 1990s) enter the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl as the fifth and sixth winningest programs of the decade, respectively.
Each team is led by an equally successful coach. Penn State’s Joe Paterno and Texas A&M’s R.C. Slocum are tied for fifth place in best starts among major college coaches as they each won 94 games in their first 10 seasons.
With his appearance in the 1999 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl, Paterno officially becomes the postseason leader among major college coaches. This is the 30th time in 34 seasons that Paterno has led the Nittany Lions into a postseason clash. It breaks the tie with the late Bear Bryant whose teams garnered 29 Bowl invites.
“Texas A&M is a quality opponent who played extremely well throughout the year, especially in the win over a strong Texas team the day after Thanksgiving,” Paterno said. “The Aggies are a perennial contender for the national championship and we know they will present a formidable challenge since the SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl is practically a home game for them. A&M finished strong and comes into the postseason with a lot of momentum. We look forward to the challenge.”
To purchase tickets to the 1999 SYLVANIA Alamo Bowl, please call 210-224-9600. Tickets can also be purchased at any Texas TicketMaster outlet or at the Alamodome Southeast Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Fans interested in travel packages can call 1-800-810-2695 (BOWL).