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The Big Bowl Matchups
Ivan Maisel
December 27, 1999
?Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 2 Nebraska (11-1) vs. Tennessee (9-2)The Huskers and the Vols are kicking themselves all the way to Tempe trying to figure out why they aren't in New Orleans. Though Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch isn't the passer to exploit the Tennessee secondary the way Arkansas did in November, the Huskers have one of the few defenses that could throttle Vols quarterback Tee Martin. Tennessee's return trip to the desert won't be as much fun as last season's visit.
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December 27, 1999

The Big Bowl Matchups

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? Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 2
Nebraska (11-1) vs. Tennessee (9-2)
The Huskers and the Vols are kicking themselves all the way to Tempe trying to figure out why they aren't in New Orleans. Though Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch isn't the passer to exploit the Tennessee secondary the way Arkansas did in November, the Huskers have one of the few defenses that could throttle Vols quarterback Tee Martin. Tennessee's return trip to the desert won't be as much fun as last season's visit.

?Orange Bowl, Jan. 1
Alabama (10-2) vs. Michigan (9-2)
Analyze all the X's and O's you want. If Crimson Tide left offensive tackle Chris Samuels hasn't recovered enough from a sore left knee to play, Alabama won't win. If he's healthy, watch time of possession. The Tide averaged more than 37 minutes. The Wolverines, with junior tailback Anthony Thomas, can grind it out, too. Don't take the A-Train, as Thomas is known, unless Samuels is out of commission.

? Rose Bowl, Jan. 1
Stanford (8-3) vs. Wisconsin (9-2)
Short of kidnapping tailback Ron Dayne, is there anything the Cardinal can do to beat the Badgers? Yes: Score early and speed up the tempo of the game. Given the chance, Wisconsin will hand the ball to Dayne and punish the outmanned Stanford defense. One caveat: Beware of sure things. Rose Bowl history is littered with upsets. Take a flier and add this one to the list.

? Gator Bowl, Jan. 1
Georgia Tech (8-3) vs. Miami (8-4)
Hurricanes wide receiver Santana Moss should enjoy himself against the Yellow Jackets, who never met a wide receiver they couldn't turn into a first-round draft pick. Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton enjoys himself against anyone, especially teams that went 2-4 against bowl teams. Hamilton will win his last shootout.

?Sun Bowl, Dec. 31
Minnesota (8-3) vs. Oregon (8-3)
If you can watch but one game before the turn of the century, make it this one. Key matchup: Oregon's young quarterbacks against the Gophers' veteran secondary. The Ducks will fly.

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