Ferentz to face old pal Saban

Updated: December 5, 2004, 2:18 PM ET
Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz will get another chance to match wits with Nick Saban, this time with considerably more talent at his disposal.

Ferentz and his team learned Saturday night that they'll play No. 13 LSU in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando on Jan. 1. The pairing of two 9-2 teams came about after Auburn defeated Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference championship game, sending Auburn to the Bowl Championship Series, most likely the Sugar Bowl.

In their only game as opponents, the two former Cleveland Browns' assistants met in 1999, when Saban's Michigan State team hammered Iowa 49-3. That was Ferentz's first season with the Hawkeyes.

"Thanks goodness he's a friend of mine," Ferentz said. "It could have been a lot worse. They could have had a hundred that day if they chose to. We weren't ready to play that game."

Iowa (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today; No. 12 AP), which shared the Big Ten championship with Michigan, would have played Auburn if Tennessee had won Saturday's game.

Alabama: The Crimson Tide will play Minnesota in the Music City Bowl on New Year's Eve, university and bowl officials said Saturday night.

The game will be the first bowl appearance for Alabama since the 2001 Independence Bowl. Alabama (6-5) is coming off probation.

Minnesota also is 6-5.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press