Sunday, December 28, 2008


El Paso, Texas -- The 3rd annual Texas vs. the Nation All-Star Challenge will pit a pair of the most successful college coaches in terms of post-season bowl game records as returning Texas head coach Gene Stallings carries a career bowl game record of 7-1, including last year's victory over the Nation squad into this year's contest.

Meanwhile, Nation team's head coach Howard Schnellenberger kept his un-defeated bowl game streak alive with a 24-21 win over Central Michigan in last night's Motor City Bowl. Coach Schnellenberger is now 6-0 all-time in bowl games and will be looking to add to that streak when he arrives in El Paso, Texas next month.

Now what could make this match-up even more dramatic? In 1991, the Alabama Crimson Tide faced off against the Louisville Cardinals... and you guessed it the game pitted two former Alabama football decedents as Coach Stallings was the leader of the Crimson Tide while Coach Schnellenberger walked the sidelines for the Cardinals. The outcome was a 34-7 win for the Cardinals, the only post-season game blemish on Coach Stallings career record.

However, Coach Stallings may already add a second all-star game win to his resume since he is also scheduled to coach the West roster in the East-West Shrine Game in three weeks. Stallings' career record includes wins in the Sugar Bowl (1993), Gator Bowl (1994) and Blockbuster Bowl (1992) while at Alabama and the Cotton Bowl (1967) back when he was the head coach at Texas A&M.

His Alabama team would win the first-ever Bowl Coalition National Championship with their 1993 Sugar Bowl win over the University of Miami.

Coach Schnellenberger is widely credited with recruiting NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath to Alabama in 1961. He won three National Championships while serving as Bear Bryant's offensive coordinator at Alabama and then went on to a Super Bowl title with the Miami Dolphins in 1972, serving as offensive coordinator for the NFL's only un-defeated team in league history under legendary head coach Don Shula.

Interestingly enough the University of Miami was the place where Coach Schnellenberger is most-known for his collegiate head coaching success as he won a National Championship when his Hurricanes defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 31-30 in the 1984 Orange Bowl.

Tickets are on sale now for the January 31st, 2009 contest between two of Bear Bryant's former prized pupils and as much as these two men have in common it is their differences that will make this year's game one of the most anticipated in all-star games in history.