12.26.15 Bowl Practice05After touching down in North Texas earlier in the day, the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide wasted no time getting back to work on the practice field with its first workout on Saturday afternoon at Coppell High School.

The Crimson Tide (12-1, 8-1 SEC) went through an upbeat, 90-minute session in shells and shorts in the indoor practice facility for the Class 6A Cowboys football team. Coach Nick Saban said his second-seeded Tide are happy to be back in the College Football Playoff for a second year in a row and back in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic to face the No. 3 Michigan State Spartans on New Year’s Eve.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity that we have here this week at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl,” said Saban. “I’d like to thank everyone associated with the Goodyear Cotton Bowl who works so hard to host this event. A very first-class event, to say the least. And special thanks to Cotton Bowl Chairman Dan Novakov and President Rick Baker and, you know, the entire Cotton Bowl committee and those who are working hard to host us.”

Alabama is back in the Classic for the first time in 10 years but is no stranger to playing at
AT&T Stadium. The Tide will be playing their third game in the stadium, having opened the
2012 season with a win over Michigan and this season with a win over Wisconsin. Alabama will back at AT&T Stadium again next year, opening the 2016 season against Southern California on Sept. 3.

The Tide get their first on-field feel of AT&T Stadium with a late morning practice on Sunday following the team’s offensive news conference that will feature offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, QB Jake Coker, RB Kenyan Drake, RB Derrick Henry, C Ryan Kelly and WR Richard Mullaney.

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic celebrates its 80th anniversary on New Year’s Eve while hosting its first College Football Playoff Semifinal. Airtime on ESPN is set for 7 p.m. CST, with kickoff slated for 7:10 p.m.

This marks the second year for the Goodyear Cotton Bowl to be a part of ESPN’s bowl lineup. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will provide the call from the booth with Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi reporting from the sideline.

ESPN Radio returns as the Classic’s national radio partner for the fourth consecutive year. Brad Sham, the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” teams with Danny Kanell in the booth and Ian Fitzsimmons on the sideline to describe all the action from AT&T Stadium. This is Sham’s 19th consecutive year as the Classic’s play-by-play voice and his 23rd overall.