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Bulldogs, Aggies arrive for Indy Bowl

By Staff
Dec. 27, 2000
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) The Mississippi State and Texas A&M football teams arrived Tuesday and began practice for the Independence Bowl.
Bowl officials announced three weeks ago that the two 7-4 teams would meet in the 25th anniversary game, Sunday at 7 p.m. Since then, there have been plenty of distractions: icy weather that knocked out power to thousands, the holidays, the presidential election mess.
Even now that the presents have been unwrapped, the votes counted and the power restored, the game itself will compete against some interesting story lines.
The biggest may be the ties between Aggies coach R.C. Slocum and the man he once worked for at A&M, Bulldogs coach Jackie Sherrill. Sherrill was the Aggies head coach from 1982-88 and he recommended that Slocum succeed him.
Certainly with Jackie's ties to A&M and our friendship it should be an interesting matchup,'' Slocum said when the pairing was announced Dec. 3.
But that coaching matchup isn't the only attention grabber. Last week Mississippi State announced that cornerback Fred Smoot one of the nation's best is academically ineligible to compete in the I-Bowl. And earlier in the week, it was announced that former Homer High star Michael Mahan a big contributor on the Aggies' offensive line would not compete because of a heart condition that requires surgery and has likely ended his playing career.
This year's game also will have a smaller crowd. Previously, stadium capacity was roughly 43,000. Six thousand fewer seats are available this year because of ongoing I-Bowl construction, which should be completed by July with capacity climbing to about 51,000.