BCS practice and more

January 9th, 2011 at 2:44 pm by under FOX10 Sports

The wait is nearly over for Auburn. Thirty-five days is a long time to wait to play a football game. Of course, this is not your ordinary football game.

Can you think of the last time you heard people spending around $4,000 on ONE ticket? That’s how big this BCS National Championship game is.

You have two passionate fan bases who have never been in a championship game like this. University of Phoenix Stadium only holds 74,000 fans and about half the tickets went to Arizona Cardinal fans. So, you can see why this is such a hot ticket for Tiger and Duck fans.

Oh, and you have two unbeatens and two offenses that will test the scoreboard at any stadium. This is going to be fun.

AUBURN WRAPS UP PRACTICE

Auburn is done practicing. The Tigers went through their final full practice on Saturday at Scottsdale Community College. They’ll have a short walk-thru at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday.

Coach Gene Chizik has praised his players and coaching staff all week for its focus and energy.

IT’S NOT A REAL UNIVERSITY

My colleague Hal Scheurich was wondering if this was the first time they’d played a championship game on a college campus.

University of Phoenix Stadium is actually just the name of the stadium. University of Phoenix is an online university and clearly paid enough money to get its name on the stadium.  You can get a degree from the University of Phoenix, but there is no campus near the stadium or anywhere for that matter.

I did get a good chuckle when Hal asked about it, though. It’s a little confusing, but a better name than the hockey arena across the street — Jobing.com Arena.

OREGON ROCKS OUT

Going to two practices in one day, it’s interesting to compare the two. Keep in mind, we’re only able to view about 15 minutes of each so you only get a short glimpse of each practice. That said, Auburn’s practice seemed much more business-like. Mobile’s Nick Fairley was the most vocal. He would probably enjoy Oregon’s practice.

The Ducks practice with loud music blasting the entire practice. At one point during the practice, I turned to a friend who works for the University of Oregon and said, ‘It’s kind of like a musical.” They were dancing and sometimes almost seemed to have a routine. As for the music, it was a wide variety to say the least — from rap to classic rock, even a song in Spanish.

The players seemed extremely loose. You certainly wouldn’t know they were going to play the biggest game of their lives in a matter of hours.

IS THE NATION CHEERING AGAINST AUBURN?

Based on Auburn’s reception at the Phoenix Suns basketball game the other night, I don’t think the Tigers will be picking up any extra fan support from the locals here. The Tigers got some boos from the Suns fans. Keep in mind, this is a Pac-10 town (Arizona State), so that may play a factor. Or perhaps some people aren’t satisfied with how the Cam Newton saga was handled by the NCAA. It may even be negative feelings toward the SEC — which has won the last four BCS National Championships. Championship-envy?

CAM AND NICK AND THE NFL

Most projections by NFL Draft analysts have Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley in the top-5 overall and quarterback Cam Newton as one of the top few quarterbacks — a first round pick. Hard to imagine either guy passing up that opportunity, even with an NFL lockout as a possibility. So, this is likely the final game for both guys in an Auburn uniform.

Fairley told me on Friday he’ll talk to coach Gene Chizik, his position coach Tracy Rocker and his family and figure out what is best for him. He and Cam have until Friday to declare for the draft.

My guess is they’re both going pro. We’ll see. The projected top pick, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, passed on the NFL, so you never know.

CHIP’S BITES

Have to say, I like Chip Kelly. The Oregon coach clearly is not a big media guy, but he’s witty and has a quirky sense of humor. When asked about his reaction to Luck’s decision to stay in school for another season — making conference rival Stanford a serious contender in the Pac-10 next year, Kelly said,”I threw up.”

LINE OF THE WEEK

Kelly was clever, but the quote of the week goes to his defensive coordinator, Nick Allioti. When asked about trying to stop Cam Newton for the 1,000th time earlier this week, Allioti said, “People keep asking me how I’m sleeping, I’m sleeping like a baby. I wake up every two hours and cry.”

Auburn’s defensive coordinator Ted Roof, who has his hands full, too said, “At least he’s sleeping.”

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