Auburn Continues Preparations for Glendale

By Posted on: December 27th, 2011 in Football Comments Off

Normalcy finally returns to the Auburn football team today. After a month of on-again, off-again practices, the team finally settles into a somewhat normal routine. After being off since last Wednesday for Christmas, the top-ranked Tigers return to the practice field for the first of five home practices before leaving for Glendale, Arizona next Monday…

Still thinking about attending the big game? Get out your wallet. Ticket prices continue to climb as we get closer to game night. A quick check of Stubhub.com this morning shows the cheapest (make that most inexpensive) ticket starts at $1,245 and puts you in the upper deck.

Former Auburn Athletic Director David Housel was recently asked about the escalating ticket prices in Arizona. He made a good point, saying that when you itemize the cost over 53 years, it’s really not that expensive. For the record, a $1,245 seat divided by 53 years comes to $23.49 a year. Sounds like a bargain to me.

Talking with Alabama fans who traveled to Pasadena last year, many say tickets were cheaper once they arrived in California. It may happen again this year, but I doubt it. With 30,000 fewer seats than the Rose Bowl, I’m not sure I’d risk it…

There’s still no word on whether Auburn had any academic casualties that could cause some players to miss the championship game. Auburn coach Gene Chizik has been mum on the subject for the past month. You can bet the rumor mill will be in overdrive this week if Chizik doesn’t address the issue. Keep your fingers crossed…

It seems that most of the voters across the country clearly favor Oregon’s Chip Kelly over Chizik for the numerous national coach of the year awards. It’s hard to argue against either one of them and I suppose it comes down to a popularity contest.

With Auburn picked to finish fourth in the SEC West prior to the season, I would think that would give Chizik the edge. Oregon started the season ranked 12th nationally. In the end, it’s who wins on January 10th that really matters…

Playing in a retractable roofed stadium you might assume the BCS National Championship will be played on artificial turf. That would be wrong. University of Phoenix Stadium is the only indoor facility in North America to have a natural grass playing surface.

Utilizing a special roller system, the playing surface is removed from the stadium after each football game and rolled out into the sun through a special opening in one of the end zones.

Once outside, it’s watered, fertilized and given ample time in the desert sun. Three days prior to the next game, the field is again wheeled back inside and prepped for game day…

While Auburn has clearly benefited from the BCS system this season, put me on record as still being against it. This year’s bowl matchups may be the worst in college football history.  Quite frankly, the early bowl games have been unwatchable. There are 10 more bowl games this season than 10 years ago. Make that 10 too many.

I’ll never make an argument for Boise State to play for a national championship, but forcing them to play in the Maaco Bowl on December 22 is more than an insult. It’s time to do away with the conference bowl tie-ins. Giving unranked Connecticut a slot in the Fiesta Bowl is criminal…

It’s obvious the media is still not over Cam Newton being cleared to play by the NCAA. When news broke of the Ohio State tattoo-for-memorabilia scandal, Newton was right back in the headlines.

Comparing the two incidents is crazy. The five suspended Buckeye players received a form of compensation for providing game day memorabilia. Newton never received a penny. The NCAA clearly stated they believe Newton had no knowledge of his father’s underhanded work.

Those holding their breath hoping Newton will be tied to the scandal might want to exhale. Without a voice recording or text indicating otherwise, this story is likely dead. If the FBI still hasn’t uncovered anything on Newton, my guess is the NCAA will close the investigation shortly after the BCS Championship…

Over the holidays, I picked up a copy of Lindy’s SEC Champions special issue on Auburn. There are several on the magazine racks this month, but this one is clearly the best. Be sure to check out Lyn Scarbrough’s article on Lee Ziemba. It’s excellent. Scarbrough is the marketing head for Lindy’s and an Auburn graduate. He’s also an all-around great guy.

Until next time…

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