Here is your Boxing Day edition of the Tide Roundup:
Rivals.com has compiled a list of the gift packs players receive at the various bowl games. According to them the Sugar Bowl puts together one of the best:
Sony Blu-ray player
Sony Walkman digital MP3 player
A lot of other bowls give a greater amount of stuff, but not nearly as cool (e.g. getting a pair of Crocs, a fitted hat and luggage tags for appearing in the BCS title game.) My personal favorite is the custom belt buckle at the Texas Bowl. For whatever reason, the Cotton Bowl is the only bowl that wouldn't disclose the contents of their gift pack before the players actually receive them.
Oh yeah, am I the only one that hates the partnership between Rivals and Yahoo? I could used to sift through the story list for the day and click away to my heart's delight and now there are tons of stories that are inaccessible due to needing a Rivals.com subscription (22 of 45 yesterday required a subscription.) Annoying.
Though it's about 10 days old, don't think I saw Sports Illustrated's All-American team until this morning. It's pretty much the usual suspects, but the placement is different as always. Smith, Caldwell and Cody on the first team. Click the link to check out the rest.
Here's a story from the Salt Lake Tribune about Utah's center Zayne Taylor and his monumental task of stopping Mt. Cody. Taylor had this to say:
Here's another story on the matchup of the Bama O-Line against the Utah D-Line, but this time from AL.com. This has received a lot of attention on this blog and elsewhere, so read up on it some more. Saban is concerned. And really, how can't you be? You don't go undefeated by accident no matter what conference you're in.
Our guys got to be home for Christmas this year, which was a first for most of them. Surprisingly, they don't travel as a team to New Orleans. Some drive, some fly. Saban, amazingly, doesn't seem terribly concerned about anyone missing their plane or being a bit late. Players are to report to NOLA on Saturday.
If you ordered your tickets from Utah's ticket office and haven't received them yet, fret not. There's an explanation.
Speaking of tickets for this game, I know they're expensive and that we'd all rather be in Miami, but I must say I'm going to be rather disappointed if it isn't a sellout. I just checked Ticketmaster and they're still available through them and Utah didn't sell out their allotment. That means there's probably at least 10K floating around unsold right now and given how close our state is we need to snap those up. The good news, though, for those willing to travel without tickets is that you'll be able to have a field day with scalpers and will be able to name your own price eventually. I managed to get a ticket to the Capital One Bowl (LSU vs. Iowa) a few years ago for about $20-25 (face value of $70), by waiting just before kickoff to begin my negotiations. I wonder how different sales would be if we were playing Texas or Ohio State...
"Do I think I'm ready? We're going to find out," said Taylor. "Cody's a great player and they have a great defensive front four. We're going to have to play our best game of the season to be effective against them."