After a whirlwind week where we saw our projections go from the Compass Bowl to the Gator Bowl, back, and all parts in between, the dust has now settled; the scene is now set. Mississippi State will take on the Northwestern Wildcats; that much we know is true. My honest opinion on our Gator Bowl selection is that I am thrilled with it. Considering the November that we had, I would say the chance to still play on New Year's Day is
- Shortly after the official announcement yesterday that MSU was headed to the Gator Bowl, a teleconference was held between the two opposing coaches - State's Dan Mullen and Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald - as well as the Gator Bowl President, Rick Catlett. There is some good information to be taken away from their chat yesterday, including tidbits on Mullen and Fitzgerald's friendship, their swapping of game tape as early as two weeks ago, and Mullen calling Pat several years ago for advice when he first became our head coach. Here are the quotes/highlights from the teleconference courtesy of Bob Carskadon, Brandon Marcello, and Brad Locke. Also, a few highlights from the chat, via twitter:
Mullen said he and Fitzgerald exchanged film a couple of weeks ago.— bradlocke (@bradlocke) December 2, 2012
Fitzgerald said he got to know Mullen when both were recruiting Houston area as assistant coaches.— bradlocke (@bradlocke) December 2, 2012
Tickets: Gator Pres. says each school receives about 2,500 club level tix and 2,500 sideline tix. Get 'em through schools, he says.— Bob Carskadon (@bobcarskadon) December 2, 2012
- You can already purchase your tickets for the Gator Bowl right here if you didn't go the pre-order route.
- From the Football Bowl Association, here's a full schedule of bowls for the 2012-13 bowl season [PDF].
- Mississippi State's allotment of tickets will be 15,000 for this year's Gator Bowl. According to that tweet from Marcello, State sold 12,748 (through the school) for the 2011 Gator Bowl. That doesn't mean that is all of the fans that we took that year, obviously, just the number who bought tickets directly through MSU.
- The total team payout for the 2013 Gator Bowl will be $7 million, or $3.5 million per team, according to the Jacksonville Daily Record. That number is reportedly up from the previous $5.4 million total payout that the bowl featured previously.
- Make sure to bookmark the official Gator Bowl website for this month: GatorBowl.com
- As Scott Stricklin and the school announced yesterday, the team hotel for Mississippi State in Jacksonville is the beautiful Sawgrass Marriott. However, a quick room availability search for December 31st (1 room, 1 night) seems to reveal that the hotel is completely booked. I may be missing something, but if not, it may be wise to seek alternative accommodations, State fans. Here's the link the site gave me when it said there were no available rooms, complete with a list of nearby hotels.
- The first ranking is up for the best bowl games, and ESPN's Mark Schlabach has the Gator Bowl ranked as the 12th best overall. Not too bad, I'd have to say.
- Here's what the ESPN gang had to say about the MSU vs. Northwestern matchup selection. NOTE: ESPN pays actual dollars to Mark May and Jesse Palmer to talk about sports. I'm dead serious:
Northwestern To Play In Gator Bowl (via ESPN)
- Mississippi State will be the visiting team in the game. Northwestern will be the home.
- Northwestern fans have already concocted an outstanding Gator Bowl themed meme (via Sippin On Purple).
- Speaking of Sippin On Purple, make sure you bookmark them for this month. They are SBNation's Northwestern blog, and Rodger and the guys do a great job up there. I am spending the next week or so trying to load up the arsenal with Jerry Springer and other various alumnus jokes, which I will then sling their way. Warning: those jokes will not be very good.
- Opening Odds - as we blogged about last night, MSU opened as a 2 point favorite via 5 Dimes last evening. The current lines are as follows: 2 pt favorite [5Dimes], 1.5 pt favorite [Wynn], 2 pt favorite [BetOnline]