The place is slowly filing up. Auburn's players have already come out for their pre-game prayer circle and returned to the locker room. Nick Fairley seems to be ready.
Just wrapped up a live chat a little while ago. Check it out here if you missed it.
I'll update this post with any pertinent information. Also, follow the blog on Twitter for instant updates and observations during the game. Back with more in a bit.
UPDATE, 5:44 p.m. MT: It wouldn't be a pre-game post without some minutia. Here's all you can eat:
- No. 1 Auburn hasn't won a national championship since 1957. No. 2 Oregon hasn't won one ever.
- This is the first time the teams have met.
- The Tigers are the only team in the country that has beaten six teams currently in the AP Top 25.
- Expect offense aplenty: Auburn averages 42.7 points and 497.7 yards per game; Oregon 49.3 and 537.5.
- Auburn QB Cam Newton leads the nation in passing efficiency (188.16) and is on pace to break the NCAA's single-season record.
- Newton leads the nation in touchdowns accounted for with 49. That's more than 91 of 119 other Football Bowl Subdivision school have scored as a team this season.
- RB Mike Dyer is 50 yards shy of 1,000 this season.
- Auburn is 11th nationally in run defense, allowing 111.7 yards per game. Oregon averages 303.8 rushing yards per game. That, my friends, is a key matchup.
- DT Nick Fairley has a school record 21 tackles for a loss this season. That's fourth most in the nation.
- Auburn's Gene Chizik is 6-0 in bowl games as a coach, including a 38-35 win against Northwestern in last year's Outback Bowl to finish his first season with the Tigers.
- This is Auburn's second appearance in a BCS game since its inception 13 years ago. The Tigers beat Virginia Tech in the 2005 Sugar Bowl.
- Auburn is 16th all-time in bowl appearances (36) and 13th all-time in bowl victories (20).
- Among schools with 10 or more previous bowl trips, Auburn's winning percentage of .600 ranks eighth.
- The Tigers are 14-2 in bowl games when scoring 20 or more points.
- Fashion alert: Auburn is wearing its traditional blue jerseys with white pants. Oregon has white uniforms with bright yellow socks.
- Oregon is playing in its second straight BCS bowl, having lost to Ohio State last year in the Rose Bowl.
- The Ducks have led every game this year going into the fourth quarter.
- Oregon RB LaMichael James leads the nation in rushing, averaging 152.9 yards per game. His 21 rushing touchdowns are tops in the nation.
- The Ducks are seventh nationally in turnover margin (+13). They're 14th in scoring defense (18.4 ppg) and have the eighth-most tackles for loss (7.5 per game).
- Oregon's Cliff Harris leads the nation in punt returns, averaging 20.9 yards per return. He's taken back four for touchdowns this year.