Although the formal bowl invitations will not be issued until late Sunday afternoon, most expect Alabama to be in the Cotton Bowl against Texas Tech on January 2. Crimson Tide quarterback Brodie Croyle is like most players in saying the bowl destination and opponent don't matter, that anything is good.
Croyle was hardly a slave to fashion in meeting with sportswriters following Saturday's Alabama practice. Particularly notable were his shoes, rubber-like fishing shoes with no socks. "The color is hideous, but they are good fishing shoes," Croyle said of the bright orange footwear. He also had a slight growth of beard, which he admitted was "about a week and a half. I don't have much facial hair."
Alabama's quarterback was battered around in the Tide's loss to Auburn as the Tigers turned in an incredible 11 sacks. Croyle said he was over the soreness and feels "as good as I've ever felt."
Croyle said, "Losing JB (center J.B. Closner, who went out with a broken leg against Mississippi State) hurt us more than people realized. But now we'll have had a month and I'm confident our offensive line will be just fine in the bowl game."
He said that Alabama "won't change anything. We just need to execute better."
The most important thing about a bowl game for Croyle is that it gives the Crimson Tide a chance to reach the 10-win plateau. "We need to find a way to finish the way we wanted to," he said. "We can finish 10-2. We missed our goal by a couple of games, but a 10-2 record for a team playing in the SEC would be pretty good.
"All of us want to go out with a win. I feel good about what we've done this year, but we want to finish with a win."
He said bowl preparation offers the opportunity for "the young guys to get better. And for us older guys, we want to go out on a good note."