"It's certainly a pleasure for me and the University of Wisconsin to represent the Big 10 in this bowl game," Alvarez said. "We are thrilled with the opportunity. We've heard nothing but wonderful things about the city and the hospitality. The players are excited about this opportunity and the experience to come to Nashville to play a quality opponent. I think you have two teams that have tremendous reputations of not only good football teams and programs, but fans that really appreciate college football and will bring an atmosphere to Nashville of college football.
Demarco McNeil leads the Tiger defense against a physical Wisconsin offense.
Both Alvarez and Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville have a deep respect for each other forged when both coached in the Blue-Grey game in Montgomery almost 10 years ago. Since that time both have developed programs that have become perennial bowl participants and Alvarez said that he's looking forward to playing one of Tuberville's teams for real on the field.
"I have a deep respect for Tommy and the program that he has," Alvarez said. "I look forward to playing just a quality opponent. It should be a wonderful game and we're looking forward to the experience."
Playing in Nashville for the second time this season, Auburn will travel to the Music City on Dec. 26 and will resume practicing for the Badgers the next day. Tuberville said that everyone associated with Auburn is looking forward to playing Wisconsin and putting an end to an end to disappointing seasons for both teams.
"To come and play a quality opponent like Wisconsin our fans are excited, our players and our coaches are excited," Tuberville said. "Anytime you get to come and play in a bowl game with your players it's a reward. For both us our football teams it's been an up-and-down year with injuries and very tough schedules. For us to have a chance to play in a bowl game at the end of the year, especially one such as this, we're excited about it."
Auburn will begin practices on campus starting Dec. 18 and will practice for three days before breaking for Christmas to be with their families. Kickoff for the New Year's Eve game is scheduled for 11 a.m. central time and can be seen on ESPN.