Capital One selection – Alvarez quotes

Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez took part in a teleconference with Capital One Bowl representatives and Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville Sunday afternoon

Opening statement

"Thank you Tom. (Florida Citrus Sports executive director Tom Mickle). We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play in the Capital One Bowl. As you said, you and I have had this discussion many times. Either we won too many games and ended up in the Rose Bowl or we were a game or two short. But this year was just right.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play. I know that our fans are looking forward to not only the game but taking advantage of all that the Orlando area has to offer.

"When we come, we come en masse and we come with a band that is second to none.

"The bowl game should be a great matchup. We played Auburn two years ago and I've always had great respect for (coach) Tommy (Tuberville) and the teams that he's put together and how well he's coached and what he's done with his programs.

"We saw it first hand and what a quality team they had two years ago. A team that last year very easily, and probably should have been in the championship game. This year certainly had every right to be a BCS team.

"We feel privileged to have the opportunity to play them. I know our players are anxious and excited to come to Orlando and participate in your activities and the game."

On responding to loss to Iowa in Big Ten regular-season finale with win over Hawaii and earning trip to Capital One Bowl:

"I think that you don't just look at one loss and make a decision on emotions of how you feel after the loss. You go back and you take a look at goals set as the season started and our last goal as we talked in two-a-days was to play in a January bowl game.

"And our guys, we stay on task with our goals and where we are at all times, knowing that that was still a possibility if we could go out to Hawaii and win that game that would give us nine wins and give us an opportunity play in a January bowl game.

"That was, to me, and I think to our football team, has been motivation all along. To achieve it is quite an accomplishment.

"Going in (to the season) knowing that we had a lot of holes to fill and a lot of young people had to step up. I just, I feel as though it's quite an accomplishment to get here. And now you have the task of playing an outstanding Auburn team."

On playing in Orlando for first time in last game as a coach:

"This is a bowl as I've mentioned, and Tom referred to it earlier, this is a bowl — This is the first time I've ever played or coached in it, or been involved in it — But I've heard so many good things about it. And I think in our business there are reputations out there of bowls and this bowl game happens to be one that every coach who's participated in (it) just raves about. One that I've always wanted to be a participant in, and our teams have. It's always been we've won too many games or not quite enough.

"For this being the last year to have an opportunity to play in this game and knowing all the outstanding teams that have played in it previous, I'm just thrilled for this opportunity."

On the notion that Wisconsin would get a more favorable matchup in a lesser bowl:

"Anybody that would make that type of statement isn't much of a competitor. I think you get in this business to give yourself an opportunity to play against — to play in big venues, play where it means something, play against great teams and teams that have tradition.

"We've tried to establish tradition at Wisconsin. Auburn has had a tradition for many, many years. This just gives us more exposure. When you are playing in games of this magnitude you are going to play against outstanding teams. It's going to be a very difficult task. That's the type of player that I want and I think that's the type of staff that I've hired. Guys that want to play and coach in games like this. This is what it's all about. Pitting yourself against outstanding competition."

On playing in every bowl with a Big Ten tie-in except the Motor City Bowl:

"I have to say we've enjoyed every one of them. I've been quoted many times saying there are no bad bowls. No one enjoys bowl games more than I do.

"I think we've done a nice job as far as having a philosophy in how we go about bowl games. I've always felt that bowl games are a reward for players. Reward for the players for having a good season. I've never varied from that philosophy. I think they should enjoy the community in whatever town that bowl is in and experience it, yet keeping in mind that you have to compete and participate and prepare well for the game

"Knowing where our program was when we got there and the fact that we've played in that many bowl games, I think is outstanding. And I'm proud of it."

Can you compare your team this season to the one Auburn played two years ago in Nashville (in the Music City Bowl)?

"I think two years ago in Nashville I think we were probably a little more mature team than we are this year. A little different style offensively. Defensively… We're not the same team that we were, just because of our personnel and the youth that we have and all the injuries that we have, particularly on defense, we've changed considerably on both sides of the ball.

"We probably relied a little bit more on — We were probably a little more balanced this year than we were that year. I think that year probably as a throwing team we probably had a very strong tendency to find Lee Evans.

"Defensively we were probably a little stronger up front… than we are this year.

"But it's a different, we're a totally different looking team than we were two years ago."

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