Sights and sounds from BCS title media day
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) When you cram an entire college football team and dozens of television cameras into a cramped hotel ballroom, don't be surprised if a dance-off breaks out.
That impromptu Auburn dance semicircle on Saturday morning was just one entertaining aspect of a lively media day before the BCS championship game. The Tigers and Florida State both took turns discussing every aspect of the big game and the season leading up to it, with innumerable detours along the way.
"It's a great experience to be out here and to do everything they set us up to do," Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall said. "But I've just come out here for one thing only, and that's to get a win."
Marshall wasn't given one of the four podiums assigned to each team's best players at media day, instead sitting at a table with reporters crammed up against each other to hear his insights. Auburn running back Chandler Shakespeare took media day to another level, grabbing a water bottle and running around the room interviewing his own teammates to the amusement of the real reporters.
While most players seemed pleased with the media day attention, there's an undeniable anxiety to get to Monday's game at the Rose Bowl after several days of preparation and amusements everything from a trip to Disneyland and a comedy club to massive prime-rib dinners. Both teams arrived on New Year's Eve, and they've spent the last few days practicing for the big finale.
"It's actually my first time coming to California, so I'm definitely excited to play out here in this great weather," Florida State receiver Rashad Greene said. "And what better people to play with?"
CON QUESO: Auburn center Reese Dismukes' favorite part of the BCS championship game experience hasn't been the pomp or the circumstance. It's the quiet Mexican dinner he had with several other offensive linemen.
"The Mexican food is way better out here," Dismukes said. "I guess it should be. I didn't get any cheese dip, though. I like that in Alabama. Us fat guys like cheese dip."
Like most players on both teams, the third-team All-American center is trying to enjoy the experience without losing focus on the Tigers' goal.
"It's important to remember why you're here," Dismukes said, "but also to enjoy being here. It's a balance."
HEY FOUR-EYES: Florida State receiver Kenny Shaw wore Google Glass around the room Saturday, sending photos and video of media day to the school's Google Plus site.
"I wish they was mine," Shaw said. "I'm just sharing. This is a great technology that more teams should utilize."
Shaw followed the lead of Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren at a Rose Bowl media availability last week. Although the Cardinal live just a few miles from the Googleplex, Shaw is no stranger to cutting-edge technology, and he excels on Twitter and Instagram, making him a natural choice for Google's goggles.
"It's kind of creepy, but I can be recording somebody and they don't even know it," Shaw said with a smile.
Shaw confidently declares he has "the most swag on the team. I get the job done on Saturdays, too. It's rare that you find that."
DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Auburn's Jeff Whitaker might be out for the year, but he put on a show at media day.
The defensive tackle sang "Amazing Grace" literally stopping after those two words joked about wanting to meet Halle Berry, and pulled no punches on being perhaps the Tigers' strongest player.
"There's no complaining," Whitaker said. "My deal is, man, life's too short. I've got to keep smiling. I feel like I've got a beautiful face. I think I need to smile."
He has 18 career starts, but is still waiting to see real action in a national title game. Whitaker played one snap in the January 2011 victory over Oregon in Glendale, Ariz. He admits sitting this one out hurts.
"It's very tough," Whitaker said. "But at the end of the day I love my teammates. That's the most important thing."
He's still having fun on the trip. He busted on teammates trying to tell jokes during their comedy club outing: "We know comedy is not in them."
AP Sports Writers John Zenor and Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.