ANAHEIM, Calif. — Every bowl contest, regardless of the magnitude, is accompanied by extra commitments beyond just the game itself.
The BCS championship game takes that notion to the extreme.
Even with this in mind, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said the week leading up to Monday's national title tilt won't be handled any differently than normal.
"It's going to be a routine," he said during a Tuesday meeting with reporters, hours after he and his team arrived in California. "We'll go about a Tuesday practice, a Wednesday practice, a Thursday practice. We'll do exactly what got us here."
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To Malzahn, that means practices will continue being physical.
"That physical part of the game — any time you have a 30-day layoff, you’re concerned about it," he said. "Our guys have practiced extremely hard. But there are some guys that we’ve had to heal up."
Malzahn cited another reason for the team's success this year that didn't make headlines — simply put, players didn't gain notoriety for the wrong reasons. Aside from Demetruce McNeal's dismissal during fall camp, Auburn hasn't run into in off-field issues since the season kicked off on Aug. 31.
"There’s no doubt it correlates greatly," he said. "They’ve taken care of their business on and off the field and they’ve been responsible. That’s definitely helped us get here."
One aspect Malzahn didn't think aided Auburn this year was luck. Time and again, Malzahn said, he's been asked whether the Tigers were benefactors of good fortune far beyond what normal teams receive.
And at that perception, Malzahn scoffed.
"The bottom line (is) in our conference, you win the SEC, you definitely have to earn it," he said. "If you have a chance to play for the national championship, you have to earn it. Real proud of our guys getting us here."