Dec 27, 2014 9:11 PM
Jameis, Marcus and Mickey: Rose Bowl week starts at Disney
The Associated Press
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) They posed for pictures with Disneyland's most famous resident, squeezed in a few minutes of media interviews and then it was time to hit the rides.
"C'mon!" ''Let's go!" Marcus Mariota's Oregon teammates called to him as he finished up with the last couple of reporters.
The Ducks and their Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Mariota, and Florida State and its Heisman winner, Jameis Winston, started Rose Bowl week with the traditional visit to Disneyland on Saturday, including a welcome to Southern California from Mickey Mouse.
This Rose Bowl, however, is like no other before.
Second-seeded Oregon (12-1) and third-seeded Florida State (13-0) will play the first College Football Playoff semifinal on Jan. 1. The winner advances to the national championship game on Jan. 12 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys in North Texas.
It will be the first time teams from college football's top division play two postseason games. The playoff semifinals, both here and in New Orleans where the No. 1 Alabama faces fourth-seeded Ohio State at the Sugar Bowl, are both setup like traditional bowl weeks. There won't be similar festivities leading up to the championship game for the semifinal winners.
This week, the teams will practice in the Los Angeles area, fulfill a bunch of media obligations, and get a chance to take part in some bowl week recreation starting in the Disneyland.
The Seminoles got into town Friday afternoon, hit the Hollywood Boulevard to check out the stars on the Walk of Fame and gobbled up some tacos.
"Business started a long time ago," Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman said. "Now we're just enjoying ourselves trying to have fun. But it's all business."
Florida State is back in SoCal for a second straight season. The Seminoles won the final BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl last season, beating Auburn 34-31.
For coach Jimbo Fisher, playing two huge games in the Rose Bowl is something he never thought he would get a chance to do coaching teams from the South.
"You always watched (the Rose Bowl) as a little kid. Watched the tournament of Roses Parade," said Fisher, who recently reached agreement on a new eight-year contract extension that Florida State says will make him one of the highest paid coaches in the country. "I always said that's probably the one game you'll never get to coach in because of how the Big Ten-Pac-1 setup was and to do it two years in a row, it's been a blessing."
Fisher was razzed a bit for wearing a green paisley tie that looked more in line with Oregon's colors. "It goes with the suit," he said.
Oregon coach Mark Helfrich noticed the tie.
"He looked sharp in that green tie," said Helfrich, who is in his second year leading the Ducks.
Helfrich said his wife and kids, 7-year-old Max and 3-year-old Maggie, had already put in a long day at Disneyland before he and the team got there.
He said he received a text from Max that said "Best day ever."
The Ducks will try to top it in a few days.