ORLANDO, Fla. (WSFA) - Fans from all over the country have flocked to Orlando this week to support Alabama and Michigan, and on Tuesday they gathered for the team pep rallies to give a final cheer before kickoff on Wednesday.
Before the fun and games, however, it was business as usual for head coaches Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh, who met at the Rosen Plaza hotel for the final coaches press conference.
Both coaches expressed their respects for the opposing program, emphasizing how good the match-up will be come Wednesday at noon.
“I think the first thing that comes off the screen to me is they’re a very well-coached team in every phase of the game,” said Saban about the Wolverines. “Their players play really, really hard. They play with toughness. They’ve got great intangibles in terms of their discipline, their accountability to do their job, [and] how they play as a group.”
Harbaugh echoed those sentiments.
"[They're] physical - a physical football team and defensively, it's really the same thing," he said. "It's a very attacking, multiple coverage. The special teams is really dangerous, especially in the return game. The punt return, the kickoff return, in all facets.
"Everything is tight. Everything is battened down. There are no weaknesses," he added.
For football superfans Sherry and Eric Fundin, the game is another opportunity to ignite their long-standing rivalry.
“We went to the Outback Bowl years ago in Stallings’ last game - Alabama and Michigan - and Alabama won, so we’ll see if Michigan to win this time,” said Eric.
Like many fans, the Fundins have their own predictions about the outcome of the Citrus Bowl. “17-14 Michigan,” said Sherry. “No, it’s gonna be high-scoring,” Eric countered. “Alabama’s gonna win by two touchdowns.”
The 74th Annual Vrbo Citrus Bowl kicks off at noon from Camping World Stadium, and will air on ESPN.