NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFF) - The game Alabama fans have waited for is almost here.
The college football playoff semi-final in New Orleans between Alabama and Ohio State commences just hours after the champagne corks pop and 'Auld Lang Syne' is sung.
Wednesday was the last time we got the chance to hear from each team's coaches before kickoff.
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban and Ohio State's Urban Meyer greeted one another in front of the Sugar Bowl trophy as both coaches visited with the media for the last time leading up to tomorrow's showdown.
Coach Saban spent some time talking about just how far this team has come this season. Yes, many thought they would be in this spot... but to actually be here shows the improvement of the Tide.
"I don't see a perfect team out there," Saban opined. "There really isn't any perfect players and there's not a perfect team, so to compete and to play together, for everybody to be responsible - to do their job and to work to do the things you need to do to improve - I would say I am very pleased with what our team has been able to do throughout the course of the season."
Meyer and Saban both praised each other's crew, as you might expect they would. Saban says Ohio State has improved a lot over the last year, just like his own team.
Meyer, for his part, called Amari Cooper the best wide receiver in college football, labeling him the top pick in the NFL draft.
Coach Saban did give a injury update on running back TJ Yeldon. Yeldon, who needs just 291 yards to break Shaun Alexander's all-time rushing record, has practiced all week here in New Orleans as he deals with an ankle and hamstring injury.
"He's looking better and better each day," said the coach. "We're very hopeful that... he'll be able to make a contribution in this game."
For the teams, it was their last chance to get a feel for the playing field as they took a walkthrough of the Superdome.
It's an easy "night before" for the Tide. In years past, the night's activity consists of a movie and then a rest.
The next time the Tide enters the Dome, it's for warm-ups and then the big game - with eyes on the prize for a big win to start the new year off right.