Oregon was the first of the two combatants for the BCS title game to arrive, as the Ducks landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor Sunday afternoon.
Auburn gets here Monday. The Ducks will have already gotten in a local practice even before the Tigers set foot in Arizona.
Oregon coach Chip Kelly, never known for long diatribes nor as a media darling, spoke to the press Sunday upon arrival. He said the Ducks are "fired up to be here."
Kelly also said he's felt the support for the program everywhere the team and coaches have gone, even on recruiting trips. Fans and alumni couldn't be prouder of this team, and are hoping to celebrate a national championship after the sting of a disappointing Rose Bowl loss in 2010.
"To have the support that we have everywhere we go, it's an exciting time to be a Duck, and we're going to need them all on the 10th," Kelly said.
Now that they're here, the key for the Ducks, and eventually the Tigers, will be how they handle the distractions of the week ahead and how well they'll be able to prepare in a different atmosphere. Kelly kept the team insulated, for the most part, during the season, and never allowed the Ducks to look ahead or speculate on what could be. Hence, his motto that is painted on the walls that separate the seats from the field at Autzen Stadium, home of the Ducks: "Win The Day."
"I knew we had something special, and I've said it before, during spring practice," Kelly said. "We had 15 practices in the spring and we didn't have a bad one. I could tell the players' mindset was they understood what our vision is for this football program, and the way we were going to get there was through hard work. When I watched them practice in the spring, I think they understood that we were going to be in this situation at the end of the year if we prepared to be in this situation at the end of the year."
Aside from all the work to be done, Kelly will have to fulfill his obligations to reporters.
"It's No. 1 in my book," Kelly said, drawing laughter. It doesn't seem like there will be much of that around Ducks camp with Kelly in charge.