Orange Coast College will host the top-ranked Florida State football team at its Costa Mesa facilities next month as the Seminoles prepare to face Auburn in the Bowl Championship Series national title game Jan. 6 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, OCC spokesman Doug Bennett said Monday.
The exact practice dates are not set, but Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher will conduct practices and workouts at LeBard Stadium on the OCC campus as the Seminoles (13-0), the only unbeaten team in the final BCS standings, get ready to face second-ranked Auburn (12-1). It is the final year of the BCS as the NCAA converts to a four-team playoff format next year.
“Orange Coast College is very excited to partner with the BCS and the Tournament of Roses Association to host Florida State at the OCC facilities,” Bennett said. “Besides the recognition it brings to (Orange Coast), we are pleased that our facilities will allow Florida State and its fans to stay in Orange County and bring a much-needed stimulus to the local economy.”
Orange Coast College also hosted top-ranked Alabama prior to the Crimson Tide’s BCS championship game against Texas in 2010.
In addition to LeBard Stadium, the Florida State football team will work out in the weight room at the OCC Fitness Center and also have the option of practicing on the grass fields across the street from OCC at the Costa Mesa Sports Farm Complex.
In 2010, all Alabama practices were closed to the public and Bennett said he expects a similar situation this season, although nothing officially has come from Florida State.
Newport Beach won the bid in September to host the teams’ players, coaches and media in hotels leading up to the BCS championship game. Auburn will practice at UC Irvine.
Orange Coast College opened its $12.5 million fitness center more than six years ago after it was funded through the Coast Community College District Measure C bond that was passed in November 2002.
In addition to a multipurpose room that can be used as a gymnasium or large group instruction facility, the fitness center features a training facility for sports medicine, an equipment room, a 6,000-square foot Strength Lab and a 2,600-square foot Cardio Lab with 57 pieces of cardio equipment. It also includes an Exercise Science Testing Lab and a fitness studio and classroom.
Along with enjoying what is expected to be typical Southern California weather, Florida State players, coaches, media and fans will benefit from close freeway access and plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options in Newport-Mesa.
The OCC swap meet will be closed the weekend of Jan. 4-5.