Of Arizona's sizeable Texas contingent, nobody is prouder to be from the Lone Star State than Justin Washington.
The Wildcats starting defensive tackle - a redshirt freshman from Cypress, Texas - got "Texas made" tattooed on the backs of both arms shortly after enrolling in August 2009. The word "Texas" spans his left arm, from his biceps to his elbow, with "made" on the other side. A lone star, naturally, punctuates the second word.
"I knew I was going to be on the field a lot," Washington said Monday. "I wanted everybody to know where I'm from. Sometimes you see a guy and wonder, 'Where's he from?' Here, you can see: I'm Texas-made."
You'll see Valero's name all over the Alamodome tonight.
The bowl game's title sponsor is an oil refinery and gas station chain that encompasses the Valero, Diamond Shamrock and Ultramar brands, among others.
The company, which owns 15 refineries that produce 2.8 million barrels of oil a day, is based in San Antonio.
Its name even stems from the city's most famous landmark. The Alamo was originally the Mission San Antonio de Valero, which was founded by the Franciscans between 1716 and 1718.
The mission earned its name from Saint Anthony of Padua, who was the patron saint of the mission's founder, Father Olivares, and after the viceroy of New Spain, the Marquis de Valero, who had authorized the expedition to the city.
"All I'm looking at is a bunch of pumpkins out here."
UA coach Mike Stoops, on orange-clad OSU fans
Dana Holgorsen's secret was discovered early.
Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator agreed to move to West Virginia to run the Mountaineers' offense next year and take over as head coach in 2012, but he had hoped to keep it quiet until after the Alamo Bowl.
The big number
Price for an Alamo Bowl golf shirt sold at Tuesday's team luncheon. Fans could buy T-shirts for $25-32. A miniature helmet with OSU's logo on one side and the UA's on the other ran $45.
The last time Stoops appeared in the Alamo Bowl, in 1998, it didn't end well.
Drew Brees marched Purdue 80 yards in 54 seconds, throwing a 24-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Jones with 30 seconds left in the game to clinch a 37-34 win against Kansas State.
It was Stoops' last game as K-State's assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. He joined his brother Bob at Oklahoma the next year.
Andrew McGee didn't play in the Cotton Bowl last year.
His neck was broken.
OSU's senior cornerback was injured in the regular season finale against Oklahoma, leaving his neck in a brace for four months.
"It's been real fun to see that I could come back from injury and play a full season," he said. "It's going to be great to finally play in a bowl game, so I'm thankful."
McGee, whose five interceptions led the Big 12 this year, was told not to return to the sport "by everyone, except my dad, pretty much, and our coaches."
A neck specialist wouldn't advise him to play, and OSU trainer Rob Hunt said he wouldn't let his own son do it.
"That's when I just gripped onto faith," McGee said. "I felt like I would be OK to do it.
"I feel like I'll be OK to go out there and play. If my risk wasn't higher, than I feel like that was fine enough."
Patrick Finley and Ryan Finley