NORMAN — Jessica Buffington had time on a slow Tuesday afternoon to handle various behind-the-scenes duties as manager of Vista Sports Grill, 111 N Peters Ave.
She probably won’t have that luxury tonight, when hundreds of college football fans, drawn by the restaurant’s 40 televisions, are expected to come to watch University of Oklahoma and University of Florida battle for the national championship. The Bowl Championship Series national title game in Miami, Fla., kicks off shortly after 7 p.m. "We’re going to have a humongous crowd,” Buffington said. "I would advise anyone to arrive early, maybe a couple of hours early.” John Howell, a partner in Coach’s restaurant and Coach’s Brewhouse at 102 and 110 W Main St., said the businesses will have beer specials for a night that should be "chock full of red shirts everywhere.” Phil Byrd, a bartender at Louie’s on Campus Corner, said his place also will feature beer specials along with new food items. But he, too, expects customers to be more focused on the OU game than the menu. Most students are gone for winter break, but Byrd is preparing for a busy night, although not at the same level as when the Sooners play in Norman and Asp Avenue is blocked off for gameday festivities. "I probably expect it to fill up (tonight), but it won’t be close,” he said.