It’s getting to that time of year again for college football fans. Bowl season is here, and the discussion of whether the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) works, or whether there are too many bowl games, is back as well. For hardcore college football fans, there is no better time of the year and with the match-up for the bowls to be finalized this Sunday, December 7, they will know where their team is headed.
Travel plans will be made, hotels booked and game tickets purchased. With thousands of fans looking for a limited amount of tickets, the secondary ticket market will be busy with people looking for seats to see their school compete for glory.
Currently there are 34 college bowls that are on the schedule that range from the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (December 21) to the FedEx BCS National Championship Game (January 8). While some will obviously be less popular than others, the five bowls that are part of the Bowl Championship Series will be in high demand.
The BCS bowl game that is first on the schedule will be the Rose Bowl which will be played on New Year’s Day and perennially pits a team from the Pac-10 against one from the Big Ten. This season the Penn State Nittany Lions secured their spot in the Rose Bowl following a victory in their season finale over Michigan State on November 22. After the game concluded, TicketNews reported that fans had begun to jump at tickets on the secondary market, despite not yet knowing their opponent. Now as the season winds down, many projections have placed the USC Trojans as the Pac-10 representative. If that holds true, USC fans will only have to travel slightly more than twelve miles from their home stadium to Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, and will create a high demand for tickets among Trojans fans.
The next BCS bowl that will be played will be the FedEx Orange Bowl, which will also be played on New Year’s Day. The Cincinnati Bearcats out of the Big East Conference will be one team taking part and their fans should travel well to Miami, because it will be their first appearance in a BCS bowl game. Their opponent will come from Saturday’s ACC championship game between Virginia Tech and Boston College. While both teams have strong fan bases, if Virginia Tech is able to beat BC, expect higher demand for tickets based on Virginia Tech’s closer proximity to the game.
The last three BCS bowls games remain much more in the air heading into the weekend. Two teams seemingly already have their destination set with the Utah Utes projected to go to the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Ohio State Buckeyes going to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The Buckeyes, one of the nation’s most popular teams, draw big numbers every year for their bowl games and this year will be no different.
The other four teams that will be in the BCS are set, their destinations are just unknown. The Texas Longhorns will be one of them, but their fate rests in the hands of another BCS bound team, the Oklahoma Sooners. If Oklahoma beats the Missouri Tigers in the Big XII Championship Game, then they are headed for the FedEx National Championship Game, if they lose, Texas is. Either way, those schools will draw huge numbers to the game. The Fiesta Bowl vs. Ohio State will be the consolation prize for either Texas or Oklahoma, but demand for tickets will still remain high on the secondary ticket market.
The SEC Championship Game will determine which other team will be competing for the national championship, or be visiting New Orleans to face Utah in the Sugar Bowl. The Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide are two of the heavyweights of college football and will cause ticket prices to jump with demand. It would not be a surprise if Alabama ends up drawing the highest ticket prices among all teams this bowl season as they return to prominence under Coach Nick Saban. With no national championships since 1992, excitement would be high in Tuscaloosa.
Other teams that will bring in big numbers on the secondary ticket market will include the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the LSU Tigers, no matter which bowl game they end up playing in.