It's Monday and we've had a week of bowls. We've played 18 games so far, from New Orleans to Detroit to the Bahamas. And the crowds were....they were.....uhhh, well people did show up.
Until Saturday the 27th, there wasn't a ranked team playing in any of those games. Last Saturday, Arizona State (No. 15) played in the Hyundai Sun Bowl (Hyundai paid a lot for that title so I'll give it to'em) against Duke in El Paso. And USC (No. 24) played our B1G compadre Nebraska in the National University Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
'Twas the day after Christmas.....
Let's look first at the day after Christmas, Rutgers' bowl day. The Quick Lane Bowl drew the smallest crowd of the three games played at 23,866 announced. For its part, RU sold a bunch of those tickets, accounting for about 20% of the total by my casual mathematics. Everyone said it was a tough sell: Detroit (which really isn't a bad place to go), day after Christmas, looking at ttfp go to "our" Pinstripe Bowl. But all things considered, the attendance wasn't that bad.
On the same day, the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl drew 31,297. A bigger total, you say. But Louisiana Tech was in that bowl, a team which plays its football just 252 miles from the Cotton Bowl. And UCF was playing in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, a mere two hour drive away. That game against NC State pulled in 26,675. Rutgers total at the Quick Lane Bowl doesn't look bad at all.
|Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl
||Illinois 18, Louisiana Tech 35
|Quick Lane Bowl||Rutgers 40,. North Carolina 21||23,876|
|Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl||NC State 34, UCF 27||26,675|
'Twas the week before Christmas.....plus a little
Any bowl played prior to last weekend was considered by many as a "lesser" bowl. The attendance tended to show that. The average attendance for those thirteen bowls was 25,998, including a high of 34,014 at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (orange on chart) and a low of 13,667 at the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (dark blue). The New Orleans Bowl featured Louisiana Lafayette, just around the corner (two hours) from NOLA. Meanwhile, the Bahamas Bowl - a very entertaining game, by the way - featured a game that was over five hours away by plane from its farthest participating team's home. And that was over $800 round trip.
'Twas ('Twere?) the games where you might have an easier time getting there....
Good weather on the east coast should have helped games in the Bronx (53/Sunny at KO) and Annapolis (50/Sunny), and it did. The five games on December 27 drew a total of 225,129 fans for an average of 45,026 The thirteen games before the 27th drew 337,972, an average of 25,998.
Play the day after Christmas and you average 27,283. Play two days after the holiday and the average jumps to 45,026. Of course, you're plugging ttfp into that equation at Yankee Stadium, Virginia Tech playing in Maryland, and USC playing in San Diego. Better match ups, better followings, close proximity and the numbers do dance upward.
And now for something completely different.....
Guess which state has the most bowl wins? You know, which state had the most schools that have won bowls this year. You could guess California or Texas, but you'd be wrong. Through games of 12/27, the states with the most wins are Louisiana (La Tech and La-Lafayette) and Utah (Utah and Utah State).
We'll look at the rest of the games, including the New Year's Six and the CFP, next week. Happy New Year!