Ticket sales for Iowa's second trip to the desert in as many seasons is outselling last year but it's not the hottest ticket among Big Ten bowl teams. Iowa has sold 6,200 of their allotted 11,000. Wisconsin is the only team thus far already selling out their allotment. Michigan is close selling 15,000 of 17,500 tickets. Nebraska has sold 75% of their tickets, Illinois and Penn State are struggling to get sell theirs.
The Sooners have reported about 6,000 tickets sold from their allotment. Both teams received 11,000. Last year OU sold about the same number for the Fiesta Bowl but had a larger allotment of 17,500.
These numbers don't always represent a true fan count. I bought two tickets to the Insight.com Bowl and did so through the official Fiesta/Insight website. Both Iowa and the official site for the Insight charge a "service charge" but it's less if you purchase from the official Insight website. In retrospect I should have purchased through Iowa but I'm cheap and two bucks is two bucks. I've also read that purchases from Iowa directly don't include a service charge but once I proceeded with the check-out there was a $20 charge included. I didn't go forward and am unsure if it was waived. Perhaps I am an idiot and in that case ignore this paragraph.
Iowa fought for their selection by the Insight.com Bowl committee. Marc Morehouse writes that Gary Barta "wanted the keep the Insight's attention." Barta sent a promotional flier to Insight reps that inlcuded:
53,888, the record attendance Iowa and Missouri attracted to 2010′s Insight Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe
Despite having to go head-to-head against the National Football League on television, the ESPN broadcast of the 2010 Insight Bowl featuring the Iowa Hawkeyes recorded a 2.24 rating, a whopping 460 percent increase over the 2009 broadcast available on the NFL Network. The 2010 rating was just shy of the event's average rating of 2.4 over 18 events
The flier, if you care to read it, is included in Morehouse's post.
Mike Hlas has a follow-up to Morehouse's post that says that despite Barta's efforts, the real reason Iowa is in Tempe is Jerry Sandusky. Mike is right and he breaks down Barta's numbers. Barta and Ferentz didn't discuss the Penn State matter at the press conference following the announcement of bowl pairings. It was the typical "we're happy to..." from Iowa's AD. Hlas concludes with the truth that is,
The reason was the sludge that Penn State is dragging around because of Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of children. Had that not seen the light of day before Dec. 4 when the bowl-pairings were set, Iowa would be preparing to play Texas A&M in the Meineke.
Barta lobbied for a match-up with Baylor or Texas and has to be happy that the opponent is Oklahoma. Even with the disappointing season in Norman the Sooners are still an exciting adversary. And there's that Stoops-Iowa storyline.
About Stoops, Guerin Emig, of Tulsa World writes that he may be getting soft. In fact, Emig wrote,
There are fans/boosters/ticket-buyers who claim money and time have turned Stoops soft. That he doesn't stew over less-than-desirable results, and doesn't work as maniacally to correct them
Emig's piece is a "stab at OU's woes." Emig believes that OU isn't set to become the Duke football of the Big 12 but "recovering from the 2011 season will be a process." Holy shit Emig, you're 9-3 and ranked #19 in the country.
Travis Haney, at NewsOK, writes that the sky isn't quite falling yet at Oklahoma. Haney says,
I'll tell ya what's going on at OU: It set out to win a national title, and now it's playing in the Insight Bowl. Regardless of the circumstances, there's fallout from that
Haney attempts to calm the fan base by ensuring that Stoops will make changes and that transfers happen every year. "It's normal" writes Haney and he's right.
Iowa's game with Oklahoma has been picked as one of the best non-BCS bowl games to watch by Yahoo writer Dave Miller. He gives a brief breakdown of the game and says that despite OU's underwhelming defense Iowa still can't be one dimensional on offense.
Other links of interest:
- Craig James for Senative
- Round-up of football post season honors
- NFL draft scouting report on Mike Daniels
- Pleasant Valley holds a dodgeball tournament to raise money for Brett Greenwood
- Anthony Morgan knew he wanted to be a Hawkeye his junior year
- Couples donation will help fund Iowa football scholarships
- Great moments in Hawkeye bowl history
- Rough season to be an OU running back
- LSU Championship bounce
- Karl Klug continues his impressive rookie season
- The officiating crew for the Insight are Pac-12
- Trouble in Soonertown? (message board rumors are fun)