The economy is slowing even Iowa Hawkeye football fans.
Iowa fans bought 18,000 and 20,000 tickets for the school’s Outback appearances against Florida following the 2003 and ’05 regular seasons. This year Iowa has sold 12,700 tickets.
“It’s down a lot,” Iowa ticket director Pam Finke told The State, the daily newspaper of Columbia, S.C. “We were out of tickets last time.”
It’s slightly less than 500 miles from Columbia to Outback Bowl site Tampa, Fla., but that doesn’t mean South Carolina fans are stampeding to the ticket windows, either.
Carolina fans bought 25,000 and 20,000 tickets, respectively, to watch USC’s Outback Bowl wins over Ohio State after the 2000 and ’01 regular seasons.
As of Friday, USC had sold about 9,000 of its 11,000-ticket allotment for the Outback Bowl, according to Eric Hyman, the school’s athletics director. That includes up to 1,500 seats the athletics department purchased.
“The slowdown has impacted everyone, except maybe Florida and Alabama,” Hyman said.
The link to The State’s story:
Things are tough in Columbia these days. Not everyone in town has the money to go to the Outback Bowl. A lot of people don’t have jobs. This piece from Sunday’s New York Times looks at a city hit hard by hard times:
On another front, new Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin isn’t afraid to steal from Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina football program or take any guff from USC people, including Spurrier himself.
Kiffin hired quarterbacks coach John Reaves from Carolina a couple weeks ago, and landed Gamecocks strength coach Mark Smith last Friday.
The Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier reported that even before Kiffin was introduced as Tennessee’s coach, Kiffin and Reaves were working fiercely on the recruiting trail. That included talking to prospects, such as Tampa running back Jarvis Giles, wh had committed to Carolina.
Spurrier openly questioned whether Kiffin had taken his NCAA certification test, required before he could legally recruit. Kiffin said when he was hired that he had in fact taken the test.
“If Steve’s concerned about my test, I got a 39 out of 40,” Kiffin said. “I’d like to see what he got.”
They play for keeps in the SEC.