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O/NSO: Lottery winners edition

By Greg Katz – WeAreSC.com

The Obvious: It figured that with the afterglow of the commanding victory over Notre Dame combined with the Trojans playing locally in the National University Holiday Bowl against storied Nebraska, tickets for the San Diego bowl game might become an issue.

The Not So Obvious: Given the large amount of Trojans season-ticket holders, a lottery was undertaken to find out who gets priority to purchasing Holiday Bowl tickets. On Thursday, many of those lucky cardinal and gold souls received the following by email:

“Congratulations! Due to overwhelming demand by Season Ticket Holders, we requested additional tickets to the Holiday Bowl. You have been selected to purchase the ticket(s) you requested from the Season Ticket Holder Lottery for the Holiday Bowl with USC vs. Nebraska in San Diego on Saturday, December 27, 2014.

“Your credit card will be charged after 5pm on Thursday, December 11, 2014. The tickets are $75 in the View and Lower View Level with other Trojan Season Ticket Holders.

“Your tickets will be shipped to you via FedEx the week of December 15th.   Please verify your shipping address. Changes to your shipping address must email by December 12th at 5pm. – USC Ticket Office”

The Obvious: The base price range of tickets for the Holiday Bowl is listed between $65 to $140.

The Not So Obvious: Currently on ticket outlet StubHub, the lowest Holiday Bowl ticket price is $97.68. Given the three-figure price for a ticket to a UCLA or Notre Dame game these days, a Holiday Bowl ticket is still rather reasonable and how can you beat San Diego?

The Obvious: The Holiday Bowl attendance record at Qualcomm Stadium is 65,416 (Oklahoma vs Oregon).

The Not So Obvious: However, the largest Qualcomm Stadium football crowd was 73,302 for Super Bowl XXll in 1988.

The Obvious: The 2014 Holiday Bowl between the Trojans and Cornhuskers will not determine a national champion.

The Not So Obvious: With its victory over Michigan in the 1984 Holiday Bowl, BYU completed its season undefeated and was declared national champions.

The Obvious: The Holiday Bowl has been trying for over a decade to bring the Trojans down to San Diego.

The Not So Obvious: Holiday Bowl executive director Bruce Binkowski told the hometown San Diego Tribune, “We are thrilled. We’ve been wanting ’SC in the Holiday Bowl since we began our relationship with the Pac-12 in 1998. It finally happened this year and to match them up with a team with the history of Nebraska gives us two great football teams with great tradition. We couldn’t be happier.”

The Obvious: It was well known that the Holiday Bowl was focusing in on the Trojans, and when the Trojans blew out the Irish in front of a Holiday Bowl representative it was a done deal if the Trojans were available.

The Not So Obvious: Nebraska’s rout to the 2014 Holiday Bowl far more complicated than the Trojans version.

The Obvious: According to the San Diego Tribune, it appeared that the University of Minnesota would first be the Trojans Holiday Bowl opposition.

The Not So Obvious: Minnesota was so considered the likely Holiday Bowl choice to face the Men of Troy that the San Diego bowl game used its Facebook page to present a picture of bowl representatives Ted Tollner (yes, the former Trojans head coach) and Vincent Mudd at the Big Ten Championship Game posing with Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill.

The Obvious: It took a series of events for Minnesota to be replaced by Nebraska for a Holiday Bowl invitation.

The Not So Obvious: Those events unfolded as follows: If the Orange Bowl selected a Big Ten team, then the Citrus Bowl couldn’t because they’re both in Florida. The thinking was that the Orange Bowl would gobble up Michigan State, but it instead got Mississippi State. Michigan State went to the Cotton Bowl. The Citrus Bowl then invited Minnesota and the Outback Bowl was given Wisconsin, which also had been a one-time Holiday Bowl candidate.

The Obvious: Having secured the Trojans after the Alamo Bowl took UCLA to play Kansas State, the Holiday Bowl couldn’t believe its good fortune in attracting two college football marquee and legendary programs.

The Not So Obvious: Besides getting the Trojans, the Holiday bowl was ecstatic in getting the Cornhuskers. Said Binkowski, “You don’t pass on a nine-win (Nebraska) team and you don’t pass on Nebraska. It’s as simple as that. We got them and we’re happy to have them.”

The Obvious: Every bowl game gives players gifts as part of the welcome wagon goodwill.

The Not So Obvious: As a Holiday Bowl participant, the Trojans, according to Sports Business Daily, will be allowed up to 125 players/participants to receive gifts that will include a $445 Best Buy gift card and shopping trip, Fossil watch, and a cap.

The Obvious: Last bowl season, the Trojans participated in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

The Not So Obvious: Gifts being offered this season for the 2014 Royal Purple Las Bowl (Utah vs Colorado State), according to Sports Business Daily, will include a gift suite and a Oakley Works backpack.

The Obvious: The 2015 Rose Bowl Game will host one of the College Football Playoff semifinal games, which will feature Oregon and Florida State.

The Not So Obvious: Rose Bowl “gifts” for the Ducks and Seminoles, according to Sports Business Daily, will include a gift suite, Fossil watch, Oakley Works backpack, and a New Era 59Fifty cap.

The Obvious: When it comes to money that can be spent for participants of any particular bowl, the NCAA has a monetary limit of $550 per person.

The Not So Obvious: One cost area the Trojans will won’t have to worry about by playing in the National University Holiday Bowl is air travel. Just the thought of not having to go LAX, security check-ins, and other airport nuisances is a bonus. Then, of course, sometimes that two-hour bus ride down to San Diego can be a little boring and uncomfortable.

The Obvious: And finally, Two-time Trojans All-American offensive tackle Tony Boselli was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame at a ceremony this week in New York City.

The Not So Obvious: Old No. 71 became the 40th Trojan to enter the CFHOF, and it was fitting that two other legendary Trojans in the Hall, DB Ronnie Lott and WR Lynn Swann, were there to pay tribute and usher Tony into their exclusive club.

Greg Katz
Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.

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