Can Oregon chart a course back to the BCS title game? That question could be answered Saturday when the Ducks play Louisiana State in Arlington, Tex. A loss would saddle the team for the rest of the season — a damning blow to any talk of winning the BCS title. A victory springboards the Ducks to the top of the heap.
Click the image to enlarge. Thanks to Rachael and Landon.
The Wiz of Odds is conducting a comprehensive study of bowl game expense reports. All of the data collected — expense reports for 56 teams and bowl surveys for 40 teams — are being posted on the site. Here is the latest installment. For an overview of the project, click here.
The Bowl Championship Series title game is a stand-alone entity staged by one of the four BCS bowl organizations annually. The Rose, Sugar, and Orange fund the game through their 501(c)(3) organizations. The Fiesta has a special-purpose 501(c)(3) called the Arizona College Football Championship Foundation used to present the title game every four years. Thus, the classification is always 501(c)(3) (or public charity). The first game was played in 1999.
2011 participants: Oregon and Auburn.
Oregon expenses: Tickets to the title game ranged from $200 to $325 and the Ducks reported 1,761 absorbed tickets at a cost of $555,575. Total expenses were reportedly $2.54 million. Oregon's official party — the team, coaching staff, band, cheerleaders, faculty and athletics department personnel — numbered 493. That’s below the norm of 568. Download Oregon Expenses
Survey: Athletic director Rob Mullens indicated he was "very satisfied" on nearly every category. But when asked about location of seats, the number of ticket purchases required and cost of game tickets, he downgraded to "satisfied." Download Oregon Survey
Auburn expenses: The Tigers reported absorbing 2,456 tickets at a cost of $781,825. Total expenses were listed at $2.9 million. Auburn’s travel party of 938 was the largest among the 56 expense reports obtained by The Wiz of Odds. Download Auburn Expenses
Survey: Athletic directors had six choices on the surveys: excellent, very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied and very dissatisfied. Jay Jacobs indicated he was "satisfied" on every question but four. He was "neutral" on the number of ticket purchases required, cost of tickets and the condition of the practice and playing field. He rated the overall bowl experience "excellent." Download Auburn Survey
Auburn's Bowl Championship Series title came at a deep cost.
The university reported a loss of $614,106 for its nine-day trip to Glendale, Ariz. The Tigers weren't alone. Oregon, Auburn's opponent in the game, reported a deficit of $285,437 for its 10-day stay.
Ticket-allotment issues were once again at the center of the financial setbacks.
Auburn lost $781,825 because it withheld 2,456 tickets from its allotment of 17,400. Oregon, according to the Birmingham News, lost $555,575 because it withheld 1,761 of its 17,400 tickets.
Schools withhold tickets and keep them from public sale in order to meet demands of staff, the families of players and coaches and the band. Thus, the tickets become an expense for the university.
Auburn and Oregon were not alone in losing money. Kentucky reported a loss of $253,396 for its trip to the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham. The school was required to purchase 10,000 tickets and sold only 4,460. That led to a loss of $276,740 in unsold tickets.
Pittsburgh, the Wildcats' opponent in Birmingham, declined to provide its report. The school did say it distributed approximately 2,500 of its 10,000 tickets.