Everything’s bigger in Texas…even the crowds at high school football games.
Fans around the state flocked in bunches to AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, to watch Allen High top Pearland High, 63-28, to win its second straight 5A Division I Texas State Championship on Saturday. The official numbers showed that 54,347 were in attendance, setting a new state and national record for high school football, via the Houston Chronicle’s Angel Verdejo.
But while the number is impressive on its own, Fox Sports’ Clay Travis raised an interesting point:
He’s not too far off.
Saturday was not a great attendance day for bowl games. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl thriller between Colorado State and Washington State drew in only 27,104 while the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl fared worse, bringing in 21,951.
Even a Top 25 showdown between No. 25 USC and No. 20 Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl fell short at 42,178.
|5A Div. I Texas State Championship||Dec. 21||54,347|
|Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl||Dec. 21||42,178|
|4A Div. I Texas State Championship||Dec. 20||33,745|
|Gildan New Mexico Bowl||Dec. 21||27,104|
|Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Dec. 21||21,951|
And let’s not forget the Class 4A Texas State Championship between Brennan High and Denton Guyer High on Friday:
But that's not the only weird attendance anomaly of the day for college football:
That 2013 Sugar Bowl featured No. 3-ranked Florida and Big East champion Louisville while Saturday's R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl pitted regional favorites Louisiana-Lafayette and Tulane against each other.
All in all, these figures continue an embarrassing trend in college football. Last year's average bowl game attendance (49,222) dropped to its lowest mark since 1978-79.
But let’s give Texas fans some credit too.
It’s no secret that the state loves its high school football. The passion and enthusiasm for the game inspired the movie Friday Night Lights and the TV series that followed soon after.
Either way, this isn’t the kind of publicity college football was hoping for on the opening day of its bowl season.
All attendance numbers courtesy of NCAA.com.