The 2013 Sugar Bowl, played in New Orleans, Louisiana on Jan. 2, finds head coach Charlie Strong leading heavy underdog, No. 22 Louisville, against a team he previously served as defensive coordinator for, No. 3 Florida, who under second-year head coach Will Muschamp, finally proved relevant again in 2012 after downing four top 12 teams in the final BCS standings en route to a 11-1 record.
Sugar Bowl tickets are currently average $152, the highest median asking price since a 2010 match up between the Gators and the Cincinnati Bearcats (average prices that year hovered just under $150). Currently, the get-in price sits at $7, which is clearly a bargain.
That leaves this year's contest in New Orleans the second-least expensive of the BCS bowl games to attend, with only the 2013 Orange Bowl in Miami, featuring Northern Illinois and Florida State, providing college football fans a cheaper alternative (tickets currently are averaging $140 per person).
If a 25% drop in price of tickets to attend the 2013 Sugar Bowl over the last week or so is indicative of things to come, additional value may also be found in waiting closer to the first of the year to invest in entry to the game.
Those making the decision to attend the game should find itan entertaining, though perhaps lop-sided affair, with the Cardinals, who started 9-0 on the year before dropping back-to-back games to contests to Syracuse and Connecticut and narrowly earned a share of the Big East title with a 20-17 win at Rutgers, looking to benefit from the playmaking abilities of conference offensive player of the year, Teddy Bridgewater, at quarterback.
Bridgewater finished the 2012 regular season passing for 3,452 yards and 24 touchdowns and, despite a broken wrist and injured ankle, was essential in helping Louisville eke out a victory on the road over the Scarlet Knights in late November that ultimately awarded the Cardinals the Big East's automatic BCS bid.
Of course, Bridgewater and the rest of his offensive teammates face a significant challenge in moving the ball against Florida's defense, a unit that currently ranks third nationally in points allowed (12.9 per game) and has given up just five passing touchdowns on the year while accounting for an outstanding 19 interceptions.
The Gators also host plenty of talent on the offensive side of theball, where running back Mike Gillislee earned all-SEC honors after rushing for 1104 yards and 10 touchdowns in this, his senior campaign, and sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel has provided a stable and efficient present as a dual-threat weapon under center.
Gillislee, in particular, should find success as the focal point of head coach Will Muschamp's offensive game plan against Louisville, a team which finished seventh out of eight teams in the Big East in rush defense after surrendering 174.6 yards a game on the ground.
Louisville makes its first BCS bowl appearance since 2007, when it defeated Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl, while Florida, in a twist of irony, represents the SEC in a BCS game this year despite falling to Georgia back in October and failing to make the SEC Championship Game against AlabamaAlabama at the start of December.
The Gators and Cardinals have meet twice before, the first time in 1980, the second in 1992, with Florida emerging victorious in both contests.