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Uninvited, but LSU fans eye Rose Bowl tickets

LSU fans are buying Rose Bowl tickets in droves, gobbling up 32,000 presale orders at $135 per ticket even though their Tigers have not yet been officially invited to the game.

Baton Rouge television station WAFB reported that No. 5 LSU will play in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif. The station reported the Tigers will play either Michigan or Southern Cal, whichever one does not go to the BCS title game.

"That's not true," Rose Bowl CEO Mitch Dorger told the Shreveport Times on Wednesday. "We have not made any final decisions at all. I think some people have gone out on a limb and are making assumptions. We will make our decision on Sunday."

LSU athletic director Skip Bertman also would not confirm the report.

But none of that seemed to matter to LSU fans itching for a trip to Pasadena. More than 16,000 tickets for the Rose Bowl were presold between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday night, LSU ticket manager Brian Broussard told the Shreveport Times, bringing the total of LSU Rose Bowl presales to 32,000.

The school said on its Web site that it is also taking orders for the Orange Bowl and the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. The school said it has 19,500 ticket requests for the Orange Bowl and 17,000 for the Capital One Bowl.

OSU students miffed at small allotment

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State students are upset the university did not set aside enough tickets for them when it divvied up its allotment for the national championship game.

Students got 1,100 tickets for the Jan. 8 game in Glendale, Ariz. Meanwhile, the largest amount - about 5,000 - went to donors and sponsors. The rest of the school's 16,000 tickets were divided among various groups, including the athletic department, university administration, the alumni association and the marching band.

About 6,000 of Ohio State's nearly 52,000 students entered a lottery this week to try to win the right to buy one of the student tickets.

"They want us to be the 'best fans in the world,' and I guess we had better be because they will only be sending a thousand of us," senior Jeff Sferro said.

Athletic director Gene Smith said: "No group will get the amount of tickets that they are requesting. Between the students, staff and (booster) club members, we have far more requests than tickets available."

C-USA TITLE GAME: For Houston, tonight's league title game against Southern Mississippi marks the end of a long journey back to respectability. The Cougars went 0-11 in 2001 and hired former Cougar Art Briles two years later. Briles brought a wide-open offense from Stephenville High and lured Kevin Kolb, the quarterback he coached there. Now, 9-3 Houston has its highest win total since 1990 and Kolb is the school's all-time passing leader.

ARKANSAS: Coach Houston Nutt said his staff was taking into account the differences between the defenses of last week's opponent, LSU, and Saturday's opponent, the Gators.

"LSU's inside players may be a little bit stronger, bigger guys, but Florida's ends and secondary (have) great speed and great athleticism," Nutt said.

N.C. STATE: Steelers coach Bill Cowher, a former Wolfpack linebacker, ended speculation he was a candidate to replace Chuck Amato as coach. "I'm not a candidate. ... You can take me off the list. I am flattered."

VIRGINIA: The school will not exercise an option to extend the contract of coach Al Groh, leaving him with four years left on his deal.