Over the weekend I saw a ton of twitter chatter about the Texas high school state title games, and many fans were comparing the attendance at those games to various bowl games. Normally state title game attendance and bowl game attendance couldn't possibly be uttered in the same sentence...unless you're talking about Texas, Florida or California.
That my friend, is a different story.
The R+L Carriers Bowl, which took place in New Orleans, featuring two in state teams in Louisiana-Lafayette and Tulane (with Tulane having to go just down the street) leads the way in bowl game attendance so far with attendance with 54,728. Considering the venue and the two teams involved, that one should surprise no one.
The attendance numbers from a handful of Texas state title games will make you look twice.
The Texas 5A Division I State title game between Allen HS and Pearland HS drew an impressive 54,347, and the 4A Division II and 5A Division II games both drew well over 30,000 fans. In all, five Texas high school state title games rank comparably to FBS bowl games so far.
Florida's 8A title game (9,979) and California's Open Division State Championship (16,791) also made the cut among the top 11.
To better put those attendance figures in perspective, the 54,347 that attended the Texas 5A Division I State title game tops the 2012 average attendance reported to the NCAA for the Pac-12, ACC, Big East, Mountain West, C-USA, Sun Belt, WAC, MAC and the Independents. Only the SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 averaged more fans.
That is insane.
Here's a full look at the top 11 bowl / state title game attendances through this past weekend.
1. R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: 54,728
2. Texas Class 5A Division I State Championship: 54,347
3. Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: 42,178
4. Texas Class 4A Division II State Championship: 33,745
5. Texas Class 5A Division II State Championship: 30,285
6. Gildan New Mexico Bowl: 27,104
7. Texas Class 3A Division II State Championship: 22,701
8. Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: 21,951
9. Texas 4A Division I State Championship: 20,142
10. California Open Division State Champinship: 16,791
11. Florida Class 8A State Championship: 9,979