BCS Anticipation

Cougar Fever: Ticket lines at Houston stretch down the street for Conference USA title game

Cougar Fever: Ticket lines at Houston stretch down the street for Conference USA title game

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The line for student tickets to Saturday's Conference USA Championship game stretch well down the street. Photo by Angel Love/Twitpic
Case Keenum pass
Case Keenum's helped bring about Cougar fever.
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Case Keenum pass

It's the type of sight you see at Duke before a big basketball game or at LSU before a major football game — and it's at the University of Houston.

UH students are standing in long, snaking lines this Monday — after some camped out overnight to be near the front of the queue — for the chance to buy a ticket to Saturday afternoon's Conference USA Championship Game at Robertson Stadium. For Cougars coach Kevin Sumlin, who has cajoled and sometimes downright pleaded for sellout crowds befitting an undefeated Top 10 team, the scene must look like downright nirvana.

This is what the big time looks like and it's come to Cullen Boulevard. Forget begging for bodies. Now nobody can keep people away.

The general public online sale for tickets to Saturday's game started Friday night and sold out by Saturday morning. Student tickets went on sale at 8 a.m. Monday morning and the entire game became a sellout before nightfall. Sellers on StubHub — the national online secondary market ticket giant — are already asking for $295 per seat for the 100 level seats that are practically right on top of the field at quaint Robertson.

 This is what the big time looks like and it's come to Cullen Boulevard. Forget begging for bodies. Now nobody can keep people away. 

That's not quite the $300-plus that people asked for the ESPN College GameDay-hyped game with SMU, but considering this championship game wasn't set until Houston rolled by Tulsa Friday afternoon and the game has an unusually early 11 a.m. kickoff for TV, those prices are still telling. The lines of students that stretched out of the Alumni/Athletics Center Monday says even more.

Case Keenum and The Coogs are hot and everyone wants a spot on the bandwagon.

Now up to No. 6 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, Houston (12-0) only needs to beat No. 24 Southern Mississippi (10-2) Saturday at home to secure an $18 million BCS bowl berth.

College sports numbers guru Jerry Palm is projecting that UH will play Michigan in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 3 if it wins the Conference USA title game. The Orange Bowl (vs. the ACC Champion in Miami on Jan. 4) and Fiesta Bowl (vs. the Big 12 champion Jan. 2 in Arizona) are also possibilities for Case and The Coogs, though not as likely.