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Orange Bowl Struggling To Stay Relevant

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(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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Miami Heat

MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The Discover Orange Bowl is set to kickoff Wednesday night before a less than packed house at Sun Life Stadium. The lackluster matchup is just the latest the once mighty bowl game has dealt with since the inception of the Bowl Championship Series.

Multiple reports have said both schools playing in the game, the West Virginia Mountaineers and Clemson Tigers, will lose upwards of $1 million by coming to South Florida to play in the Orange Bowl.

The game hasn’t produced much buzz in South Florida and even amongst the fans of the two teams who will play in the game.

Last month, the Washington Post reported that neither team had sold more than 7,000 tickets of the 17,500 tickets allotted to the schools.

The forced ticket sales are one of the many problems schools have to deal with when coming to a BCS game. Rules force the teams to buy the tickets at face value and hope to sell them in order to break even on that cost.

Schools run into the problem of dealing with secondary vendors like stubhub.com being able to severely undercut the prices.

For example, and this speaks as much to the quality of the opponents as it does anything, as of Wednesday you can buy lower bowl seats to the Orange Bowl for just $65.

This year’s Orange Bowl could be the worst in recent memory. The Orange Bowl was forced to select West Virginia and Clemson for the game, which is the worst matchup by BCS ranking of all of the BCS bowls.

Part of the Orange Bowl’s problem has been the usual matchup of the champion of the Big East Conference versus the champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Big East has placed just three teams into the championship game and the ACC has had just one team in the national championship game. Neither have had a team near the top of the rankings since the early part of the last decade.

Driving home a point, according to Stewart Mandel of SI.com, five BCS games have done less than a 7.0 television rating. All of them included an ACC or Big East team.

The Orange Bowl held its own amongst the BCS bowls, but since 2007, the game has not featured teams near the top of the BCS rankings. And without the intrigue of pitting a team like Oklahoma State against Stanford, the Orange Bowl has continued to suffer.

It’s a far cry from years past when the game had a storied history of deciding national championships and featured some of the best teams to ever play.

From crowning the national champion Florida State Seminoles in 1994 to the fumblerooski in the 1984 game between Nebraska and Miami, the Orange Bowl has bowl history second-to-none.

The Discover Orange Bowl is set for an 8 p.m. kickoff, plenty of good seats are available, and you can see the game on ESPN.

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