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College football notebook: Overall bowl attendances drops

| Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 8:10 p.m.

• College football bowl attendance fell by more than 2 percent in 2012-13, a decline that concerns administrators as the FBS prepares for a move to a four-team playoff system in 2014. Overall bowl attendance was down 42,391 over 35 games, an average drop of roughly 1,210 per game. Bowls drew an average of 49,224 fans per game, marking the first time that average bowl attendance was less than 50,000 since USA Today Sports began tracking the statistic in 2004-05. A few bowl games made great improvements in attendance, such as Pitt vs. Ole Miss in the BBVA Compass Bowl, which drew an additional 29,409 fans, and BYU vs. San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl, which increased its attendance by 10,835.

• Alabama tailback Eddie Lacy, cornerback Dee Milliner and right tackle D.J. Fluker are skipping their senior seasons to enter the NFL Draft after helping lead the Crimson Tide to a second straight national title.

• Arizona State coach Todd Graham added former Texas Tech interim coach Chris Thomsen to his staff as the Sun Devils' running backs coach.

• Iowa State quarterback Jared Barnett, who went from the starter to a third stringer in just over two months, decided to leave after two seasons.

• President Barack Obama called Alabama coach Nick Saban to congratulate him on another BCS championship, joking that “he and the Crimson Tide are beginning to make this a habit.” Obama noted that it was the third time he'd made the congratulatory call to the coach.

• Scott Shafer was introduced as the new coach at Syracuse, and he emotionally vowed to continue what Doug Marrone started four years ago.

—AP

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