Best of the Bowls (10 through 6)

The bowl lineup is out and there are so many good match-ups, they’re impossibly to choose from – so I did just that. From the BCS National Championship to the GoDaddy Bowl, there’s a good time to be had watching football this bowl season. We ranked the Top 10 bowls, starting from….

#10  Poinsettia Bowl – December 26, 6:30 PM

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That’s right, this Northern Illinois vs. Utah State game is on the list. The Huskies went 12-1 and came so close to playing in another bowl game, but they lost in the MAC Championship Game to Bowling Green. Utah State has a great defense and should give N. Iliinois QB and Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch all they can handle.

#9 Capital One Bowl – January 1, 1:00 PM

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This match-up could have easily been a BCS game, but South Carolina vs. Wisconsin is a treat for those that will be in attendance at the Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando. The Badgers have one of the best running games in the country, but will go up against a defensive line that has Jadeveon Clowney and Kelcy Quarles bearing down on them on every attempt. Melvin Gordon and James White will have their hands full get that 6.6 yards per carry against the Gamecocks.

#8 Orange Bowl – January 3, 8:30 PM

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The team that was oh-so-close to playing in the National Championship has ended up in the Orange Bowl, as the Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the Clemson Tigers. Clemson finished second in their division to Florida State, and has the always-explosive Taj Boyd back firing on all cylinders after a rocky mid-season stretch. The last time Clemson was in the Orange Bowl, they allowed 70 points to West Virginia. They want to make that a distant memory with a win over Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes.

#7 Liberty Bowl – December 31, 4:00 PM

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Rice won its first conference title since 1957 and will be playing in a bowl for the second consecutive time, which they also hadn’t done since 1960-61. Trying to spoil the Owls good time is Mississippi State, who was also not picked to have the best of seasons in 2013. Both teams have stout, hard-nosed defenses that will likely make this one of the lowest-scoring, yet close and entertaining games of the bowl season.

#6 New Orleans Bowl – December 21, 8:00 PM

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It’s basically a home game for Tulane, but Louisiana-Lafayette is just up the highway so a large amount of fans for both schools should be in attendance for this one. The Green Wave haven’t been in a bowl game since 2002, while the Ragin’ Cajuns are making their third consecutive appearance in the bowl, winning the last two. Tulane is led by Nick Montana, son of Hall of Famer Joe Montana, and the Green Wave defense has forced 33 turnovers this season. This will be a close one, and Vegas agree with a current line at Pick’em.

The 2014 Outback Bowl — Preview, Tickets and More

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The Outback Bowl has two iconic college football schools participating this year as the LSU Tigers will face the Iowa Hawkeyes on January 1st at Raymond James Stadium. LSU finished the season at 9-3, with key victories over Auburn, Texas A&M and Arkansas. Iowa is at 8-4, and their biggest wins over the season came over Iowa State, Michigan and Nebraska. It was a tough Big Ten schedule for the Hawkeyes, as they finished 4-1 in the Legends division but drew games against the top two teams in the Leaders division as well.

LSU will be without their star QB Zach Mettenberger for the game, as the team leader went down with a torn ACL that ended his college football career. It’s a big loss for the Tigers, but Anthony Jenkins is a duel-threat quarterback that could give Iowa all kinds of problems as well. The loss of Mettenberger also puts more weight on the shoulders of running back Jeremy Hill, who has 1185 yards and 14 touchdowns so far this season.

On the flip side, Jake Rudock has beed solid for an Iowa team that thought it might have some struggles at the QB position. The sophomore has 2281 yards and 18 touchdowns and has exceeded expectations. Both teams have a solid defense, and especially with Mettenberger out, this game could turn out to be dominated by the defenses.

Looking for Outback Bowl tickets? Get them from TicketCity using code OUTBACK and get $10 off your order of $200 or more.

World Cup 2014 – Groups, Tickets and More

The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro

The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro

 

While it feels like only yesterday we saw such memorable moments like Siphiwe Tshabalala’s opening goal for South Africa, Landon Donovan’s winner against Algeria and Spain lifting the cup for the first time ever – we’re about to experience the excitement of World Cup soccer all over again. It’s only six months away, and the excitement has built up in every nation sending their team to the biggest sporting stage on earth.

Coming with all the hype and excitement of the 2014 World Cup is the demand for tickets. FIFA received over 6 million requests for tickets, with applications coming in from over 200 countries. There are only 32 countries playing in the tournament, so it goes to show the appeal of the beautiful game on such a big stage.  TicketCity has 2014 World Cup tickets on sale now, as well as World Cup packages that include a hotel stay in Rio de Janeiro. Tickets are hard to come by, so don’t wait until the last minute to grab yours as the games/countries you want to see could be all gone by then.

Rio de Janeiro is one of the great cities of the world, and if Russia or Qatar aren’t your cup of tea, this may be your last chance to see the World Cup in person until 2026 at the earliest. Look at the bright side, we’ll all have hovercrafts by then, right?

The groups have been drawn, and now the guessing game begins. Who is in this tournament’s ‘group of death’? Who will be the surprise team, and who will shockingly be eliminated early? Let’s take a look at a few of the more interesting groups.

Group A (Brazil, Mexico, Croatia, Cameroon)

This is Brazil’s group to win, and they’re favored to win the whole thing. Brazil in front of its home crowd is tough to beat, and I don’t think anyone in this group will be able to.  Mexico, who snuck into the World Cup, will be looking for wins over Croatia and Cameroon to advance. Croatia is a strong side, led by Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic and Real Madrid’s Luka Modric. The Mexico vs. Croatia game will be one of the more interesting games of the tournament.

Group D (Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy)

The teams in this group have won a combined eight World Cup titles, and this could very well be the most competitive group this time around. Uruguay made it to the semi-finals in 2010, and striker Luis Suarez is ripping apart the Premier League. Italy won the tournament as recently as 2006, and will Mario Balotelli featuring up top, they have every opportunity to keep pace with Uruguay. England is a Jekyll-and-Hyde type team, as they have some great talent but haven’t been able to put together a full tournament recently. Wayne Rooney’s form this summer could play a big role in who advances out of this group. The last time Italy played England was in the semi-finals of the 2012 Euros, where Italy won the game in penalty kicks.

Group G (Germany, Portugal, Ghana, USA)

This group is tough. Germany is one of the best teams in the world from top to bottom, and could win the whole thing. They’ll face Portugal to start it off, which will be a tough match up for both countries. Cristiano Ronaldo could take over the game by himself, but the Germany defensive line is strong so it might not be as easy as he’s used to in La Liga. The U.S. will be seeing a familiar foe in Ghana, who has knocked the Americans out of the last two World Cups. There’s a lot of possibilities in this group, and if the U.S. can make its way though, they’re actually set up nicely for a deep run.

Votes are in! November’s #RightToBrag Contest Winner

#RTB NOV Winner

November brought in a ton of brag-worthy submissions and great team spirit, but there was only one person who showed they have great support behind them…Congrats to @ohgoshjosh69!

Thanks to everyone who shared their photos with us! Others who got a ton of votes and attention include: @doddobdobber, @samnorton_30, @leolink1 and @golferallan! See their great pictures below:

@samnorton_30

@samnorton_30

#RTB NOV runup2

@doddobdobber

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F1 tickets are finally here with a day to spare before getting down to Texas. #F1 #circuitoftheamericas – @leolink1

#RTB NOV runup4

Its happening! So stoked, early Christmas! Jacked! #COTA #f1 #kimiraikkonen #Austin – @golferallen

 

Be sure to follow @TicketCity on Instagram & keep submitting your photos to win. The #righttobrag contest will run until the end of December, with a different person chosen to receive the  $250 gift card!

Toyota Center Event Guide – Rockets Game Day

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The Toyota Center gives you a great view from any point in the arena.

With basketball season beginning to take form, I figured I would touch on one of the hottest teams in the NBA; the Houston Rockets. Though we all saw Dwight Howard’s impact do nothing for the Lakers last year, Houston fans seem to all be on board with his addition to a Rockets team that is starting to look like the real deal. As the Rockets begin to bring Houston back in to playoff relevance the Toyota Center begins to reach capacity more and more these days which makes it a great topic of discussion.

Let’s start with pre-game. Unbeknownst to many Houston Texans fans, tailgating is primarily a football tradition leaving the parking lot at the Toyota Center to be just that. Instead Rockets fans are usually scouring the streets and bars near the Toyota Center in preparation of tip off. The B.U.S. is a fairly close sports bar that always seems to bring in the crowd before and after games. The B.U.S. is a moderately priced bar but is a great spot to start a Rockets or Astros game. The atmosphere is pretty laid back and calm though things can get pretty crazy when the Mavericks or Spurs come to town. If you are looking for something a little more upscale you’ve got The Grove, III Forks, and Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse all within less than a mile of the Toyota Center.

One thing that helps the Toyota Center remain a top NBA Venue is the parking. There is a huge garage that is actually connected to the Toyota Center allowing for easy entrance and exit. Even if you miss out on the 2,500 space garage the streets are littered with more than 10,000 other spots well within walking distance to the game. If you are coming from out of town, enjoy an easy walk from any of the numerous hotels surrounding the Toyota Center. The Embassy Suites, Hilton, Four Seasons, and Holiday Inn Express are all within a block of the Toyota Center making them prime spots for your stay in Houston for a Rockets game.

The Toyota Center is up there with the biggest of NBA Venues and can hold over 18,000 basketball fans. Like most basketball arena’s the Toyota Center has an all-around great view of the court. If you’re looking to get up close and personal with the players I would recommend getting in the lower arena level where you feel like you’re on the court and get a feel for just how massive the players are. Depending on the game and section this area will usually run you anywhere from $60 to a couple hundred but guaranteed to be money well spent. Once you get up into the upper level sections your view will be hindered slightly but far from a bad seat (remember these guys are huge). The good news is you won’t pay nearly as much. Rarely will you not be able to get into one of these sections for less than $100 a seat. There are some club sections in the upper level and those will run at a little bit of a higher rate, but grabbing ticket in the 400’s of the Toyota Center is a great way to catch the Rockets play for cheap.

Some of the biggest games this season at the Toyota Center will be when the Dallas Mavericks come to H-town on December 23 and the San Antonio Spurs in January and April. The Rockets have been making moves all year in preparation for this season and it’s looking to be a special year for Houston’s basketball scene.