Report: LSU to play in Rose Bowl

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU fans are buying Rose Bowl tickets in droves, gobbling up 32,000 pre-sale orders at $135 per ticket even though their Tigers have not yet been officially invited to the game.

Baton Rouge television station WAFB reported that No. 5 LSU will play in the Rose Bowl presented by Citi on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Calif. The station, citing information from a member of the Rose Bowl Board who spoke on the condition of anonymity, reported the Tigers will play either Michigan or Southern California.

"That's not true," Rose Bowl CEO Mitch Dorger told the Shreveport Times on Wednesday night. "We have not made any final decisions at all. I think some people have gone out on a limb and are making assumptions. We will make our decision on Sunday."

LSU athletic director Skip Bertman also would not confirm the report.

But none of that seemed to matter to LSU fans itching for a trip to Pasadena. More than 16,000 tickets for the Rose Bowl were pre-sold between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday night, LSU ticket manager Brian Broussard told the Shreveport Times, bringing the total of LSU Rose Bowl pre-sales to 32,000.

The school said on its athletics Web site that it is also taking orders for the FedEx Orange Bowl and the Capital One Bowl. On its athletics Web site, the school said it has 19,500 ticket requests for the Orange Bowl and another 17,000 for the Capital One Bowl.

LSU, which went 10-2 in the regular season but finished tied for second in the Southeastern Conference West Division, would become the first SEC team to play in the Rose Bowl since Alabama in 1946.

If the second-ranked Trojans beat UCLA on Saturday, they almost certainly would finish second in the Bowl Championship Series standings and play No. 1 Ohio State in the national championship game in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 8.

A USC victory would also relegate third-ranked Michigan to the Rose Bowl, where it was thought the Wolverines might get a rematch with No. 12 Notre Dame.

SportsTicker contributed to this story.