If we're headed to the Outback Bowl, we are probably going. Should we get tickets (I'll need 4) through the Bowl website or through Michigan? I'd love to sit with other Michigan fans, but I also want great seats. Thoughts?
One it supports the university and two, you will be sitting fellow UM fans.
If you want to pay full price, buy through the University. If you want really cheap tickets, try StubHub a couple days before the game.
The expected matchups are going to leave plenty of available tickets.
I was able to get cheap tix through StubHub for the Sugar Bowl last year and I would expect the same this year. We don't seem to travel as well to the Florida bowl games as we used to and South Carolina is no stranger to Florida bowl games. You could probably walk up to the box office on game day if you like paying full price for tix.
If you want tickets in hand before the game, ticket office is obviously the best choice. I would actually call the office first, and assess where the tickets are. They might a preset location and amount, which might not satisfy you. Plus, they are pretty honest about amount and location so at least you don't have to be wondering what's going on in the online system.
In all honesty, you may sweat it out, but with the way bowls have been struggling to sell tickets, you could easily wait it out to a day or two prior and even game day and find extremely good seats for a fraction of the retail cost.
In the past I have had better seats through the athletic office. At the gator bowl I got front row seats for that disaster. For the Rose Bowl in '08, I had endzone row 30'ish in the Michigan section. I actually won tickets to the Sugar Bowl from WTKA. The prices were face for the Gator and Rose. For this one, you could get a decent deal on gameday from a scalper. However, then you are risking not sitting in a Michigan section. Carolina travels very well, like most SEC fanbases. Even if you sit in a Carolina section, it is one of the nicest fanbases in the SEC (very similar to Minny/Nebraska fanbases). Just don't bring up their version of sparty, Clemson around them...(my wife's family are gamecock fans).
Two years ago, I bought Gator Bowl tickets from ticketmaster. We sat in the upper deck. I paid $400 for 4 tickets. Last year, I bought Sugar Bowl tickets from Stub Hub a week before the game. We sat field level, in the 18th row, on the 20 yard line. I paid $160 for 4 tickets.
I've used Stubhub 4 times in the past year, using both the last minute pick-up which tacks on $15 per ticket to the ticket price, and instant download that tacks on a $5 download fee, plus another fee they don't tell you about until you are just about all the way through the purchase process. It is a minimum of $5 and seems to be 10% of the purchase price (they are a bit vague as to how the fee is determined, so it might not be exactly 10%).
The instant download is super convenient. I did the pick up once, at the Sugar Bowl. It was in a room in the same hotel the football team stayed in, so right next to the stadium. It took a bit of extra time to get them, but once we found the room, it was not problem at all.