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2023 Bowman Chrome University Football Could Explode When Fanatics Takes Over Hobby…But Not Yet [Checklist Added]

Bowman Chrome University Football 2023 seems to be finding its stride and is returning again this season to bring some of the biggest collegiate football stars to cards, featuring Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Shadeur Sanders, Marvin Harrison Jr., and more.

Here’s our analysis of the good, the bad, and whether or not you should consider investing. 

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2023 Bowman Chrome University Football product introduction 

This product is set to be released on October 13th and boxes are pre-ordering for just $109.95. With that, you’re getting 24 packs of 4 cards

Bowman Chrome University debuted in 2021 but didn’t pick up any measurable steam until last season, when it became a licensed NCAA product and began using college logos on the cards. 

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Fanatics/Topps is treating this product the same way Bowman functions in baseball cards: as a way to introduce “prospects” to the hobby before their professional debut. And, of course, mark their very first cards with the increasingly more iconic “Bowman 1st” logo.

Bowman Chrome University Football launched for the first time in 2021-22 and it has been met with a lukewarm reception. That box, which was pre-ordering for around $200, fell all the way to below $50 before rallying back up to around $100 (at the time of writing). The 2023 version of the box is one of our top 10 releases for the month of October.

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What to expect from 2022-23 Bowman Chrome University Football

Bowman Chrome University maintains the same basic makeup as the previous year’s: Each box offers 4 cards per pack and 24 packs per box.

It’s quite a few cards for $109.99, but what do you get?

Per Topps, expect to find the following in each box:

  • 2 Chrome Prospect Autographs
  • 4 Chrome Prospect Refractor Parallels
  • 1 Chrome Prospect Shimmer Refractor Parallels
  • 3+ Base Color Parallels or Image Variation

2022-23 Bowman Chrome University Football

The inserts are about the same as last year, but none of them are really money-makers. Here’s a list.

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  • 1955 Bowman Football (1:6 Packs): This is a new insert pulling from the early days of Bowman and reserved for some of the bigger stars in the game.
  • Ramblin’ Man (1:8 Packs): The most elusive, athletic, hole-hitting, ball-spiking skill players ramblin’ their way around the field get their moment to shine with this all-new insert!
  • Bowman Unexpected Delights Early Risers (1:12 packs): Stems from Topps asking, “Hmm, can we have an insert name with 12 syllables?” I think this is for unexpected breakout stars. 
  • Big Kahuna (1:288 Packs): This has been the SP insert since the products been released. It’s a tropical-themed card, for whatever reason.
  • Saturday Superstars (Limited to 200): This is the new toughest pull. It also comes with a red refractor and 1/1 superfractor.

This product has tons of color, too. Per Topps, the base parallels include:

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  • Refractor – 1:6 Packs
  • X-Fractor – 1:12 packs
  • Shimmer Refractor – 1 per Hobby Box – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Stealth Refractor – 1 per Breaker Box – Breaker Exclusive!
  • Purple Refractor Parallel – #’d to 399
  • Purple Mini-Diamonds Refractor Parallel – #’d to 399
  • Aqua Refractor Parallel – #’d to 299
  • Blue Refractor Parallel – #’d to 199
  • Fuchsia Mini-Diamonds Refractor Parallel – #’d to 150
  • Green Refractor – #’d to 99
  • Green Shimmer Refractor – #’d to 99 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Yellow Refractor Parallel – #’d to 75
  • Gold Refractor Parallel – #’d to 50
  • Gold Shimmer Refractor – #’d to 50 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Orange Stealth Refractor – #’d to 25 – Breaker Exclusive!
  • Orange Refractor Parallel – #’d to 25
  • Orange Shimmer Refractor – #’d to 25 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Red Shimmer Refractor – #’d to 5 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Red Refractor Parallel – #’d to 5
  • Black Shimmer Refractor – #’d 1-of-1 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • SuperFractor Parallel – #’d 1-of-1

The Autograph Parallels look like this:

  • Chrome Prospect Autograph Parallels
  • Refractor Parallel – #’d to 499
  • Fuschia Mini Diamond Parallel – #’d to 150
  • Green Refractor Parallel – #’d to 99
  • Yellow Refractor Parallel – #’d to 75
  • Gold Refractor Parallel – #’d to 50
  • Gold Lava Refractor Parallel – #’d to 50 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Orange Refractor Parallel – #’d to 25 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Orange Shimmer Parallel – #’d to 25 – Hobby Exclusive!
  • Red Refractor Parallel – #’d to 5
  • Red Shimmer Parallel – #’d to 5
  • SuperFractor Parallel – #’d 1-of-1

This is the first time I’ve seen “breaker exclusive” on any of the cards, but I’m going to assume this is the materialization of Fanatics steps toward controlling all breaks. It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out. 

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Investing in Bowman Chrome University 2023

Should you invest in this $109.99 product?

To project ahead, let’s look back to the past. 

Investing in boxes of Bowman Chrome University Football

Here’s what we’re seeing on hobby boxes from previous years (as of 9/19/23).

  • 2021: $100 
  • 2022: $100

So… yeah. Looks like adding the licensing didn’t do much in value for the 2022 cards vs. the 2021 cards, but they at least look better?

But if not, my general rule of thumb is that buying sealed products is a long-term investment, and college cards are never going to be a good long-term hold since the NFL-licensed cards will come out before you’re ready to flip what you own. It’s an easy stay-away for long-term holds.

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Investing in 2023 Bowman Chrome University Football rookies

There’s a small chance that when Fanatics becomes the NBA-licensed cards (which they did with the NFL) and takes over from Panini, somehow these Bowman 1st cards become very collectible, like Bowman baseball, and prospect cards are suddenly worth vast sums of money.

Don’t count on it. My gut (and the dismal performance from autos in the previous year of this product) tells me that Bowman University Chrome Football is a stay-away for long-term rookie investing, too. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make money off this product…

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Bottom line on 2023 Bowman University Chrome Football: The best thing to do might be to… rip

If you’re looking to make money off this product, your best bet would be to open the box and be one of the first to market with the rookie autographs therein.

If you’re lucky enough to hit a nice rookie refractor or auto, you could make a lot of money. That’s exactly what we (fortunately) did with this break of Bowman Chrome University Basketball just a few months ago. 

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YouTube video

 If not, you’re probably going to recoup half your investment.  But if you can live with that and want a little rush, ripping a box might actually be the best move.

Of course, a financial advisor (even one that’s pro-sports cards) would say this box should be a stay-away, and it really should be, but if you want to roll the dice and rip this affordable box, then go right ahead. Just don’t spend anything you can’t afford to lose. 

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2023 Bowman Chrome University Football checklist

Stay tuned for the fully searchable 2023 Bowman Chrome University Football checklist

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.
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Important: When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.