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United Airlines plans to touch down in more college-football-crazed markets this fall. File/AP

United Airlines is betting that college football fans who live far from campus will be willing to travel by plane to get to the games this season.

The carrier announced Tuesday that it is beefing up service to 17 pigskin hot spots between September and November, including Columbia and the Upstate, the respective homes of the USC Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers.

United estimated it's boosting capacity by about 204,000 seats, or about 2,200 a day, for the fall. The Chicago-based carrier is adding flights at 11 airports that serve big-time college football destinations, and it is assigning larger aircraft to six other destinations.

The changes are aimed at drawing in far-flung fans of Texas A&M, Ohio State and Notre Dame, among others.

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In the Palmetto State, where the season gets underway Saturday, United is adding three seasonal flights to the existing schedule: two at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (originating in Chicago and Washington D.,C.) and one at Greenville-Spartanburg International (originating in the nation's capital).

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott