Unless you're a member of the student body staring down serious tuition debt, cheap college football tickets aren't a given.
If you're a fan of Directional State University in the Basketball Conference, you'll have not problem getting a better deal on tickets than the nearly $90 that National Football League tickets are averaging. However, if you're a fan of a ranked college football team -- or one that just happens to draw well every year -- your team is giving those NFL tickets some serious competition.
According to ticket aggregation and pricing site TicketIQ, the No. 4 team in the nation -- the University of Southern California -- is fetching an average of $138 for home-game tickets on the resale market. That's to be expected when you go 10-3 in 2016, beat Penn State in the Rose Bowl and have the cornerstones of your offense and defense coming back. However, that also makes USC a huge bargain by giving the No. 4 team only the 29th most-expensive ticket in college football.
In fact, there are two unranked schools in the Top 10 and another 10 (TEN!) unranked schools ahead of USC commanding more for their tickets the the secondary market. Those schools include Houston ($142), Mississippi State ($142). Georgia Tech ($145), Appalachian State ($151), Colorado ($185) and USC's crosstown rival UCLA ($149). While some of that discrepancy can be attributed to matchups and timing, some of it just falls to simple supply, demand and optimism about the upcoming season.
The market tends to matter as well. The No. 7 University of Washington secured a playoff spot last year and came out atop the PAC-12 after years of futility and mediocrity, but its $120 average ticket price ranks just 37th thanks largely to a region that hasn't re-acclimated to a successful Huskies team. Meanwhile, unranked Texas A&M fetches $153 a ticket largely because it plays in a state that would pay for just about any form of organized football (which is how even unranked TCU manages $99 a ticket).
That price also average out the easy early season schedule and the late games against rivals, which gives some teams a greater advantage if more ranked rivals are coming to town in 2017. However, with the exception of USC, Washington, No. 6 Penn State ($177) and No. 8 Oklahoma in its first year after the Bob Stoops era ($145), the rest of the national Top 10 falls among the Top 10 ticket prices as well. With help from TicketIQ, we found the schools with the ten most expensive football tickets in the country. You don't have to contend for the national title, but you have to have a base that supports you like you will.
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