Your Family of 4 Probably Can't Afford to Go Watch These College Football Games
A college football game.

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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10. Florida State
10. Florida State

National rank: 3

Average ticket price: $198

Jimbo Fisher said no to LSU to stick around and go for another national championship to add to the one he won with Jameis Winston at quarterback in 2013. We'll see how realistic that is when the Seminoles play No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta on Sept. 2 and host both No. 18 Miami and North Carolina State before September ends.

9. Brigham Young University
9. Brigham Young University

National rank: Unranked

Average ticket price: $204

We'd love to say that head coach Kalani Sitake has the faithful in Provo fired up, but a 9-4 season in 2016 and yet another trip to a lesser bowl game aren't the reasons this price is so high. A neutral-site game against No. 12 LSU in Houston on Sept. 2 followed by a home matchup with rival Utah (ranked No. 25 in the nation) the next week and No. 10 Wisconsin the week after that could either put BYU into national contention quickly or bring its season to an immediate dead end.

8. Clemson
8. Clemson

National rank: 5

Average ticket price: $210

You'd think winning the national championship last year would've boosted ticket prices a bit. With the exceptions of No. 13 Auburn on September 9 and Florida State on November 11, however, the home schedule looks a bit soft. Even the faithful are going to find it difficult to sit through matchups with Kent State and The Citadel.

7. Oklahoma State
7. Oklahoma State

National rank: 11

Average ticket price: $215

Coach Mike Gundy's Cowboys have more than the Alamo Bowl in mind this year, especially with quarterback Mason Rudolph, receiver James Washington and running back Justice Hill returning this season. The Cowboys racked up ten wins last year, but an entertaining home schedule features regional rivals Tulsa, TCU and Baylor early on before bringing in No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 13 Kansas State later in the year.

6. Georgia
6. Georgia

National rank: 15

Average ticket price: $216

They're playing with fire by bringing in Appalachian State as their first opponent, but Georgia has a real shot at winning the SEC's East division this year. While most of the more appealing match-ups take place on the road this season, there are fans in the better part of two states circling that matchup with No. 16 Florida on Oct. 28 in Jacksonville. The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party should once again make for a lively Halloween weekend.

5. Florida
5. Florida

National rank: 16

Average ticket price: $227

If Georgia wants the SEC East, this is the school that's held it in each of the last two years. While Florida is feeling confident despite losing eight of its defensive starters to the NFL, a clearly excited Gator fanbase is going to be tested early. A Sept. 2 matchup against No. 9 Michigan in Arlington, Texas, kicks things off, but a home slate that includes No. 24 Tennessee, LSU, Texas A&M and Florida State is challenging, to say the least.

4. Michigan
4. Michigan

National rank: 9

Average ticket price: $292

The boosters and alumni will put up with coach Jim Harbaugh bringing the team to Rome to practice and opening the season in a Dallas suburb (you heard us, Arlington), but they're getting fairly tired of losing to Ohio State. Michigan hasn't beaten Ohio State since 2010 and has only done so three times since 2000. Harbaugh's team took the Buckeyes into double overtime before losing in Columbus last year. This year, the game's in Ann Arbor to end the season.

3. Notre Dame
3. Notre Dame

National rank: Unranked

Average ticket price: $333

This is a lot of money to pay to watch at team that went 4-7 last year and a coach, Brian Kelly, who's running out of time to change things in South Bend. This year, both Georgia and USC are on the home slate, but this isn't the team to give them much of a fight. With the curse broken at Wrigley Field and that facility now serving as more than a live-action baseball museum, we'll ask this: are the Fighting Irish the region's new Cubs?

2. Ohio State
2. Ohio State

National rank: 2

Average ticket price: $508

In quarterback J.T. Barrett's final season, he's going to try to bring the Buckeyes back to the national championship game he helped them win three years ago. Always part of the playoff picture, coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes get no favors from their home schedule this year. Oklahoma, Penn State and Michigan State all come to the Horseshoe this year.

1. Alabama
1. Alabama

National rank: 1

Average ticket price: $510

Tennessee and LSU come to Mobile but, honestly, who cares? Since coach Nick Saban arrived in 2007, Alabama has gone 114-19, gone to five national championship games and won four of them. Just about any time you go to Bryant-Denny Stadium during his tenure, you're watching history. Upset that this isn't an Iron Bowl year in Mobile. Don't be. That matchup would only make that average ticket price infinitely worse.

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