NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Despite signature wins against rivals Auburn and Mississippi State and a No. 1 ranking, Alabama's "Crimson Tide" football team still has to beat rival Missouri in the SEC Championship game to secure a spot in the first-ever College Football Playoff.
That might be why excitement for the game is not as high as expected.
Tickets for this Saturday's meeting between Missouri and Alabama are cheaper than any other SEC Conference Championship game since 2010, according to PrimeSport, the official ticket exchange of the College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. The average price on the secondary market is $351 with a get-in price of $114. PrimeSport states this could be the first SEC Championship game in recent memory to have tickets available for less than $100.
Fans looking to purchase SEC Championship game tickets from PrimeSport will also find VIP hospitality packages available that include pre-game dining and free beverages in the Georgia Ballroom Championship Hospitality package. Even with the additional cost of such a package, tickets are still cheaper than in years past.
One reason could be fans expect little drama. This is the first time since 2010 that the SEC Conference Championship game does not have two teams ranked in the top 12 in the country. In 2010, the 19th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks met the top-ranked Auburn Tigers. Auburn won convincingly, 56-17.
Many fans likely think a similar blowout is on hand this coming Saturday. Alabama is a two-touchdown favorite and expected to win easily, but Missouri has defied the odds all season long so it is certainly not a given.
Missouri met Auburn in last year's conference championship as the two one-loss teams battled for a potential BCS Championship game spot. Tickets for last year started at $260, just $60 less than the average price this year, with an average ticket price of $508. Auburn eventually won 59-42 and Missouri had to settle for a Cotton Bowl invite. (The team would go on to win the Cotton Bowl 41-31, beating the Oklahoma State Cowboys.)
Alabama missed out on the SEC Championship last year, but did make it in 2012. The average price for that game was $602 with a get-in price of $320. The meeting was between the second ranked Crimson Tide and the third ranked Georgia Bulldogs so it was a much more high-profile meeting compared to this season.
The last time neither of these teams was in the SEC Championship the average ticket price was $404 with a get-in price of $160. That game pitted Georgia against LSU in a game the Tigers would eventually win 42-10. Bama fans will remember 2011 fondly, however, as the Crimson Tide were able to get a spot in the BCS National Championship game despite not participating in the SEC Championship. They would go on to defeat LSU 21-0 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to become the national champions.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.