While some college football fans may argue otherwise, it is almost universally accepted that the Southeastern Conference has been home to the best college football teams over the past few years. Last year was the first time since 2005 that the BCS National Championship did not result in an SEC team taking home the trophy. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and LSU have all been crowned since 2005 and other top programs such as Georgia and South Carolina have been annually competing after New Year’s Day.
But that is not to say that the other conferences (or independents) have been quietly laying down when faced with SEC competition. Just last year, the Florida State Seminoles took home the championship behind the on-field brilliance of Jameis Winston. And the Oklahoma Sooners took down the mighty Crimson Tide 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicates.
Another area where the non-SEC teams are currently putting on an impressive show is demand for tickets. Currently, three of the five most expensive games on the secondary market do not have an SEC team participating. The remainder of the top ten most expensive games on the secondary market are all SEC matchups, but its clear fans do not discriminate when it comes to seeing their teams play. Here is a breakdown on the top five most in demand games in college football this season not featuring an SEC team:
1.) Michigan Wolverines @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish
With an average ticket price of $584, Michigan vs. Notre Dame is currently the most expensive game on the secondary market. The cheapest ticket available right now is a whopping $312, significantly higher than 95% of all college football games featuring a power conference team this year. With the annual meeting between these two programs temporarily on hold after this year, fans are going to have to pay a premium to see this meeting.
2.) Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners
The Red River Showdown has the third highest average ticket price on the secondary market this year at $466, roughly $82 lower than LSU vs. Alabama. Oklahoma is coming off of a spectacular Sugar Bowl victory last year and head coach Bob Stoops will want to get back to the national championship game for the first time since 2004. Meanwhile, the Longhorns have new head coach Charlie Strong at the helm, hoping he can return the team to the glory they experienced a decade ago.
3.) Michigan Wolverines @ Ohio State Buckeyes
Michigan makes the list yet again as a road team with their annual rivalry with Ohio State. Currently, the average ticket price is $425 with the cheapest ticket available at $162. The Buckeyes were a Big 10 Championship game victory away from an undefeated season last year and will look to take the next step in making it to the championship game. That will require defeating Michigan in the final game of the season.
4.) UCLA Bruins vs. USC Trojans
The west coast boasts a pretty good rivalry in the Bruins and Trojans and ticket prices on the secondary market certainly prove that. Currently, the average ticket price is $336 with a get-in price of only $99. Neither team has been able to make much national championship noise over the past few years, but the Bruins enter the season with raised expectations behind the arm of quarterback Brett Hundley. If Hundley can keep the Bruins perfect entering this game, expect prices to be even higher once November 22nd rolls around.
5.) Michigan State Spartans @ Oregon Ducks
Oregon recently announced that they will have scratch-and-sniff season tickets this year. Fortunately for season ticket holders, they will receive tickets for the Michigan State game on September 6th and will not have to pay incredibly high prices on the secondary market. Right now, the average ticket price is $301 with a get-in price of $137.