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Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The most expensive college football games

By Darren Rovell

Alabama Fans
All that winning means Alabama fans -- and SEC fans -- are going to pay big for tickets in 2012.
It's that time of year again, when college football fans who don't have season tickets are looking on secondary ticketing websites to buy seats to the most high-profile matchups.

If you're an Alabama fan, it's going to cost you a pretty penny.

Alabama is playing in three of the five most expensive matchups of the college football season, according to TiqIQ, a secondary ticket market search engine.

The most expensive ticket of the season is, not surprisingly, the rematch of last year's BCS title game between the Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers. TiqIQ currently lists the average price for a ticket to the Nov. 3 game at $632.71. Alabama's opener versus Michigan at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, comes in at No. 2 on TiqIQ's most expensive games to attend. An average seat to that game is $595.42, though fans can now find a cheaper option, as discount site LivingSocial.com started offering a standing room "ticket" package that includes a hot dog, chips and a soda for $89 last week. More than 2,000 of those tickets have since been purchased. Alabama's Iron Bowl game versus Auburn comes in at No. 5 with an average listing price of $481.66, according to TiqIQ.

Thanks to six straight national championships, the SEC leads all conferences in most expensive listed ticket price to its games. The average ticket to an SEC game, on the secondary market, costs $139.71. The Big Ten is the next most expensive at $132.65.

If you are going to skip the standard donation that often comes along with being a season-ticket holder, being a Big Ten fan will hurt the wallet a bit.

Nebraska is the most expensive ticket in the land for the second year in a row, with the average ticket to its games listed on the market for $262. Ohio State is second at $227 per ticket per game, while Iowa ($202) and Michigan ($185) start the season as the sixth and eighth most expensive tickets, respectively. That feat is even more remarkable when considering that the Wolverines have the largest stadium in college football, while Ohio State is No. 3 in capacity, with more than 100,000 fans crammed into Ohio Stadium each game.

It has averaged less than seven wins per season over the past five years, but Notre Dame still has the fourth most expensive ticket, and three of its games are among the top 10 most expensive this year. Half of the most expensive games of the season are being played at neutral sites.

Here's a deeper dive into TiqIQ's college football ticket price lists:

Ten Most Expensive Games By Average Listed Ticket Price
1. Alabama @ LSU, $632.71
2. Michigan vs. Bama @ Cowboys Stadium, $595.42
3. Texas vs. Oklahoma @ Cotton Bowl, $541.39
4. Michigan @ Notre Dame, $525.39
5. Auburn @ Alabama, $481.66
6. Florida vs. Georgia @ Everbank Stadium, $463.82
7. Notre Dame v Miami @ Soldier Field, $448.69
8. Notre Dame @ Oklahoma, $419.47
9. Army vs. Navy @ Lincoln Financial Field, $401.31
10. Wisconsin @ Nebraska, $397.82

Ten Most Expensive Teams By Average Listed Ticket Price
1. Nebraska, $262
2. Ohio State, $227
3. Oklahoma, $207
4. Notre Dame, $206
5. Alabama, $205
6. Iowa, $202
7. Texas A&M, $189
8. Michigan, $185
9. West Virginia, $172
10. LSU, $158

Most Expensive Conferences By Average Listed Ticket Price
1. SEC, $139.71
2. Big Ten, $132.65
3. Big 12, $115.96
4. PAC 12, $102.45
5. ACC, $88.85
6. Big East, $76.33