It’s college football’s Conference Championship week; the four top title games will be played Saturday, December 7. Who will earn a spot in the BCS National Championship? The Rose Bowl? The Orange Bowl? Much is riding on the four big NCAA Football Championship games this weekend as each conference winner will receive an automatic BCS bowl bid. With BCS National Championship game tickets up 13% since division winners were decided, we take a look at how Conference Championship games fare.
SEC Championship Game
In the four hours between Auburn clinching a spot in the SEC title game and Missouri securing a spot in the Conference Championship game, the starting price for a ticket to the SEC football championship went up $84. Now that all eyes will be on the Tigers – that is the Auburn Tigers and the Missouri Tigers and it’ll cost you at least $246 to get in the Georgia Dome Saturday. After one of the most dramatic finishes in College Football history Saturday against Alabama, Auburn is No. 3 in the BCS rankings just ahead of the reigning back-to-back National Champs. Iron Bowl tickets averaged $525 Wednesday, $26 more than the current average price of SEC Football Championship tickets. The average price of a ticket to the SEC showdown is up 11% in the last five days as excitement grows and tickets are 9% more expensive than in 2012 when the title game featured “home-team” Georgia against Alabama. However, prices currently stand cheaper than 2010 SEC Football Championship tickets when Auburn was on their way to their first national title in over 50 years. SEC football teams have won the last seven BCS National championship games, and aside from Alabama two seasons back, all were winners of the SEC Championship game that year. Many are predicting that if Auburn can take down No. 5 Missouri, they punch a ticket to the 2013 BCS National Championship, the fifth in a row for the state of Alabama. Of course they’ll not only need to jump Ohio State in the computers, they’ll need to get votes. If Mizzou takes the SEC title, they could jump Alabama and Auburn in the standings and who knows, Ohio State or Florida State loses and they could be playing for the National title. So in a matchup that virtually no one predicted at the beginning of the season, Auburn and Missouri will grind it out in hopes of clinching a National Championship berth or at very least, a spot in the Sugar Bowl. Either way, an SEC title is an enormous accomplishment for these two programs who were a combined 8-16 in 2012.
Big Ten Football Championship
Both Michigan State and Ohio State secured berths in the third annual Big Ten Football Championship game last week and ticket prices continue to rise. In the last five days, Big Ten Football Championship tickets are up 21% on the secondary market, now averaging $274 to watch what some are dubbing the “most exciting title game” this year. The get-in price at Lucas Oil Stadium is up $40 in that same time table. The Buckeyes are playing in their first title game in the Championship’s existence, after being deemed ineligible last year. The increase in price is likely a result of the stakes being even higher following Alabama’s loss to Auburn over the weekend. After moving from No. 3 to No. 2 in the BCS rankings this week, Ohio State is playing for a BCS National Championship berth, not just a spot in the Rose Bowl. The last time a Big Ten team played for the National title was Ohio State in 2007. Michigan State is likely looking at a Rose Bowl berth if they take the Big Ten title that would pin them against the winner of the Pac-12 title game between Stanford and ASU. The last time the Buckeyes and Spartans met was in the 2012 Big Ten season opener when Ohio State narrowly won 17-16. In 2012, Big Ten Football Championship tickets were 3.5-times less than this year’s title game when Wisconsin destroyed Nebraska 70-31. The win sent the Badgers to their third straight Rose Bowl. Will Ohio State go undefeated for the second straight year and play for their eighth National title?
Pac 12 Football Championship
The Stanford Cardinal and ASU Sun Devils had both clinched their divisions last week and thus a spot in the Pac-12 Football Championship game. Unlike the other major Conferences, the team with the best conference record hosts on their home turf. Following Arizona State’s rout of in-state rival Arizona Saturday, it was decided that the Sun Devils would have home-field advantage in their first ever Conference Championship, finishing with an 8-1 Pac-12 record (beating Stanford’s 7-2 finish). The cheapest ticket to the Pac-12 game is $52 which is about half the cost had it been played in Palo Alto. With National Championship hopes nonexistent for both teams, the winner will earn a Rose Bowl berth in the BCS game’s 100th anniversary. A win for Stanford would mean a second straight appearance in the “Granddaddy of Them All” while a trip to Pasadena would be the first for the Sun Devils since 1997. Earlier in the season, the two programs matched up and Stanford got the W at home (42-28); but everything can change in front of a home crowd. The Pac-12 Football Championship was the only Conference title game that was cheaper this year, than last; down 30% in price from when the UCLA Bruins played the Cardinal in Palo Alto in 2012.
ACC Football Championship
Like last year, the ACC Football Championship is the cheapest of the four major conference title games; however, the cost of a ticket in 2013 is 56% more expensive than in 2012. The jump in price is due to the fact that the Florida State Seminoles are playing for a potential BCS National Championship berth, while the Duke Blue Devils are making their first appearance in an ACC title game finishing with the programs first 10-win season. If the Blue Devils can pull off an upset, they’ll earn a trip to Miami for the Orange Bowl, one of the most exciting post-season games of the year. You’ll pay an average of $74 to see FSU play for their 14th ACC title. The price of an ACC Football Championship ticket has essentially remained unchanged since Florida State clinched a spot in the Conference Championship game three weeks ago; at that time the average ticket price was $75.
|Conference Championship||Teams||Venue||Get-in Price||Avg. Price|
|ACC Football Championship||Florida State Seminoles vs Duke Blue Devils||Bank of America Stadium||$11.00||$74.22|
|Big Ten Football Championship||Michigan State Spartans vs Ohio State Buckeyes||Lucas Oil Stadium||$137.00||$273.91|
|Pac 12 Football Championship||Stanford Cardinal vs Arizona State Sun Devils||Sun Devil Stadium||$52.00||$80.45|
|SEC Football Championship||Auburn Tigers vs Missouri Tigers||Georgia Dome||$254.00||$498.78|