College Football's Most Expensive Ticket Prices for 2016 Season

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2016

College Football's Most Expensive Ticket Prices for 2016 Season

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    Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

    Attending a college football game is often inexpensive, but marquee matchups typically include a hefty price tag.

    In 2016, seven contests—not including conference championships or bowl gameshave already reached the $200 mark on StubHub. Several others are certain to eclipse the mark.

    Although the lowest price for each showdown will rise and fall depending on ticket availability, the following 10 are the most expensive outings this season.

    The biggest lesson? Being an Alabama or Notre Dame fan isn't cheap.

Just Missed the Top 10

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Five games missed the top 10 by less than $10. Unsurprisingly, the Fighting Irish and Crimson Tide make a couple of appearances in this section, as well as an Alabama rival.

    • 15. Notre Dame at North Carolina State: $171.99
    • 14. Alabama at Ole Miss: $172.00
    • 13. Miami at Notre Dame: $172.49
    • 12. Alabama at Tennessee: $176.00
    • 11. Florida at Tennessee: $179.00

10. Michigan at Michigan State

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    Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Cheapest ticket: $192.40

    The 2015 edition of this rivalry ended in thrilling fashion. Unfortunately for the home crowd, they were left stunned.

    Michigan will attempt to flip the script this year. Jim Harbaugh and Co. travel to East Lansing on Oct. 29, a game that begins a brutal five-game stretch for the Wolverines.

    Although Michigan State will likely fall short of another Big Ten Championship Game appearance, the Spartans are almost certain to be a thorn in Michigan's side—and Ohio State's.

    It'll cost about $200 to watch this matchup in person.

9. Virginia Tech at Tennessee (Battle at Bristol)

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    WADE PAYNE/Associated Press

    Cheapest ticket: $199.00

    Dubbed the "Battle at Bristol," Virginia Tech and Tennessee will square off in a unique neutral-site tilt at Bristol Motor Speedway.

    Since the track holds more than 160,000 people on race day, the Sept. 10 meeting is expected to shatter college football's current single-game attendance record of 115,109.

    For the thrifty types, East Tennessee State and Western Carolina will play at Bristol the following week. But to watch the Hokies and Vols, you're going to have to pony up $200.

8. Michigan State at Notre Dame

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    Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

    Cheapest ticket: $199.99

    After debuting a renovated Notre Dame Stadium the week prior against Nevada on Sept. 17, the Fighting Irish will host their first marquee opponent at the updated venue: Michigan State.

    It's fitting, since the Spartans roster is rebuilt, too. Head coach Mark Dantonio must replace several longtime starters, and an early-season road test will offer an important look at the team's development.

    Notre Dame, on the other hand, needs to pick a starting quarterback. Texas and Nevada shouldn't be overlooked, but MSU's defense will provide a major challenge.

    The cheapest ticket near the 50-yard line is $595, and prices creep into the $2,000 range for low-level locations.

7. Oregon at Nebraska

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    Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

    Cheapest ticket: $200.00

    When the Ducks fly to Lincoln, at least a couple of Benjamins will soar out of your wallet.

    The weekend of Sept. 17 is packed with major nonconference clashes, and this one is special. Oregon and Nebraska haven't met since 1986. The Cornhuskers hold a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series.

    Additionally, Nebraska head coach Mike Riley has a connection to the opponent because he coached Oregon State for 12 years before moving to his new program. He mustered just a 3-9 record and lost seven straight meetings against the Ducks.

    Will Riley's fortunes change with the Huskers? If you'd like to witness firsthand, be prepared to dish out $200.

6. Notre Dame at Texas

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Cheapest ticket: $212.00

    Notre Dame and Texas will have the spotlight to themselves on Labor Day, Sunday, Sept. 4, for the prime-time bout.

    Hopefully for Longhorns supporters, money won't be wasted this year. In 2015, the Fighting Irish obliterated Texas 38-3. Texas head coach Charlie Strong's hot seat could grow a littler warmer.

    By this point, we'll probably know whether DeShone Kizer or Malik Zaire will be leading Notre Dame at the quarterback position. However, head coach Brian Kelly could pull a Harbaugh and reveal the starter on the first drive.

    Fans will observe plenty of drama. The question is whether or not the final score will fall into that category.

5. Alabama at LSU

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Cheapest ticket: $219.00

    If preseason hype doesn't lie, then the Nov. 5 showdown between Alabama and LSU will determine which program earns the inside track to the SEC Championship Game.

    Regardless of whether or not both teams enter undefeated, though, the rivalry will demand the nation's attention.

    Two years ago, the Tide limited LSU running back Leonard Fournette to under four yards per carry. Last season, they yielded a mere 31 yards on 19 attempts to Fournette, who otherwise averaged 174.7 yards per game.

    Alabama fans would say that was worth the price of admission. Perhaps Tigers fans will share that opinion one year later.

4. Michigan at Ohio State

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    Andrew Weber/Getty Images

    Cheapest ticket: $229.95

    Round 2 of the Jim Harbaugh vs. Urban Meyer era has enormous expectations.

    According to ESPN.com's David Purdum, Michigan is the betting favorite at the Westgate SuperBook—meaning more money has been placed on the Wolverines than any other team.

    Meanwhile, Ohio State shares the best odds (7-1) with Alabama to win the College Football Playoff, per Odds Shark.

    Ohio Stadium will be packed on Nov. 26, and it probably won't be much longer until ticket prices climb toward $300.

3. LSU at Wisconsin (in Green Bay)

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    Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    Cheapest ticket: $235.00

    Dave Aranda's first game as LSU's defensive coordinator comes against Wisconsin, where he organized three top-seven units.

    But that's merely one storyline to an exciting contest. The Tigers and Badgers will open their seasons on Sept. 3 at Lambeau Field, home of the NFL's Green Bay Packers.

    LSU could earn a marquee nonconference victory, while Wisconsin will try to avoid an early loss before a later stretch that includes Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa.

    And you? Well, be ready to pay nearly $250 for a ticket.

2. Auburn at Alabama

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    Associated Press

    Cheapest ticket: $280.00

    During six of the last seven seasons, the winner of the Iron Bowl has advanced to the SEC Championship Game. Five times has the victor eventually claimed the national title.

    Will the trend continue on Nov. 26?

    Though Alabama should be a contender, Auburn is more likely to occupy a spoiler role than compete for a title. Head coach Gus Malzahn needs to revive an offense that struggled mightily in 2015.

    We won't have an answer to the previous question for a while, but there's no doubt the Iron Bowl will once again be an expensive event.

1. Ohio State at Oklahoma

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Cheapest ticket: $342.00

    The most anticipated nonconference clash of the 2016 campaign, Oklahoma hosts Ohio State on Sept. 17.

    Fans will have an opportunity to watch two of the nation's best dual-threat quarterbacks in action. Baker Mayfield highlights a Sooners team looking to repeat as Big 12 champions, while J.T. Barrett headlines a Buckeyes roster that needs to replace 12 NFL draft picks.

    Sitting at the 50-yard line on the Oklahoma side runs $800-plus, and you could easily drop $400 on a seat in the upper deck.

    But if you believe this contest is a preview of two College Football Playoff qualifiers, the pricey ticket will be worth it.