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NEED TWO: Rivalry Week

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Notre Dame v Florida State Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It’s Rivalry Week, friends. Throw out the records - and pull out your wallets. This week’s game means a ton, even if your team stinks.

Big Ten

AWAY HOME STADIUM Mid Field Nose Bleeds
#9 Ohio State Michigan Michigan $172 $104
#5 Wisconsin Minnesota TCF Bank $145 $87
#16 Michigan State Rutgers High Point Solutions $124 $35
Iowa Nebraska Memorial $96 $46
#10 Penn State Maryland Byrd $67 $60
Indiana Purdue Ross-Ade $44 $30
#22 Northwestern Illinois Memorial $35 $3

Well scratch the intro paragraph. Tickets to “thee game” are available at about a 50% discount from Michigan State at Michigan, back in early October - and a 67% discount from Penn State at Ohio State, in late October. In fact, Minnesota at Iowa, and Iowa at Wisconsin - the hog and bull trophy games - also were pricier than “thee game”.

How is that possible? Well, friends, it’s because Michigan fans know they’re gonna get slaughtered - AND because Ohio State got smoked by 31 at Iowa. That seems to have left a mark on the Buckeye fan base.

Quick shoutout to Wisconsin at Minnesota. Those are some pricey tickets to a public execution, staged in a frozen wasteland. Bravo, Gophers. Hope the booze keeps you warm.

Top 25

AWAY HOME STADIUM Mid Field Nose Bleeds
#1 Alabama #6 Auburn Jordan-Hare $612 $303
#13 Washington State #17 Washington Husky $227 $169
#7 Georgia Georgia Tech Bobby Dodd $327 $95
#3 Clemson #24 South Carolina Williams-Brice $149 $99
South Florida #15 UCF Spectrum $181 $80
#8 Notre Dame #21 Stanford Stanford $200 $66
West Virginia #4 Oklahoma Memorial $124 $56
Ole Miss #14 Mississippi State Davis Wade $130 $50
#25 Virginia Tech Virginia Scott $110 $41
Texas A&M #18 LSU Tiger $98 $37
#23 Boise State Fresno State Bulldog $76 $38
#2 Miami Pitt Heinz Field $71 $31
Baylor #12 TCU Amon G Carter $32 $18
East Carolina #20 Memphis Liberty Bowl $15 $12
Kansas #19 Oklahoma State Bonne Pickens $27 $5

The Iron Bowl: an expensive game between two good teams.

The Apple Cup: an expensive game between two crap teams.

All the way at the bottom of the list rests Oklahoma State. The Pokes were forced to switch their traditional end-of-year opponent from Oklahoma (Bedlam) to Kansas (Serenity), to avoid a potential back-to-back matchup in an overly contrived “conference championship” game. That’s the cost of playoff politics.

Coaching Changes

Athletic Directors got an earlier jump on firing coaches this year than they used to. Five P5 schools have jettisoned their head coach already - Ole Miss, Oregon State, Florida, Tennessee, and UCLA - and we might see as many as seven more follow suit in a few days.

Each one of those schools believes it can find a “permanent” answer to its foosball coaching woes. Nearly all of them will be wrong.

Between 2009 and 2012, P5 schools canned 38 head coaches - just shy of 10 firings per year. Of their 38 hand-picked replacements, only 13 remain standing, and 4 of those guys already have their heads in the noose (Bret Bielema, Todd Graham, Larry Fedora, and Kevin Sumlin).

The longer the tenure, the worse it gets. Of the 17 coaches hired during 2009 and 2010, only one remains - Brian freaking Kelly, at Notre Dame, who somehow flirted with employment death 1000 times, and yet lives.

Firing a coach is the easy part. Finding one who will last longer than 6 years? That’s the hard part.