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NEED TWO: Week Eleven Tickets

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

There are a ton of great games this weekend. Let’s take a look at Week 11 ticket prices.

Big Ten

#12 Michigan State #13 Ohio State Ohio $183 $80
#20 Iowa #8 Wisconsin Camp Randall $142 $86
Nebraska Minnesota TCF Bank $90 $64
Michigan Maryland Byrd $68 $47
Rutgers #14 Penn State Beaver $76 $38
Indiana Illinois Memorial $30 $6
Purdue #25 Northwestern Ryan Field $20 $6

Two weeks ago, Penn State traveled to the Horseshoe, and the cheapest ticket available was $230. This week, #12 Sparty visits the ‘Shoe to settle the East Division title, and the cheap seats are $80. Thus, the cost of depression in Columbus is about $150 per person*. Multiplied by 105,000 Buckeye fans, that’s a tidy $15.75 million.

*This math does not apply to Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Rutgers, Indiana, Maryland - basically most of the conference.

Top 25

#1 Georgia #10 Auburn Jordan-Hare $459 $237
#3 Notre Dame #7 Miami Hard Rock $700 $162
#6 TCU #5 Oklahoma Memorial $175 $104
Florida State #4 Clemson Memorial $194 $68
#9 Washington Stanford Stanford $133 $36
#19 Wazzu Utah Rice-Eccles $84 $42
#11 USC Colorado Folsom Field $79 $43
#15 Oklahoma State #21 Iowa State Jack Trice $96 $25
Connecticut #18 UCF Spectrum $70 $19
#17 VATECH Georgia Tech Bobby Dodd $78 $16
#23 NC State Boston College Alumni $74 $6
UNC Pitt Heinz $5 $3

Unlike the Big Ten, waiting for bad November weather to scoop up tickets does nothing for you in the South. Yes, that’s jealousy talking.

Serious Bidness

Pitt is not top 25, but they’re in the table above to illustrate a broader point / confession. And no, it’s not merely that Pitt is a laughingstock. It’s that Penn State should cease scheduling Pitt.

For years, I’ve argued the opposite. The principle reasons remain partially valid - proximity, familiarity, tradition. They’re not enough, given Penn State’s conference membership, the 20+ years since independence, and the current state of college football.

Beating Pitt earns Penn State nothing but derision from the ranking committee, because the Panthers are awful. And if you counter that they might not always be awful, then I ask simply, when? When will Pitt cease being an embarrassment? They’ve won 10 games exactly once since the 1981 season. That’s 35 years of sucking, out of the last 36. It’s what fancy big data consultants would call “a trend”.

The rest of it just doesn’t hold up, either. Whether it’s because the game’s played in September rather than Thanksgiving weekend, or because PSU-Pitt’s coming back from a 20-year hiatus, or whatever it is - few PSU fans were even half as excited for September Pitt, as they were for October Michigan, Ohio State, or Michigan State. The ticket prices and TV ratings reflect that, too.

It was worth a shot. But the football world has changed - well, except for the part where Pitt sucks - and future opponents Auburn and VaTech are the right choices. Penn State should not look back. Not in Pitt’s direction, at least.