It’s not a surprise that the Iron Bowl with Alabama hosting Auburn is the most expensive ticket during rivalry week, followed closely by Ohio State playing Michigan, a surprising LSU – Texas A&M matchup, the South Carolina – Clemson rivalry and closing the top 5 is the game for the Jeweled Shillelagh between Notre Dame and USC.
The thing about rivalry week is that it’s not as packed with hate-filled games as in the past because of realignment, which took away games such as Texas vs Texas A&M and West Virginia vs Pittsburgh. There are other cross-conference rivalries like the one in Florida (which has been very one-sided recently) between the Gators and the Seminoles or the one in South Carolina which is at an all-time low importance wise this season, although it doesn’t stop it from being very expensive.
Alabama vs Auburn isn’t just the marquee game of the weekend, but it also carries the biggest significance, just like last year. Alabama are number one in the nation with a shot at claiming the SEC West and going to the conference championship game, while Auburn, like most times these two meet, are in a position to spoil the party. Last year they didn’t just spoil it – they snatched it away at the very last moment from the Tide. This year they can just help Mississippi State.
Which brings us to the Egg Bowl. Three or four weeks ago, it might have been the hottest ticket in the country. With Ole Miss dropping like a bag of bricks in the water and Mississippi State losing the one game they shouldn’t have, it’s a lot less appealing, despite the huge rivalry between the two schools. Played at Oxford, it’s still available to get tickets, although eventually it will be filled for a lesser price than initially asked for.
Another traditional mega game is the one between Ohio State and Michigan. Like in most recent years, only the Buckeyes have something to play for. The Wolverines will determine whether or not they actually go to a bowl game, although many would like to see them lose the game just so Brady Hoke gets fired. For the Buckeyes, who will be in the Big Ten championship game either way, it’s about keeping their chances of making the playoff. A loss to Michigan kills it.
The same can be said of the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State at Corvallis. Oregon State have already ruined (probably) the season for Arizona State. They can do the same to their biggest rivals, although Oregon will still go to the Pac-12 championship game. They might even make the national championship game with two losses, depending on how the dominoes fall elsewhere around the country.