Best Games of the 2014 College Football Season

Michigan State vs. Oregon, September 6

The Spartans finished the 2013 season win 10 consecutive wins, and will be sexy pick to win the Big Ten. Wins over Ohio State and Stanford proved that they belonged in that Rose Bowl, but will they be able to stop Oregon’s offense? This Week 2 game will be a battle of two completely different styles of play.

Texas shocked the Sooners in 2013 in Dallas

Oklahoma vs. Texas, October 11

Last year’s Red River Rivalry was one of the biggest upsets of the season with the Longhorns obliterating the Sooners in Dallas. Texas had already lost two games to mid-tier opponents, but rocked OU early and often. The Sooners went on to lose only one more game in 2013, culminating in a shocking dismantling of the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Sugar Bowl. This is always the defining game of the Big 12 season, and it’s a must win for both teams.

Notre Dame vs. Florida State, October 18

Halfway into the season comes this matchup that could be a major upset if the defending-champion Seminoles are 6-0 heading in. Notre Dame finished last season at 9-4, including wins over Michigan State and USC. Unfortunately for the Fighting Irish, both of those wins came in South Bend. Barring a complete collapse early in the year, Florida State will be heavily favored.

Ole Miss vs. LSU, October 25

Ole Miss was as streaky as it gets in 2013, but was able to take down the Tigers in Oxford last season 27-24. Ole Miss was not very successful in SEC play, with their defining wins being over LSU and Texas. The Tigers lost to only the Ole Miss and Alabama but will be without QB Zach Mettenberger.  While Ole Miss might not look like a title contender, this will be a big step for the Tigers if they want to be in the mix in 2014.

Alabama vs. LSU, November 8

Alabama might have a more storied history squaring off against Auburn, but this fixture in the schedule always has national title implications. It’s very likely that both of these teams are undefeated coming into the game, and you know Les Miles and Nick Saban will be throw everything but the kitchen sink at each other to come out victorious. This time it’s in Baton Rouge, and there isn’t a better college football experience in the country than a night game at Tiger Stadium.

Auburn vs. Alabama, November 29

With how this game ended last season, you can Bryant-Denny Stadium will be electric for this one. A field-goal returned for a touchdown as time expired put the Tigers in the SEC title game and eventually in the National Championship, while Alabama got crushed in the Sugar Bowl by the Sooners. This is one of the best rivalries in all of sports, and it’s the last game of the regular season for both schools. All of Alabama wishes they could cram into the stadium for the Iron Bowl in 2014.

Game of the Week: Alabama vs. LSU

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week LSU vs. Alabama ranks #1 on our list. Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Why Alabama will win the biggest game of week one:

Alabama can’t look past this game against LSU if it wants to play for the national championship. There are too many other schools just waiting for the Crimson Tide to slip up. No, Alabama will focus on the Tigers and keeping their record unblemished. Nick Saban has veteran leadership to make sure there is no November stumble like the previous two seasons. Quarterback A.J. McCarron has the experience to put the game on his shoulders if necessary. For the season, McCarron is completing nearly seventy percent of his passes and has an impressive 16:3 touchdown to interception ratio. T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake lead the rushing attack and have a combined 17 rushing touchdowns. Alabama is so balanced on offense it has given the defense time to grow up and become dominant again.

Why I could be wrong:

Zach Mettenberger. The senior signal caller has 19 touchdown passes so far this season. He is just 119 passing yards away from eclipsing his total for last season – with four games left to play. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has transformed Mettenberger into a complete quarterback. Of course, it helps when you have weapons like Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry at wide receiver. The Tiger’s passing attack has dramatically improved this year. Why is this important? LSU lost quite a bit of talent on the defensive side of the ball last year, so it will be up to Mettenberger and the offense to pull off the upset. The wildcard is every Italian American’s favorite head football coach, Les Miles. He always has a gadget play up his sleeve for big games.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

Something will have to give on Saturday. The goal is crystal clear for Alabama: win out and play for the BCS National Championship. On the other side of the ball, LSU has its eye on an at-large BCS bowl game. The Tigers would like nothing more than to play spoiler to Alabama’s run at a third national championship. The Crimson Tide can show they are still the team to beat with a victory. There will be a lot of future NFL talent on display at Bryant-Denny Stadium in what should be an exciting clash of SEC powers.

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table. 

Get Pumped Up: The BCS National Championship with Alabama and LSU

Tonight marks the final game of the 2011-12 college football season. After all the wins and losses, upsets and surprises, it all comes down to this one game. Tonight LSU and Alabama will face off in the New Orleans Superdome to find out who is number one, once and for all.

Alabama and LSU is a rematch of the defensive battle these two schools waged in the regular-season; a game the Tigers won 9-6 in overtime. The big questions are whether LSU can defeat Alabama twice in one season and whether either team will score a touchdown in the Championship Game. Crimson Tide Head Coach Nick Saban is playing for his 3rd championship ring, while Tigers head man, Les Miles, is trying to win his second ring with LSU.

As we speak, these two great fan bases are living it up in the Big Easy, knowing that tonight the champion will be decided steps from Bourbon Street in the New Orleans Superdome.

Below are some videos we’ve found on YouTube to get you pumped up for the game. Who do you think will emerge victorious?

 

2011 Cotton Bowl Seating Chart

Here’s the map for 2011 Cotton Bowl, updated to show which side Texas A&M (Big 12) and LSU (SEC) sidelines are on. The game will be played on Friday, January 7, 2011 at 7:00 PM.

Cotton Bowl Seating Chart

Top Rivalry Games in College Football

Success on the field (i.e.- wins & losses) is often the biggest driving force behind demand for a game.  Two top 10 teams are generally going to draw a lot more interest from fans than two teams with losing records.  The games that are usually the exception to that rule are rivalry games.  Because no matter what the team’s record is, their fans still want to be there to see them beat their rival.

Rankings of the top rivalry games typically skews towards which sets of teams are more in the national spotlight (i.e.- winning games).  Which makes demand cyclical for certain rivalry games, as the teams fall off slightly.  E.g.- Tennessee and Florida is a strong rivalry game, but it used to be the top game when Tennessee was a consistent top 10 team.  The Apple Cup (Washington versus Washington State) has also fallen back a bit while the two programs move through some lean years.

So what are the hottest rivalry games right now?  Below is a list of the top games as we head into October 2009.  These games are ranked on average ticket price, so they are subject to change. 

Top 10 College Football Rivalry Games (as of 10/1/2009)
1. Texas vs Oklahoma
2. USC vs Notre Dame
3. Florida vs LSU
4. Florida vs Georgia
5. Ohio State vs Michigan
6. Alabama vs Auburn
7. Oklahoma vs Nebraska
8. Texas vs Texas A&M
9. Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State
10. USC vs UCLA