The college football season is just around the corner, so hype is no longer needed. But speaking of hype, each year we see players listed as expected contenders for the Heisman Trophy and they’re typically playing for the most popular teams across the country. Coincidence? Maybe. But let’s look at correlation between average ticket prices and the Heisman contenders for the country’s top programs.
As far as conference goes, the Big Ten easily leads the way at $129.00 per ticket thanks to three teams with an average over $200 apiece. The SEC ($98.75), Pac-12 ($82.30), ACC ($77.00) and Big 12 ($76.00) round out the list by conference averages.
Clemson, $131.70 – Kelly Bryant would probably be the best bet for Heisman contender for the Tigers, if he can hold off true freshman Trevor Lawrence, the top prospect in 2018’s recruiting class. However, Clemson’s recent success is enough to keep their average ticket prices among the top of the conference.
NC State, $120.00 – The ACC’s top look at a Heisman hopeful probably resides in Raleigh, where Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley is arguably the league’s best passer. Finley has improved each of his two years at NC State and has tickets in high demand.
Texas, $139.00 – If given the reigns to the offense, no one should discount Sam Ehlinger as a Heisman darkhorse in 2018. The sophomore quarterback showed plenty of grit and endless potential in his debut season. However, splitting time with Shane Buechele again would limit Ehlinger’s upside.
West Virginia, $94.00 – Seen as the top returning quarterback in the country, Will Grier will lead arguably the top offense in the country. Further boosting Grier’s stock is the fact that he has the top receiving corps in football, with David Sills V (nation-leading 18 TDs) and Gary Jennings (97 receptions, 1,096 yards) leading the way.
Oklahoma, $77.00 – Replacing last year’s Heisman winner is no small feat, but Kyler Murray might be most equipped to handle it, with an offensive coach in Lincoln Riley and the athletic profile of someone just taken in the top 10 of MLB’s amateur draft. His athleticism is well-known, but we finally get to see him in full-time action.
Michigan, $252.00 – Shea Patterson was allowed to transfer straight into the Wolverines program without sitting a year, so he is expected to be full-go as the starter for Jim Harbaugh’s squad. Patterson was known as one of the top talents in the country at Ole Miss before suffering a season-ending injury last season.
Penn State, $226.00 – From one Heisman threat to another, the Nittany Lions lost Saquon Barkley, but that only means Trace McSorley will be unleashed as the key cog to Penn State’s offense. McSorley has more than shown his potential as a dual-threat option in his two years as a starter.
Michigan State, $166.00 – Another darkhorse, Spartans QB Brian Lewerke returns for a top 25 team after throwing for more than 2,500 yards and rushing for over 500 yards. The vaunted Michigan State defense won’t be the only reason for Sparty winning games.
Ohio State, $147.80 – Dwayne Haskins, who performed admirably in the absence of J.T. Barrett last season, is expected to lead the way for the Buckeyes at quarterback this season. However, OSU also has Tate Martell. Whichever QB eventually takes possession of the job will almost assuredly be in the Heisman race at the end of the year.
Wisconsin, $70.00 – Most would argue that you can pencil in Jonathan Taylor for a trip to New York in December, as the running back set the freshman record for rushing yards last season behind the Badgers’ offensive line full of All-Americans. Taylor finished sixth in voting as a true freshman and will likely top that this year.
USC, $195.00 – One of the top programs in the country, the Trojans are expected to have one of the top freshmen in the country as well, with J.T. Daniels joining USC early to get a leg up in the quarterback competition. Trojans fans have plenty to look forward to after the departure of Sam Darnold.
Arizona, $45.70 – Khalil Tate took the country by storm last season, setting the record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a game. Now, with Johnny Manziel’s former coach in Kevin Sumlin, Wildcats faithful can expect fireworks on a weekly basis, and for ticket prices to increase as the season goes on.
Oregon, $19.00 – Capping off the Pac-12 as the best bargain to see Heisman hopefuls in person, you can get Ducks tickets for almost nothing as they look to return to West Coast domination under quarterback Justin Herbert. Oregon’s conference and College Football Playoff hopes rest in Herbert’s throwing arm.
Mississippi State, $168.00 – Nick Fitzgerald suffered a season-ending leg injury last year, but if he can get back to form he’ll be quite a fit for new coach Joe Moorhead’s offense. Moorhead is the previous offensive coordinator at Penn State, where he had dual-threat Trace McSorley in the same mold as Fitzgerald.
Alabama, $160.00 – Though there might be a quarterback controversy in Tuscaloosa, Tua Tagovailoa represents Bama’s best shot at winning the Heisman. While Jalen Hurts has been one of the most efficient QBs in the country for two years, Tagovailoa’s audition in the national title game showed what the Crimson Tide passing game could be with him running the show. Don’t discount senior running back Damien Harris either, who was named a preseason All-American.
Georgia, $160.00 – Speaking of the national championship game, Jake Fromm is another sophomore expected to take a big step forward. Fromm ran away with the starting job after starter Jacob Eason went down with an injury last season, and never looked back. With Nick Chubb and Sony Michel graduated to the NFL, look for Fromm to take control of the offense.
Missouri, $28.00 – After throwing for almost 4,000 yards and 44 touchdowns, Drew Lock announced himself as a potential Heisman finalist for 2018. Expect Lock to lead the way for the Tigers again, and you can catch one of their games for one of the lowest ticket averages in the SEC.
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