B1G Ten, Big Ticket: Buckeyes in Happy Valley
Penn State started this football season with a number of unanswered questions but plenty of promise. Bill O’Brien, the coach who had arrived and helped to steady the program after it was jarred by a scandal, left for the NFL; however, accomplished recruiter and promising coach James Franklin was hired to fill the position, keeping the team’s momentum headed in the right direction and the roster filled with talent despite NCAA sanctions. Christian Hackenberg had a great year under center as a freshman last season, but could he succeed in a new system with a still-developing supporting cast? Things started strong, but the Nittany Lions already have two Big Ten conference losses, and hopes for a Cinderella season are already fading fast.
In Columbus, rival Ohio State seemed to have their great expectations for this season squashed just before their first kickoff when Heisman hopeful Braxton Miller was lost for the season to an injury. Freshman JT Barrett stepped in under center but stumbled early; the Buckeyes fell to Virginia Tech in his second start, leaving the season looking perilously close to being a wasted opportunity. Barrett and his comrades have rebounded, however, powered by an overwhelming amount of speed all over the field. With the Big Ten experiencing a down year, Ohio State simply needs to focus on running through a slate of winnable games and getting lucky in their biggest hurdle, a November 8 matchup at Michigan State.
All of that means that this rivalry game in Penn State’s Beaver Stadium has a lot on the line; the conference is still anyone’s to take, and a team like Ohio State could still use a conference title as a springboard into the playoff picture. The Nittany Lions and their faithful fans see a big conference win as a critical step back into national relevance, so they’re willing to pay dearly to see this potential tipping point first-hand. Saturday’s game against Ohio State is averaging $188 on the secondary market, which the most expensive Penn State home game since 2011 and the priciest college football game this weekend.
Penn State Football Tickets & Game Dates
Ticket Demand for Penn State – Ohio State NCAA Football Rivalry
When the Nittany Lions lost to Alabama in 2011, the game averaged $266 on the resale market. Although the Crimson Tide game’s ticket prices were greater, this represents the most expensive B1G 10 game in recent history. Only last year’s Michigan game with an average of $184 came reasonably close to matching the average for this week.
When the Buckeyes visited in 2012, ticket prices averaged $141 on the resale market. Tickets are about 25% more expensive than the last time these two teams met at Beaver Stadium. The second most expensive Penn State home game this season was against Northwestern on September 27, which averaged about 43% less ($106) than this Saturday’s game.