Photo Credit: Jerry Ting/Neon Tommy

2014 USC Preview: Ticket Pricing Edition

Photo Credit: Jerry Ting/Neon Tommy

Originally posted at TrojanWire:

A few seasons ago USC earned the top spot in the preseason polls thanks to the belief that quarterback Matt Barkley, and receivers Marquise Lee and Robert Woods would form a dominant offense. But not only did that team disappoint, but last season the Trojans struggled once again. Not only did it lead to the firing of head coach Lane Kiffin, it also led to relatively inexpensive USC games on the secondary market last season.

This season expectations are relatively high again, with USC landing a 15th ranking in the preseason polls. That number also directly relates to where they are for ticket prices on the secondary market. According to TiqIQ, USC has the 15th most expensive tickets in the nation this year with a $143.67 average. That’s a huge increase from the season before, when the average price dropped to $84.16 after the tough losses started to mount for the Trojans. Home games on the USC football schedule will be 71% more expensive than last season, which is one of the largest price increases in the entire nation.

But while expectations are up for USC, they’re also up for the entire Pac-12 conference. The conference has recently started to challenge the SEC for dominance in the sport with Oregon, Stanford and UCLA also looking like real contenders for the conference title and College Football Playoffs this season. In fact, overall the depth of the conference has improved mightily with competitive teams up and down the board.

That hype has even led to a price increase for one of the most hyped matchups in Southern California. UCLA and USC face off every year and last season the average was pretty high at $234.47, and a get-in price at $101 at the Coliseum. This season the game will be played at the Rose Bowl as a UCLA home game and the average price has increased 29%t for an average of $302.32. The get-in price didn’t increase much, with the cheapest ticket currently at $104.

That game isn’t the only one with expensive tickets. The team also hosts Notre Dame for a game that currently has a $257 average and an $82 get-in price. Notre Dame is another team like USC that has a successful history, but has struggled to live up to that hype that last several years. Granted they had a big outlier year a couple seasons ago when they made the national championship game behind an undefeated regular season. This season Notre Dame is ranked just a bit behind the Trojans at 17 on the AP preseason poll.

The next most expensive game of the seasons comes August 30 against Fresno State. The game currently has an average price of $135 and a get-in price of $43 for USC’s first home game of the season.

USC has struggled since Pete Carroll left, and the team received sanctions for breaking NCAA regulations. Entering this season with a new head coach in Steve Sarkisian, the team is hopeful that they’re heading in the right direction. So far that means a 15th ranking in the preseason poll, and increased ticket prices on the secondary market.

What do you guys think: Can we really get the laptop-stealing, pay-for-playing, and (because his team is going to roll the dice and back him without anything resembling a full investigation) likely Heisman QB against the team with the star running back who sat out the season’s first game–after being accused of strangling and assaulting and later pleading guilty to physically harrassing his girlfriend–as our BCS [Insert Sponsor Name Here] National Champion?  Remind me what the definition of institutional control is again?

Hooray 2010, you’re the best!


BlogPoll: Week 3 Ballot

Here’s our latest ballot for the SB Nation BlogPoll. Lots of movement based on lots of comparative assumptions; next couple weeks will help figure a lot out, for now it’s a lot of speculating based on a whopping two results for everyone. The one big trend we can call out — with every additional quarter of football, we’re getting higher and higher on Oregon. That offense looks like a serious force to be reckoned with, Masoli be damned.

You know the drill: let us know in the comments which ones we got wrong.

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BlogPoll: Preseason (Week 1) Ballot

TrojanWire is proud to be back in the BlogPoll for 2010. As part of this weekly ritual, we’ll be posting our ballot every Monday, and giving you the chance to provide your input. Then on Wednesday morning, we’ll cast a ballot that represents the views of the entire TrojanWire readership.

That being said, this first one comes without your input — yet. This is your chance, tell us what we got right/wrong in the comments below.

Trojan Links

Here is a Monday round-up of all things Troy from the past week or so:

New AD Pat Haden was the star of the week.


My 10 Favorite Players to Watch in College Football

This list isn’t necessarily made of up the best players in college football–though some are very good to great–but the ones that I get the most fun out of watching.

I try to see 15-20 games every Saturday, but when these players flash on the screen, my eyes tend to linger a little longer.

B.J. Daniels, QB, South Florida–Daniels is still a work in progress in the passing game and therefore he relies a lot on his legs to get him out of trouble.  He is a creative runner who drives defenses crazy since he can transform almost any broken play into a positive gain.  Every play is an adventure, which makes him really fun to watch.

Tate Forcier, QB, Michigan–His play reminds me of those old NFL film archives of Fran Tarkenton when he was with the Giants.  You just know something amazing can happen with every snap.  It’s rare to see a true freshman with such nerves of steel in crunch time, but that’s what Forcier showed last year.  Looking forward to the rest of his career.

Ricky Dobbs, QB, Navy–When the option is executed well, it’s such a joy to behold.  Dobbs does it as well as anyone and he rolled to an amazing 27 touchdowns last year.  His effort against Ohio State alone earned him my respect for his talents.

Jeff Demps, RB, Florida–There’s nothing like seeing a true breakaway back in action.  Knowing that Demps could take it the distance at any time means you hold your breath every time he gets the ball.  Watching him break defensive pursuit angles with his speed never gets old.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State–For those who didn’t get enough of Vince Young a few years ago, there is still Pryor to follow.  Part of the interest in observing him, besides his obvious talents, is the ongoing process of seeing him develop into the dominant player we all know he can be.

Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor–It’s rare to see such an athletic specimen playing quarterback.  Griffin shines at the most difficult running event in track and field–the 400 meter hurdles.  The way he plays football, it’s almost like it’s a piece of cake for him by comparison.

James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State–Will Oregon State ever be the same without the Rodgers brothers?  As good as Jacquizz is, James is the do-it-all guy who can beat you so many ways.  He’s an innate football player with great speed and toughness for his size.

Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia–The reason Thursday nights are so much fun.  I think we all tune in to see if he can duplicate those ridiculous runs we saw on YouTube so many years ago.  Plus, as with Rodgers above, it’s fun to see such a little guy making big people look so silly.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada–His play conjurs up visions of a runaway giraffe.  Seeing a lanky 6-6 guy glide through defenses can be mystifying at times.  It looks like he could traverse the length of the field in less than 10 strides.

Tyler Sash, S, Iowa–The only defensive player on this list seems to be all over the field for the Hawkeyes.  He had 203 returns yards on six interceptions, 85 tackles (5.5 for losses), forced two fumbles, broke up six passes and scored a touchdown on a returned pick. Television is biased towards offense, but Sash will not be denied–he makes his presence known!


Top 10 Running Backs for 2010

HP’s preview of the 2010 season continues with a look at the top 10 running backs.  See the top 10 receivers here and the top 10 tight ends here.

1. Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech–It looks to me like Williams is the complete package.  He’s got size, speed, vision, toughness and a nose for the end zone.  He put up 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Hokies as a 2009 redshirt freshman.  He also caught 16 passes, including one for a score.  He played very well against good competition–71 yards, 5.5 ypc and 2 TDs in his debut vs. Alabama, 107 yards against Nebraska–and I expect him to keep improving in 2010 and possibly become a Heisman candidate.  I think there is a wide gap between him and teammate Darren Evans (talent-wise), so I do not expect for him to lose much in the way of production due to sharing carries.

2. Noel Devine, West Virginia–The most electrifying back in college football, the smurf-like Devine used his amazing speed and cutting ability to notch 1,465 yards and 13 scores on the ground in 2009.  He also caught 22 passes, including one touchdown reception.  His coach has expressed a desire to get him more carries as a senior and I think this will result in a monster season.  His only weakness is a lack of real power–he goes down fairly easily most of the time–but he’s in a perfect system to highlight his superb abilities in space.  Outside of Florida’s Jeff Demps, he might have the best breakaway speed of any back out there.

3. Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State–The diminutive Rodgers can do it all.  He piled up 1,440 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground last year, while also catching 78 passes for 522 yards and a score.  Oh, and he threw a touchdown pass, too.  He’s a legitimate Heisman candidate who is primed to break a bunch of Pac-10 records before he’s through with his career.  Not a burner, but as consistent and versatile as they come and a relentless competitor.

4. Donald Buckram, UTEP–A top-notch talent stuck on a bad team, Buckram has great speed to go with outstanding vision.  If he were on a major power, he’d be a Heisman candidate.  Last year, he rushed for 1,594 yards and 18 touchdowns and added another three scores on 30 catches for 453 yards.  Look for bigger and better in 2010.

5. Daniel Thomas, Kansas State–Not many people know about this guy, but I don’t think that will be the case after the 2010 season.  Thomas is perhaps the nation’s premier power back, but he’s not just a bulldozer out there as he is also fairly athletic and skilled.  Last year was his first year playing tailback and he responded with 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns while also catching 25 balls.  He is really, really tough to bring down.  I predict a huge senior season for him and a bright NFL future.

6. LaMichael James, Oregon–James will sit out the first game due to suspension, but that won’t stop him from having another outstanding season.  As a redshirt freshman in 2009, he rushed for 1,546 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging nearly seven yards per carry.  Like Rodgers, he is built very low to the ground, but he is more explosive in the open field and has the ability to take it downtown.  If he gets his head on straight, he’ll have another highly-productive campaign.

7. Trent Richardson, Alabama–How often do you see a backup cutting into a returning Heisman winner’s playing time?  The talent oozing from this kid is too much for Alabama’s coaches to ignore, which is why the Tide will basically feature a two-headed tailback in 2010.   Richardson rushed for 751 yards and eight scores as a true frosh and will top the 1,000-yard mark as a sophomore.

8. Mark Ingram, Alabama–The returning Heisman winner probably won’t duplicate the season he had in 2009, when he put up 1,658 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground while also catching 32 passes for 334 yards and three more scores.  But when you have the nation’s best feet in traffic and a never-say-die motor, you will still put up good numbers.  Look for two 1,000-yard rushers ‘from Bama this year.

9. Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh–Lewis was amazing as a true freshman in 2009, rushing for 1,799 yards and 17 touchdowns.  He also caught 25 passes for 189 yards and a score.  Like others on this list, he is a squat, low-to-the-ground runner blessed with exceptional vision and toughness but lacking exceptional speed in the open field.   Still a highly productive back with an illustrious career ahead of him.

10. Michael Dyer, Auburn–I thought I’d go out on a limb for this pick and tab Dyer as the nation’s top freshman back.  He’s a short, stubby runner with tremendous balance and forward lean.  He keeps his legs moving and has a nice burst getting to the second level.  Not a threat to take it the distance every time, but he’ll break plenty of runs and get nice yardage in Gus Malzahn’s scheme.

Honorable Mention: Washaun Ealey, Georgia; John Clay, Wisconsin; Christine Michael, Texas A&M; Armando Allen, Notre Dame; Lache Seastrunk, Oregon; Evan Royster, Penn State; Chris Polk, Washington; Tre Newton, Texas; Jeff Demps, Florida; Jermaine Thomas, Florida State.


NCAA: Open Season to Pick the Carcass

Another clarification today in just how bad the NCAA wants to screw USC. Prison screw.

The NCAA has clarified that it will currently allow other teams to contact USC juniors and seniors in attempts to recruit them away from the Trojans. Furthermore, it will allow the other teams to waive the typical transfer year of ineligibility so the players can get on the field THIS SEASON! That means Oregon could call Mitch Mustain today and offer him Masoli’s quarterback position with promise of immediate play. Don’t you think that would be enticing? What about CJ Gable and Marc Tyler? I wouldn’t be surprised if Gable wants to use his last year of eligibility to prove he’s NFL worthy, or if Tyler finally wants the chance to get the major playing time he wasn’t able to earn at USC.

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Football weekender info

If you’re going on the road this year to watch the Trojan football team play, here is the official information from the USC Alumni Association about the 2010 USC Football Weekenders.

Included are details about the alumni host hotels (with special USC rates), pep rallies and other events surrounding each game.

USC’s 2010 road schedule:  Sept. 2 at Hawaii, Sept. 18 at Minnesota, Sept. 25 at Washington State, Oct. 9 at Stanford, Nov. 13 at Arizona and Nov. 20 at Oregon State.  The Dec. 4 game against UCLA in the Rose Bowl isn’t included among the weekender info because it’s basically in town.