THE BLOG
10/13/2014 04:09 pm ET Updated Dec 13, 2014

With New Playoff System, Loss No Longer a Death Sentence on Field or Ticket Market in College Football

For years, so much as a single loss in college football was a death sentence to National Championship hopes. Only three times in the 16-year BCS history did the National Championship Game not feature at least one unbeaten, the last of which being seven seasons ago in 2008. Making this format all the more frustrating for fans was that in many years, there would be a host of seemingly qualified one-loss teams (and in some years, unbeatens) from outside the SEC automatically taking a back seat to a one-loss SEC team when it came time for the computers to decide who would be playing for the national championship. This scenario lent itself to boom or bust ticket markets for major programs across the country, heavily elastic relative to that all-important binary digit in the loss column. With the advent of the College Football Playoffs for this season, this is finally no longer the case.

Last Saturday was somewhat of a day of reckoning within the top ranks of college football, with four of the top six ranked schools in the country going down. No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Oklahoma, and No. 6 Texas A&M all bit the dust last week, creating much reshuffling among the Top 10 in the AP poll. In years past, such a loss for a Big 12 school like Oklahoma would be a season-killer. With Florida State still undefeated, as well as a bevy of SEC teams such as Auburn, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss, the Sooners would have virtually no chance at qualifying for the National Championship Game. This season however, Oklahoma can still hold on to hope.

While they fell victim to a feisty TCU squad last week, Oklahoma's average ticket price of $181 on the secondary market remains unchanged, according to TiqIQ. In fact, they have actually moved up a spot in the TiqIQ Top 25, jumping UCLA as the sixth most expensive school on the secondary market. Clearly, Sooner fans still believe in this team's chances of making the College Football Playoff.

This newfound phenomenon that one loss no longer destroys a season is exemplified throughout the TiqIQ Top 25. Despite losses last week, Texas A&M has held tight to the No. 4 spot with an average ticket price of $202, while Alabama remains at No. 8 with a $179 average. Even Georgia, which lost two weeks ago to South Carolina, has remained the second most expensive ticket in college football at an average price of $229.

Although one loss teams no longer bite the dust, remaining undefeated deeper into the season is still the biggest booster of secondary market ticket prices. As such, Auburn once again continues to climb the ranks, with ticket prices up 4 percent to an average of $146. This makes the Tigers the second biggest climber of the week, behind surprise of the year Ole Miss. The Rebels have vaulted 14 spots to make their season debut in the TiqIQ Top 25 at No. 17. Coming off a stunning defeat of Alabama, the Rebels have seen their average secondary market ticket price rise a whopping 35 percent to $138. This week, the Rebels travel down to Kyle Field to take on Texas A&M. With a loss at the hands of Mississippi State already in tow for the Aggies, this game holds major implications for each team, both on the field and on the secondary market.