College football fans, rejoice -- the 2016 season is officially upon us.
Eight long months have passed since Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide stormed to a national championship, relying on one of the most memorable onside kicks in college football history to defeat Clemson, 45-40. However, with the Tide fittingly leading the AP Poll out of the gate this season, their title win hasn't swayed ticket prices on the secondary market. In fact, the team won't crack the list of most expensive College Football tickets in 2016.
This year's top honor belongs to Notre Dame, who for the second straight season owns the most expensive college football tickets on the secondary market. TicketIQ, the leading online platform that partners with both primary and secondary market brokers to give consumers the largest ticket inventory to choose from, breaks down this season's top 15 most expensive schools below:
1) Notre Dame Fighting Irish | 2016 Season Average: $335 | 2015 Season Average: $332 | Year-over-Year Change: +1%
Several key receivers are gone in South Bend this season -- Will Fuller, Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle each have new digs in the NFL -- but their absence hasn't affected prices on the resale market. Notre Dame tickets now own a $335 average across all games at Notre Dame Stadium, making the Irish the top-priced team in the league this year.
2) Ohio State Buckeyes | 2016 Season Average: $286 | 2015 Season Average: $198 | Year-over-Year Change: +45%
One year removed from their own national title, the Ohio State Buckeyes had a memorable 2015 season, going 12-1 but failing to reach the College Football Playoff after their sole loss to Michigan State during Week 12. They'll need to adapt after losing star players Cardale Jones, Zeke Elliot, Braxton Miller and Joey Bosa, but even with the mass exodus of players the Buckeyes again post a massive resale ticket demand in 2016, climbing 45% on average to $286 for games at Ohio Stadium.
3) Georgia Bulldogs | 2016 Season Average: $235 | 2015 Season Average: $234 | Year-over-Year Change: -1%
Despite going unranked in the CFP last season, Georgia will continue to pack house at Sanford Stadium in 2016. The Bulldogs went 10-3 last year, finishing 24th in the Coaches' Poll. Their biggest storyline this season will be the debut of new head coach Kirby Smart, who takes over after Mark Richt. The average resale price for Georgia tickets in 2016 is $235, the third highest in the nation this season.
4) UCLA Bruins | 2016 Season Average: $232 | 2015 Season Average: $116 | Year-over-Year Change: +100%
Making the biggest jump on the secondary market this season are the UCLA Bruins, whose average ticket price has doubled at the Rose Bowl. 2016 will be a proving grounds type of year for sophomore QB Josh Rosen, and he'll look to make a splash in head coach Jim Mora's fifth season in SoCal. UCLA tickets on TicketIQ currently average $232, a massive jump from last year's average of $116.
5) Tennessee Volunteers | 2016 Season Average: $219 | 2015 Season Average: $199 | Year-over-Year Change: +10%
The preseason rankings say it all for Tennessee. With top 10 ranks in the Coaches' and Sports Illustrated Poll, there's reason why the Vols are the fifth most expensive team in the nation this year. Tennessee tickets on the secondary market currently own a $219 average, up 10% from last year's average of $199.
6) Oklahoma Sooners | 2016 Season Average: $209 | 2015 Season Average: $165 | Year-over-Year Change: +27%
An 11-2 record wasn't enough to snag the fourth and final CFP spot last year, but such a big season has lead to higher ticket prices in Oklahoma. The Sooners begin the season with a $209 average across all games at Memorial Stadium, up 27% from last year's average of $165. Heisman Trophy candidate Baker Mayfield returns to lead a stacked offense that includes running back Samaje Perine and ascending receiver Dede Westbrook.
7) Clemson Tigers | 2016 Season Average: $207 | 2015 Season Average: $141 | Year-over-Year Change: +47%
2015 was near-flawless season for Clemson, who fell just shy of perfection against Alabama in the title game. They'll return with even greater expectations in 2016 and, unlike many other elite teams, will do so with their core still intact. Deshaun Watson, Wayne Gallman and Hunter Renfrow again lead the Tigers in hopes of returning to college football's biggest stage. Clemson tickets are averaging $207 in 2016, a notable 47% boost from last year's average of $141.
8) Utah Utes | 2016 Season Average: $187 | 2015 Season Average: $115 | Year-over-Year Change: +63%
Several glaring holes will be filled on offense for Utah this season, including a new quarterback, running back and top receiver. Still, for a program that has consistently grown into a Pac 12 threat over the last four seasons, there's no reason to believe the Utes won't have another big year in 2016. The secondary market appears to share a similar sentiment, as Utah tickets have increased 63% on average and are posting a $115 average at Rice Eccles Stadium.
9) Michigan State Spartans | 2016 Season Average: $187 | 2015 Season Average: $104 | Year-over-Year Change: +80%
Favored to repeat as Big Ten East champions, the Michigan State Spartans enter 2016 with a massive increase in ticket prices on the secondary market. The loss of Connor Cook under center hurts, but fans can expect senior Tyler O'Connor to lead the offense to a second straight divisional championship. Michigan State tickets currently average $187 on TicketIQ, up 80% from last season's average of $104.
10) Texas Longhorns | 2016 Season Average: $176 | 2015 Season Average: $143 | Year-over-Year Change: +23%
It's no mystery that Texas' power lies in its ground game, and D'Onta Foreman and Chris Waren III will again be the X factors for the Longhorns this season. They'll hope to improve on their 5-7 record from a season ago, though it will be a difficult task in a crowded Big 12. Texas tickets currently own a $176 average at Texas Memorial Stadium, a 23% increase from last season's $143 average.
11) Mississippi Rebels | 2016 Season Average: $172 | 2015 Season Average: $95 | Year-over-Year Change: +81%
Ole Miss will welcome transfer student Chad Kelly this season, who is arguably the most talented QB in the league. Several key players have gone on to the NFL, including receiver Laquon Treadwell and OT Laremy Tunsil, so the Rebels will hope to remain within Top 10 talks as the season progresses. On the secondary market, Ole Miss tickets have increased a whopping 81% on average, climbing from $95 a season ago to $172 in 2016.
12) Florida State Seminoles | 2016 Season Average: $171 | 2015 Season Average: $92 | Year-over-Year Change: +86%
Jimbo Fisher will keep all of his top talent from a season ago in 2016, yet again making FSU a threat to Clemson in the Atlantic division of the ACC. It appears that hype is through the roof for the team, too, as Florida State tickets are averaging $171 in 2016, am 86% increase from last season. Expect Sean Maguire to step up again under center for the Seminoles this season.
13) Michigan Wolverines | 2016 Season Average: $169 | 2015 Season Average: $171 | Year-over-Year Change: -1%
Jim Harbaugh's presence in Ann Arbor had an immediate impact on the Michigan Wolverines. Harbaugh led the team to a 10-3 season in his first year as head coach, giving Michigan its first double-digit winning season since 2011. The Wolverines return to a packed Big Ten East division that also features Ohio State and Michigan State, so the team will need to make a splash if it hopes to take the division this season. The average resale price for Michigan tickets is $169 this season, barely moving from last year's average of $171.
14) Iowa Hawkeyes | 2016 Season Average: $169 | 2015 Season Average: $96 | Year-over-Year Change: +76%
Iowa's dreamlike 2015 season took them all the way to the Big Ten Championship, though the Hawkeyes' playoff hopes were crushed by Michigan State. Still, such a monumental year has sparked ticket prices at Kinnick Stadium in 2016, and Iowa tickets have increased 76% on average from $96 to $169. 12 consecutive wins is difficult to predict for any team, but Iowa has the muscle to make 2016 another big year.
15) USC Trojans | 2016 Season Average: $162 | 2015 Season Average: $127 | Year-over-Year Change: +28%
USC struggled down the stretch last season, winning just one of their four final games and suffering back-to-back losses to Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game and Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl. The Trojans have the tools to make a push in the South division -- QB Cody Kessler was the only full-time offensive player to leave in the offseason -- but they'll be tested by divisional rivals UCLA and Utah, each who are expected to have massive seasons. Even so, USC tickets have increased 28% on average this season, rising from $127 to $162 for games at the Rose Bowl.