We would like to thank Gyula Nemeth, a brilliant graphic artist based in Budapest, Hungary for the design of our original logo. He is currently the designer for Zone Blitz magazine and the following is a list of his clients:
Boston Bruins / NHL
College Football Bowl Report
Hewlett - Packard
Saskatchewan RoughRiders / CFL
Visit him by clicking a link below.
In 2005, Mitchell Stewart Mustain led Springdale High School to a perfect 14-0 record and won the Arkansas Class 5A state title, defeating three nationally ranked opponents in the process. In a magical senior campaign, Mustain threw for nearly 4,000 yards and set a state single season record with 47 touchdowns garnering him consensus national Player of the Year honors and an inventory of hardware similar in size to that of a Home Depot.
The handsome prodigy was ordained “Football’s Future” by USA Today, and Razorback fans across the Natural State had visions of BCS crystal balls dancing in their heads when they realized that the future of the game that had not been so rewarding to them as of late, was going to be cultivated in their own back yard, as Mustain chose to attend nearby Arkansas, spurning the pursuits made by every national power.
At Arkansas, Mustain saw action immediately. As a true freshman, he replaced starter Robert Johnson in the late stages of an eventual 50-14 loss to the USC Trojans and instantly guided the Razorbacks on an impressive 80-yard touchdown drive, sending the remaining Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium crowd into frenzy and Robert Johnson to a totally different position on the depth chart (WR).
From the moments people start following sports, rivalries are integral part of what it means to be a fan. Whether it’s Red Sox/Yankees, Cowboys/Redskins, or Celtics/Lakers, rivalries raise the stakes and bring a different level of intensity to the game. Few rivalries, however, have the intensity of College Football.
The average price for rivalry week is $131 across college football. No ticket this weekend is more expensive than Iron Bowl tickets for the Alabama vs Auburn clash in Auburn. At an average ticket price of $522, with a trip to the SEC Championship Game and BCS National Championship Game potentially at stake, prices are surprisingly down 19% in the past week. Despite the drop in price, Saturday’s price tag is 241% above the average price of Auburn football tickets at home this year, and 104% above the average price of Alabama football tickets when they hosted Auburn last season. Alumni of the winning school will likely be looking at even more substantially priced SEC Championship tickets for next week.
Over in the Big Ten, Ohio State travels to The Big House to take on Michigan this weekend. What started the as the 4th most expensive ticket in college football this season is now barely in the top 25, and prices have declined to an average of $201, including an 33% drop in the last week. This game carries just a 3% premium over the average price of Michigan football tickets at home this year, and is 52% less than Ohio State football tickets when they hosted the Wolverines last season at the Horse Shoe. Regardless of the outcome of this game, Ohio State fans should be budgeting for Big Ten Championship tickets. Currently, they have an average price of $234 compared to $774 for Rose Bowl tickets and $1994 for BCS National Championship tickets, which are the two other games that Ohio State still has a shot to play in.
While an early-season loss to Florida State will keep Clemson out of the ACC Championship, a win over South Carolina this weekend will likely secure a berth in the Orange Bowl. A classic intrastate rivalry, Clemson/South Carolina is the second most expensive average ticket price for rivalry week, at $261. Tickets are 118% above the average price for South Carolina football tickets at home this season, and 21% above the average price for Clemson football tickets when they hosted South Carolina last season. According to Brian Ek at Priceline, this rivalry game is driving the highest increase in hotel prices for any of the major rivalry-week games. This weekend a 3.5 star hotel in Columbia costs $289 compared to $149 for other weekends. The next closest price increase is Ann Arbor where hotel prices are $15 more expensive than other weekends.
What started off as another season of promise for the Oregon Ducks has since unraveled after their loss to unranked Arizona last week. While Oregon is still in play for a BCS at-large bid, there will not be any Pac 12 Championship tickets or BCS National Championship tickets for Oregon fans this year. Oregon can end the season on an up note, however, if they can beat in-state rival Oregon State Beavers in Eugene this Friday. At an average price of $123 dollars, tickets for this game are 22% below the average price for Oregon football tickets at home this season, and 50% below last year’s game at Oregon State..
Continuing the trend of in-state rivalries is Florida State at Florida. This game is a lot more important for the Seminoles, who will likely punch their ticket to the BCS National Championship game with a victory in Gainesville. Gators fans aren’t too excited to see Florida State step on Florida on their way to Pasadena and prices have fallen 44% over the last month, bringing the average price down to $126 dollars. The game is 11% above the average price of Florida football tickets at home this year. With the drop in price, this one is also 43% below the average price of Florida State football tickets when they hosted the Gators last season.
Wrapping up our college football rivalry week preview is Texas A&M at Missouri. Although Texas A&M opened the season with National Championship aspirations while Missouri battled for a ranking, the two squads have since flipped positions. A win this Saturday will secure Missouri a spot in the SEC Championship game against Alabama, potentially with a BCS National Championship trip on the line. However, ticket prices have dropped 16% in the past week to an average of $121 dollars. That’s still good for 22% above the average price for Missouri football tickets at home this year, but 51% below the price of Texas A&M football tickets when they hosted Missouri last season. If all goes well for the Tigers however, fans will be fighting for the opportunity to witness the school’s first ever SEC Championship game.
1. ALABAMA (11-0). A.J. McCarron is, by far, the most boring Heisman candidate of the past 30 years. Which, given the award's considerably lower profile prior to that, puts him in the running for most boring candidate ever. I'd argue he's the most boring possible candidate, the clean-cut, long-serving QB for the nation's No. 1 team having served as the de facto frontrunner from time immemorial. Being as boring as possible is the entire point of playing quarterback for Nick Saban, and in this particular season counts as a prevailing virtue. Consider the alternatives: Every other quarterback who has taken his turn at the top of the rotation has either looked terrible in a demoralizing, high-profile loss (Tajh Boyd, Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel, Bryce Petty), or racked up big numbers against terrible competition (Derek Carr, Jordan Lynch, Teddy Bridgewater), or is under investigation for a terrible crime. Meanwhile, McCarron has been at his best in Alabama's biggest games, and the worst he can be accused of on a personal level is questionable taste in body art. His team hasn't budged, and neither has he.
Of course, as a discerning fanatic, no doubt you're ready with the name of a truly deserving, under-the-radar candidate, who would obviously win if stodgy, out-of-touch voters could only, like, free their minds. Of course you're right. (That guy is awesome.) But of course, as long as McCarron is his usual, efficient self this weekend in the Iron Bowl, and (presumably) in the SEC championship game, he's going to land at or near the top of nearly every ballot, if only as the one guy who doesn't raise any obvious red flags. As David Halberstam once wrote of Dean Rusk's rise to secretary of state, "thus their choice would be determined neither by talent nor brilliance, but to a degree by mediocrity. … He was everybody's number two."