Initial Reads March 16: Texas Ticket Prices Rise


America’s love affair with football has the game’s decision-makers seeing dollar signs. That’s not a good thing, argues W. Scott Bailey, particularly in the case of Texas ticket prices for 2015.

For San Antonio Business Journal, Bailey writes that the six-percent increase, coupled with more restrictive rules on reselling, puts college football on “a dangerous path on which there will be a tipping point.”

I contend that football popularity’s will only suffer when three ingredients come to a head: greed, hubris and violence. Greed is apparent with the Texas ticket prices; as is hubris, given the increases come amid years of underachieving by the Longhorns.

This situation is reminiscent of Dave Brandon’s tenure as Michigan athletic director, discussed at length in the excellent John U. Bacon book Fourth and Long. The businessman Brandon tried to run Michigan sports like a Fortune 500 corporation, and was met with animus from the fan base, ultimately resulting in his ouster a few months ago.

Athletic director Steve Patterson is new to the Longhorns, and with Texas’ ticket prices increasing, he’s immediately testing the fans’ dedication — and their patience.

More links for your Monday:

If College Football Had March Madness, It Would Look Like This; Jason Kirk, SB Nation

Every March, SB Nation plays off the excitement surrounding the NCAA Tournament with a look at how a similarly constructed field would work for college football. It’s an interesting concept.

Meanwhile, Friend of the Site Kevin McGuire of NBC Sports’ College Football Talk envisioned a version of the NIT for college football. Not to worry, his concept isn’t a 32-team field of teams that didn’t qualify for the fictitious, 68-team football bracket.

Instead, McGuire outlines a supplementary tournament for teams just outside the College Football Playoff. Very interesting idea.

Pat Narduzzi Off to Energetic Start with Pitt Panthers; Drew Karpen, Associated Press

Spring football is afoot, which means hopes are renewed for college football programs around the nation. For those programs with new head coaches, spring is a particularly optimistic time.

At Pittsburgh, former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi offers hope for a one-time powerhouse that has underachieved for decades.

Alabama Hunting for Nine New Offensive Starters; John Zenor, Associated Press

The quarterback competition at Alabama is sure to dominate headlines throughout the offseason, but head coach Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin are almost starting from scratch in 2015.