Thursday, the University of Iowa announced single-game ticket-prices for its seven home football games in 2013. They are:
$70: Wisconsin, Michigan
$65: Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern
$60: Western Michigan
$55: Missouri State
Were I Iowa, I'd have charged the $70 for all three $65 games. Northern Illinois is the season-opener, and you'll sell that out no matter what. Plus, hey, it was in the Orange Bowl last season.
Michigan State and Northwestern have decent-enough football pedigrees -- both won bowl games last season - and Iowa has strong rivalries with both.
Then, I'd have shaved five bucks off the Western Michigan game just because, c'mon, the Broncos were 4-8 overall and 2-6 in their conference last year. Just like, you know, Iowa.
Then, I'd have chopped 10 bucks off the Missouri State game. Seriously, $55 to watch Missouri State play anybody?
1. It's an FCS program.
2. It's an FCS program that went 3-8 last year, 2-9 the year before.
3. It's an FCS program that has lost its last 22 games against FBS teams, and is 1-23 in its history against teams that were FBS (I-A) at the time it played them. Missouri State was outscored in those 24 games by an average of 29 points!
Heck, with $55 you can go to Short's Burger and Shine in Iowa City and have a Beaconsfield burger and a pint of Old Man River or Sutliff Cider, leave the waiter/waitress a generous tip, and still be able to pay for parking in downtown Iowa City.
Last year, Missouri State played Kansas State and Louisville. The scores were 51-9 and 35-7. You know who won.
In 2011, the Bears played Arkansas and Oregon. The scores were 51-7 and 56-7. You know who won.
Missouri State has played an FBS team each year since 1998. It has never come closer than within two touchdowns. The Bears played Oklahoma State in 2003, 2006 and 2008. The combined scorers were Cowboys 151, Missouri State 26.
The Bears' lone win over an FBS team was a 31-24 triumph over UNLV in 1990. Then came losses to Tulsa (4) , Oklahoma State (6), North Texas, Arkansas (4), Kansas (2), Kansas State (3), Oregon and Louisville.
But I wouldn't say Missouri State should stick to playing teams its own size, like Missouri Valley Football Conference mate Northern Iowa. Because UNI is 28-5 against the Bears, and has outscored them, 923-428.