So what's up USC?
Your Trojans made it to the Rose Bowl and yet you're putting some serious hurt on local scalpers and their cousins in commerce, who prefer to be called ticket brokers in the secondary ticket market, which sounds a lot nicer than calling them scalpers with storefronts and Web sites.
Whatever you call them, they're likely feeling like stock brokers holding shares of AIG.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune says that, as of Christmas Eve, some sellers were letting tickets to the preeminent college football contest go for less than $100 each, a discount of more than 30 percent.
Even Rose Bowl food vendors are bemoaning pre-game-day sales that are lagging by as much as 40 percent off last year.
The bad economy seems to have potential as an explanation, but not when you consider that there were plenty of sports fans spending $334 a pop for seats to this year's Lakers-Celtics game on Christmas Day, more than twice the going rate of tickets to the Lakers-Suns matchup on Christmas Day 2007.
Besides that, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that the five-year return on the value of an Executive MBA from the University of Southern California is 134 percent, and that "2008 graduates can expect a median salary of $218,062," which seems ample enough for a bleacher seat.
Apparently the Penn State fans are willing to make the trip, or so says one broker quoted by the SGV Tribune. But that might not be a fair comparison as the allure of Pasadena might not be the game alone for Penn State fans. Consider that University Park, PA, is expecting partly cloudy weather with a high of 27 degrees Fahrenheit Thursday, while Pasadena is slated for a sunny 67 degrees.
So what's up? Who knows. Perhaps the only sure bet is that those willing to brave the traffic and the crowds shouldn't have any trouble getting a deal on tickets to the game.