If you're a Florida State fan, you should be pretty confident that your team is headed to the inaugural College Football Playoff Championship this January. Your team is the defending national champions, you return the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and you haven't lost a game in 18 months.
So, are you willing to plunk $220 down today on the chance to guarantee yourself a spot at AT&T Stadium should the Seminoles survive until mid-January? Because the College Football Playoff is now giving you that chance.
For those familiar with the options market, the College Football Playoff has partnered with TeamTix.com to create college football's own options market. Each team is "ranked" according to its perceived chance of reaching the title game. Most teams are around $130, defending champ Florida State is $220 and Alabama is way up in the stratosphere at $450. Like the stock market, the number fluctuates from there. If the market sees a team's value raise, its price goes up accordingly. If your team starts 9-0, you can sell your option at a small profit. Conversely, if your team starts 4-2, you can sell and attempt to recoup your losses.
To be clear, what you're purchasing is the privilige to buy a face-value ticket should your team reach the title game. It's a risk, but a calculated one. The face value of a ticket to the game is $450. If you're an Oklahoma fan, you can either pay $130 now to guarantee a seat for $450, or take your chances that the same ticket is available for less than $580 a week out from the title game.
Like "the house" in Vegas, the real winner here is Team Tix and the College Football Playoff as, yes, the folks who purchased the right from the two teams who actually make it to the championship game will benefit here. But everyone else who paid in for the rights related to the other 120+ teams will lose on those bets. As usual, the house always wins.
TeamTix says it plans to offer options markets for the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl and the Big Ten Championship. Personally, I would pass on TeamTix and take my chances on the open market for those games, but for events that are guaranteed to sell out quickly like the College Football Playoff Championship or the Super Bowl, TeamTix seems like the way to go.