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The latest edition of the Florida/Georgia rivalry carries some very big implications — for the SEC and the College Football Playoff picture.

Week 9 college football tickets: Mid-afternoon contests top the list

Thanks to massive television contracts for each of the major conferences, college football game times aren’t usually set until a week or two before kickoff. An inconvenience for fans who try to plan ahead with their tailgating and other game-related activities, to be sure — but ultimately the kickoff times are based on when the best TV audience can be achieved.

This also means the best games of a weekend slate tend to be spread out over the various TV windows to keep from having too many great matchups on at one time.

But this week is a major exception.

The 3:30 p.m. ET slot features five of the biggest games of Week 9, meaning those watching at home will be getting in some major channel-changing exercise. And those who happen to be lucky enough to be attending one of these great contests will no doubt be checking their phones during every break in the action to see how the other games are going.

Using pricing figures provided by TicketCity, here’s a look at what you’ll need to spend to get an up-close view of some of Week 9’s best games:

College football’s best Week 9 ticket options

No. 3 Georgia vs. Florida

Where: EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Fla.

When: Saturday, Oct. 28; 3:30 p.m. ET

Median ticket price: $185

How much to get in the door: $62

We’re not supposed to call it the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party anymore, but good luck keeping Florida and Georgia fans from making it just that — or from treating their annual clash in Jacksonville like anything less than the biggest event of the year.

The neutral site means the crowd should be pretty evenly split between fans of the unbeaten Bulldogs, who have been one of the most impressive teams in the country, and a Gators team that is 3-3 and has lost two in a row. Florida is on a downswing but tends to play its best in this game, having won three straight against the Bulldogs by a combined score of 89-33.

Georgia could all but clinch the SEC’s East with a win, since everyone else in the division already has at least two conference losses. For Florida, a victory would keep its hope of a third consecutive East title alive.

No. 2 Penn State at No. 6 Ohio State

Where: Ohio Stadium; Columbus, Ohio

When: Saturday, Oct. 28; 3:30 p.m. ET

Median ticket price: $347

How much to get in the door: $203

There’s still more than a month left in the regular season but it’s fair to say a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game is up for grabs at the Horseshoe on Saturday. Then there’s inclusion in the College Football Playoff — a very realistic possibility for both the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes.

That makes this something of a playoff play-in game, since the winner would have the inside track on a semifinal bid. So could the loser, however, based on how the Big Ten played out last season.

Ohio State’s only regular-season loss in 2016 was at Penn State, a result which propelled the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten East Division and ultimately Big Ten conference crowns. Yet it was the Buckeyes who made the playoffs. Ohio State already has a loss this fall, at home to Oklahoma, while Penn State is off to its first 7-0 start since 2008.

No. 14 North Carolina State at No. 9 Notre Dame

Where: Notre Dame Stadium; South Bend, Ind.

When: Saturday, Oct. 28; 3:30 p.m. ET

Median ticket price: $240

How much to get in the door: $67

Notre Dame’s scheduling agreement with the ACC calls for it to play four or five teams from that league each season, with games already scheduled out through 2033. That means the Fighting Irish are at the mercy of that advance planning as far as how it will impact their yearly schedule strength.

They didn’t have perennial ACC powers Clemson and Florida State on the slate this year but still made out like a bandit thanks to strong starts by unbeaten Miami — whom the Irish (6-1) visit on Nov. 11 — and the Wolfpack on Saturday.

N.C. State (6-1) brings a six-game win streak and its highest ranking since 2003 into the program’s first trip to Notre Dame Stadium. The Wolfpack beat Notre Dame 10-3 in Raleigh last season, a game that was played in a tropical storm.

UCLA at No. 12 Washington

Where: Husky Stadium; Seattle

When: Saturday, Oct. 28; 3:30 p.m. ET

Median ticket price: $108

How much to get in the door: $33

Coach Chris Petersen has brought plenty of attention to Washington for comments made earlier this season about persistent late kickoff times and how it’s hurt his program. It’s a problem for every Pac-12 team since most of their games are played when East Coast fans are getting ready for bed, but for the Huskies it’s been really bad.

This will be Washington’s first game that kicks off before 5 p.m. local time, with four starting at 7 p.m. or later. It’s also Homecoming, so the fans should be coming out in droves to watch the Huskies take on a UCLA team they haven’t beaten since 2010.

The late starts haven’t hurt attendance, though, as Washington has averaged 68,101 for its first three games at 70,803-seat Husky Stadium. If this game doesn’t sell, the next one, Nov. 4 against rival Oregon, is sure to.

No. 4 TCU at No. 25 Iowa State

Where: Jack Trice Stadium; Ames, Iowa

When: Saturday, Oct. 28; 3:30 p.m. ET

Median ticket price: $53

How much to get in the door: $39

Yes, you’re reading this right. One of the biggest games in the country this week is being played on the field of a team that hasn’t had a winning record since 2009. But at 5-2, Iowa State already has more victories than in any of the previous four seasons, and has wins against Oklahoma and Texas Tech on the road.

In Ames this season they are 2-2 with a three-point loss to rival Iowa and a 17-7 setback against Texas to open Big 12 play. The Cyclones only have two more home games left, and they’re both doozies against ranked opponents (Oklahoma State on Nov. 11 is the other).

But up first is Saturday against TCU, which is the only unbeaten team left in the conference. Iowa State isn’t going to make staying perfect easy for the Horned Frogs.

Under-the-Lights Game of the Week

Georgia Tech at No. 7 Clemson (Saturday, Oct. 28; 8 p.m. ET)

Not all of the great games this weekend are being played in the middle of Saturday. There are still plenty of options for fans looking to catch a quality matchup in the evening, and the top choice is at a place known as Death Valley.

Clemson’s Memorial Stadium will be rocking for the Tigers’ first game since losing Oct. 13 at Syracuse, a result that knocked the defending champs down in the rankings but by no means out of the playoff hunt. With wins against Auburn, Louisville and Virginia Tech, along with upcoming games against Florida State, North Carolina State and South Carolina, there’s no shortage of résumé-builders on Clemson’s schedule.

Beating Georgia Tech wouldn’t provide that much of a boost for the Tigers, but doing so in impressive fashion will since it means slowing down a triple-option run attack that ranks second in the nation in rushing.

The average seat at Memorial Stadium is going for $137 while TicketCity has ones for as low as $46. Get them before the price goes up.