The New Years bowl games sucked this year. All of them including the so called “New Years Six” we’re blow outs. Not only did the games suck but the ratings for the college football playoff were also down as well. Needless to say, the last two days were not good for college football on the national stage.
The game were total mismatches, which is surprising considering that going into New Years Day, the prevailing thought was that these would be good match ups. They were far from that. The only somewhat competitive games the last two days were Clemson, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Florida State and Houston and even those games ended up being blow outs.
The big wigs at ESPN and the NCAA need to figure out what they are going to do next. The ratings were not good and they probably won’t improve next year when the Peach and Fiesta Bowls are scheduled to be the playoff games. Both are scheduled for New Years Eve. The numbers don’t lie. The Orange Bowl got a 9.1 rating this year, down 38% from the 14.8 rating the Rose Bowl got last year. The number of viewers dropped 44.5 percent from 28,164,000 for the Rose to just 15,640,000 for the Orange. That’s not good. As for the Cotton Bowl, the game drew a 9.6 rating which is down from the 15.2 rating the Sugar Bowl drew last year. The match up had something to do with that. Ohio State football fans are a little more rabid if you will. Overall, viewership of the second playoff game dropped 34.4 percent, going from 28,271,000 to 18,552,000.
The truth is in the numbers. If the College Football Playoff Commitee wants to develop a product that will rival March Madness, the numbers need to improve. You can’t go from record cable numbers last year to half as many people watching the games this year. It’s bad for business.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think ESPN or the NCAA should hit the panic button quite yet. It’s college football and college football in this country is a ratings monster. I’m sure these bowl games blew the Winter Classic out of the water when it comes to ratings. Then again, they should have. Hockey is the fourth sport in the country. It should never out draw football.
Somehow I get the feeling however that when it comes to these New Years Day bowl games, nothing will change. It’ll be status quo. If that’s the case, the advertisers will be leaving in droves. Maybe then the big wigs at ESPN will realize that New Years Day is bowl day. New Years Eve is meant for drinking and revelry, not watching college football. I’m just saying.