Back in my day, sonny, people used to watch the Rose Bowl.

This is fine.

The USC/Penn State Rose Bowl scored a 9.4 overnight rating on ESPN Monday afternoon, up 19% from Stanford/Iowa last year (7.9) but down 16% from Michigan State/Stanford in 2014, the last Rose Bowl of the BCS era (11.2). The 2015 Rose Bowl was a playoff semifinal and had a 15.5 overnight. The last Rose Bowl to take place on January 2, Oregon/Wisconsin in 2012, had a 9.9.

The Trojans’ comeback, last-second win — which peaked at a 12.4 overnight from 9:15-9:30 PM ET — earned the second-lowest Rose Bowl overnight in at least 15 years and likely further back.

Though low historically, the 9.4 overnight was a high-water mark by New Year’s Six standards. It was the highest overnight for a non-playoff New Year’s Six bowl (12 telecasts dating back to 2014), topping the previous mark of 7.9 for last year’s Rose Bowl.

Later in the night, the Oklahoma/Auburn Sugar Bowl had a 6.1 overnight — up 15% from last year’s subterranean 5.3 for Mississippi/Oklahoma State but down 34% from Oklahoma/Alabama in 2014, the last Sugar Bowl of the BCS era (9.3). The 2015 Sugar Bowl was a playoff semifinal and had a 15.3 overnight.

The 6.1 is the second-lowest for the Sugar Bowl since the 1995-96 season, when Virginia Tech/Texas had a 5.5 on New Year’s Eve.

Rounding out the day’s action, the Wisconsin/Western Michigan Cotton Bowl plumbed the depths with a 3.2 overnight — down 40% from Michigan State/Baylor in 2015 (5.3) and even down 26% from Missouri/Oklahoma State on FOX in 2014, which aired directly opposite the Orange Bowl and was not part of a major bowl alliance (4.3). Last year’s Cotton Bowl was a playoff semifinal and had a 9.9 overnight. In the comparable timeslot last year, a higher-profile Ohio State/Notre Dame Fiesta Bowl had a 6.2.

The 3.2 is the lowest for the Cotton Bowl in at least a decade.

In all, the full New Year’s Six averaged a 7.8 overnight on ESPN this year — up 10% from last year (7.1) and down 5% from 2014-15 (8.2).

If you’re a major bowl game in the post-BCS era and you’re not hosting a national semi-finals game, your numbers are trending down and likely to stay that way.

Which means there’s only one solution to your dilemma…


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

24 responses to “Back in my day, sonny, people used to watch the Rose Bowl.

  1. baitstand

    It’s a beautiful day. Let’s play four.


  2. Go Dawgs!

    I’m part of the minority that loves bowl games and has watched some or most of at least 20 bowl games this season. Call me crazy, I love college football.

    The playoff’s NFL-ization of the game reducing the other games to being “meaningless” likely contributes to the dip in ratings. I really have to ask the folks who tuned in for the Rose Bowl when it was a BCS game but can’t be bothered now: why the hell were you watching before? There was ONE game in the BCS every year that “mattered” in choosing a champion. Bowl games have almost always been “meaningless exhibitions.” What is it about creating a four-team playoff that has rendered the rest of the games any more meaningless than they’ve always been?

    I freely admit that I’m the minority, but college football itself matters a lot more to me than crowning a “rightful” national champion every year. I’d love the game just the same if they went back to the old bowl coalition and a bunch of teams felt screwed when the final polls came out. Reducing the entire season of all 120+ teams to just what matters for the championship misses the point and I never, ever want to see a day where the Georgia-Auburn game “doesn’t matter” because one or both participants are either guaranteed they’ll get in anyway or they’re already eliminated.


    • Otto

      Agreed and the BCS would have crowned the rightful champion again.


    • Napoleon BonerFart

      I don’t think it’s the fans driving the notion of meaningless bowl games. I think they’re just accepting the point of view of the media/conferences/playoff committee that the non-playoff games are meaningless.


    • Wooah Nelleee! (aka W Cobb Dawg)

      Love watching the bowl games too. But that Rose Bowl was more 4+ hours of official review, with a few patches of football play in between. Still, it was a great game.


  3. Will Trane

    Rose Bowl.
    Now that is a misnomer.
    Place looks ancient and outdated. Plus it looks like it belongs somewhere in pigsty metro Atlanta.
    Yes those high ranked Big Ten teams. Will somebody remind Meyer and Franklin you have to score to win. PSU no points in the fourth quarter.
    With so much bitching about UGA’s first year OC not hearing much about the failures of the OCs at these programs. Guess folks want to complain about certain things they do not understand.
    Yep last night in the night sky of sunny California James Franklin really screwed up and gave away a game. Could not have come to a person with more of a bigger ego and self indulgence. He even out ranks Meyer.
    And would you not have thought that Patterson would have had those tiny little horny bullfrogs score more points.
    Hell, after all the officials would not let the Dawgs substitute.
    Patterson the coach many UGA fans and alums drooled over.
    Yeah got his ass rolled in second half.


  4. Tronan

    ESPN head of programming: Let’s go to cable-only access when more people are dropping cable than ever before. And, let’s saddle viewers with announcers that are as pleasant to listen as Boots Randolph on auto-tune, jamming with Florida Georgia Line – also on auto-tune. And while we’re at it, let’s schedule the major bowl games at weird times on days people typically don’t think of watching CFB. And, lastly, just to make the packaging is extra scrumptious, let’s remove any pretense that the games are of any consequence whatsoever.

    VP for programming and the various other drones in the room: Genius! Great idea! I like it!


  5. Otto

    Bring back the BCS


  6. 32 teams in playoffs. Yep that is the answer.


  7. Bright Idea

    At least the Rose Bowl had a packed house. I know, bodies at the game are like the game, meaningless. Playing the big one outdoors in Tampa, a football mecca, proves that.


  8. Uglydawg

    “Pandora determined to open the fruit jar just a little to get a whiff of the muscadine wine…out flew the Dr. Pepper idiot and all that came with him..conference realignments, conference championship games, Herbie and Corch singing a duet, a four game playoff where you had to win your conference unless your Ohio State, a rematch of an SEC slugfest, calls to further open the lid and free more playoff berths, declining intrest and attendance at bowl games, but no scent of the wine. The only thing left in the jar was “The BCS”.


  9. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    And we thought that college football was so great it couldn’t be killed….


  10. SouthGaDawg

    Irony is that the small bowls’ TV numbers continue to be good. It’s the Big Boy Bowls that are suffering. It didn’t help that the Sugar Bowl started at 9:00 on a freaking weeknight. Thank you ESPN…


  11. Hogbody Spradlin

    Only one solution? This doesn’t sound good.


  12. Billy Mumphrey

    41 bowls currently. 82 spots to fill!