BCS championship game draws lowest ratings ever
Overnight ratings for Alabama's 21-0 victory over Louisiana State in the Bowl Championship Series title game were the lowest for a national championship in the 14-year history of the BCS. The All-SEC affair, the first championship pairing of teams from the same conference, drew a 13.8 overnight rating on ESPN. The previous record low was a 14.3 for Miami-Nebraska at the 2002 Rose Bowl.
The figure is down 14.3% from a 16.1 overnight for last year's Auburn-Oregon matchup, ESPN's highest-rated telecast ever. Last year's game came down to Auburn kicking a field goal on the last play to win.
The game was also down 24% from Alabama's last national championship when the Crimson Tide defeated Texas in 2010.
The Rose, Orange, Sugar and BCS Championship all sank in the ratings this season, with West Virginia's 70-33 rout of Clemson in the Orange Bowl drawing just a 4.5 rating, making it the lowest-rated game in BCS history.
This is what happens when you have two teams from the same conference playing for the national title. Alabama became the first school since Minnesota in 1936 to win a national title without winning its conference.
CBS' Tim Brando said on his radio show today: "When you're doing a championship game, you've got to get those people outside the inner sanctum of college football to watch. It's those people that look at this and say, 'Wait a minute. Didn't we see these two teams play before? Why are we watching this boring game?' "
-- Houston Mitchell
Photo: That blank TV screen represents what most of the country was doing Monday night: not watching the BCS title game. Credit: Associated Press