No it’s not just you, there is definitely an unmistakable lack of buzz surrounding this latest batch of BCS bowl games that we have grown accustomed to watching at the end of every college football season. For whatever reason, be it a lack of exciting players/match-ups or too many other interesting sporting events to watch on TV, ratings have been down for this year’s Orange, Sugar and Rose Bowls.
The good folks over at The Big Lead astutely pointed out that three of the four BCS bowl games that aired on ESPN this year have actually seen their ratings decline, with the Fiesta Bowl being the lone warrior pushing against the tide. Here is how they broke it down:
Sugar Bowl (Michigan over Virginia Tech, 23-20 in OT): 7.0 rating.
In 2011, the Sugar Bowl between Ohio State and Arkansas drew a 9.5.
Fiesta Bowl (Oklahoma State over Stanford, 41-38 in OT): 9.7 rating.
In 2011, the Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma and Connecticut drew a 7.1 rating.
Rose Bowl (Oregon over Wisconsin 45-38): 11.8 rating.
In 2011, the Rose Bowl between TCU and Wisconsin drew a 13.1 rating.
All of which begs the question: why the decline? This year’s Rose Bowl showdown, for example, was a match-up between a pair of teams that are every bit as exciting as the Wisconsin and TCU teams that played in 2010. In fact, you could easily make the case that -- thanks to Russell Wilson -- the Badgers were more fun to watch this year than last.
And while this year’s Sugar Bowl was absolutely awful on paper in every possible way, you would think that the prospect of watching Denard Robinson do what Denard Robinson does would garner at least some interest. Especially considering that the best-rated game out of this fantastic foursome -- the Fiesta Bowl showdown between Oklahoma State and Stanford -- was mostly driven by Andrew Luck hype. That indicates that folks do turn in for stars, even if Oklahoma State versus Stanford was fascinating on more levels than just that.
Regardless of what the cause is, there is a very noticeable lack of excitement in the air this bowl season – that much is undeniable.
On the bright side, maybe LSU and Alabama will light up the scoreboard and get everyone buzzing about college football again.
(Kudos to The Big Lead for a great analysis)