As expected, the fascinating combination of horrible, ineffective offenses and lockdown, hard-nosed defenses wasn’t a TV viewer magnet. In fact, Alabama’s 21-0 blowout win versus LSU was so dreaded by non-hardcore college football fanatics that it ultimately ended up doing historically bad numbers.
According to Jon Solomon of The Birmingham News, overnight ratings for Monday’s BCS Championship showdown did a paltry 13.8 overnight rating – good enough to be the lowest-rated title game in the 14-year history of the BCS.
The least watched game before yesterday's battle was a Miami versus Nebraska showdown at the 2002 Rose Bowl that only did a 14.3.
Keep in mind, though, even last year’s Rose Bowl showdown between Oregon and TCU did a 13.1.
This is just the latest ratings misstep for ESPN in a BCS season that has been an absolute disaster for the World Wide Leader from the very beginning. Monday’s BCS Championship game did 14 percent worse than Auburn versus Oregon did last year. On top of that, the Orange, Sugar and Rose Bowls also all did worse this year than they did in 2011.
As noted by Solomon, on average, the BCS ratings this year were down 10 percent from the 2010 season before yesterday’s snoozer.
Despite the weak ratings this time around, however, you have to figure ESPN will use this year as a learning experience. Nobody in entertainment is as good at squeezing ratings boosts out of thin air as the World Wide Leader is; it’s just a matter of them identifying what the problem is.