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Television ratings for last weekend’s college football games are out, and they are massive. Well, for two games in particular anyway.
The Deion Sanders-led Colorado Buffaloes took on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a highly anticipated matchup on FOX’s “Big Noon Saturday.” The game mostly lived up to expectations with Colorado pulling away with an easy 36-14 win. And 8.73 million viewers tuned in to see Sanders make his home debut as Colorado head coach, leading to a 4.8 rating.
That’s a huge number for a game not featuring a major SEC program or top ranked team on either side. And incredibly, it ranks as the 10th-most watched regular-season college football game ever broadcast on FOX. Colorado’s game against TCU in Week 1 was also a huge ratings win, with a 3.8 rating and 7.26 million viewers.
But the Sanders hype train ramped up heading into Week 2 and the numbers skyrocketed as a result.
And it wasn’t just Colorado-Nebraska putting up huge ratings.
The biggest primetime game of Week 2 was Texas-Alabama on ESPN and ESPN2, which featured two big name programs and two top 10 teams. That game, unsurprisingly, also put up massive numbers.
8.76 million viewers across both channels tuned in to see the Longhorns upset the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, resulting in a 4.5 rating. Football, as always, is king.
College Football Ratings Bonanza Continues
The massive numbers this past weekend show how interest in college football has only grown over the past year.
Texas-Alabama was one of the most hotly anticipated games of the season, so the huge numbers there are no surprise. But Deion Sanders and his transformation of the Colorado program shows how much interest there is in storylines and narratives, beyond just the rankings of the teams on the field.
With major media market programs like USC, or historic powerhouses like Notre Dame now firmly back in contention, ratings will only increase the rest of the year.
Sounds exactly like the kind of business the NFL wants to get involved with.