Florida State Blew Out LSU, But Top 10 Duel Still Drew Most Viewers For Sunday Opener Since 2016

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If Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis becomes a Heisman Trophy finalist in December, it may have all started in September at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

Travis threw for 342 yards and four touchdowns as the No. 8 Seminoles routed No. 5 LSU, 45-24, in front of the largest Sunday night college football opener in seven years, according to television ratings for the game released Monday.


A total of 9.1 million watched the game on ABC in prime time – the most for a Sunday season opener since Texas beat No. 10 Notre Dame, 50-47, in double overtime in 2016 before 10.9 million viewers. The 9.1 million was 20 percent better than ABC’s opener last year when unranked Florida State beat unranked LSU, 24-23, in front of 7.6 million viewers.

LSU-Florida State Could Have Had Many More Viewers

And the numbers for LSU-Florida State could have been significantly higher. The game was not available to approximately 15 million subscribers of Charters Spectrum cable in Florida because of a dispute with Disney.

“It had a championship-type feel to it, and you know, I thought it was just a great experience for our players and all that are a part of the program,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “I told them before the game, they are built for a time like this, this stage – two top 10 teams in the country.”

Florida State coach Mike Norvell praised the atmosphere created by Seminole fans during their win over LSU Sunday night in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Getty Images)

The crowd of 65,429 featured mostly Seminole fans. The Florida State campus in Tallahassee is just a four-hour drive from Orlando. The LSU campus is 10 hours away in Baton Rouge.

“I would be remiss to not mention that atmosphere and our crowd,” Norvell said. “And our band’s unbelievable job. That was an electric atmosphere that we got to play in, and great to be here in our home state and to see such a wonderful turnout, and just the energy in that game.”


Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests.

A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention.

Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at www.acadianhouse.com, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.

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