SEC football continues to reign supreme, on the field and off.
Last weekend’s matchup in Knoxville, pitting the third-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide against the sixth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers totally dominated the sports television landscape.
But it’s not just that one game that’s done a particularly good job at drawing eyeballs.
According to Sports Media Watch, seven of the nine most watched college football games this year have involved SEC teams.
The primetime SEC game that’s featured on CBS each Saturday has also been the top ratings getter of the week, every single week they’ve been on the air.
Saturday’s Alabama-Tennessee matchup was the highest rated college football game since 2019, when Joe Burrow led the future National Champions to a win over Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.
Penn State-Michigan did draw well enough to place in the top 10, but only two of the top 11 most-watched games have featured Big 10 teams.
SEC Football Wins Again
It’s not particularly surprising that the SEC is dominating the ratings chase; with a number of ranked teams up and down the conference, each week there are important matchups that have a significant impact on the college football landscape.
Football is also more popular in the South than in other regions, meaning that the nation’s best conference aligns geographically with the part of the country most likely to tune in.
SEC games are also frequently featured in prime time and on major networks, while some other conferences, namely the Pac-12, often have to contend with matchups that start at 10:30pm Eastern, or are on the Pac-12 Network, which doesn’t have widespread distribution.
With four teams in the top seven, the SEC’s on-field success will inevitably lead to more massive ratings numbers during the rest of the season.
November 5th’s Tennessee-Georgia matchup could be another huge ratings bonanza, for example.
And if you think the SEC’s dominating now, just wait until Texas and Oklahoma join up in a few years.