No one wants to see a blowout, unless you’re a fan of the winning team. The Alabama – Notre Dame BCS National Champions Game had all the ingredients for a classic and beings a TV ratings monster, but things didn’t go as planned.
That is what happens when A.J. McCarron finishing the game with an above or under passer rating is the only meaningful question left after the first two quarters, maybe even the first. The two most successful programs in the history of College Football should have made for a juggernaut game, but when there’s no parity on the field, it’s not that interesting to watch, regardless of how much you love football.
Alabama needed only three minutes and five plays to get their first points on the board, and finished the half leading 28-0. That’s when a lot of viewers less invested in the games drifted elsewhere. The game drew a 15.7 overnight rating, which is 13% better than last season’s 13.8 from the Alabama-LSU game which wasn’t much closer as well. Still, ESPN and analysts expected better numbers from a matchup between these two schools, but it fell short of the 16.6 rating from the Auburn-Oregon BCS final for the 2010 season.
The first half had an 18.2 overnight rating, with the rating peaking between 9 and 9:15 p.m. EST, midway through the first half. From there, people started pulling away just like Alabama began pulling away.
Some blame the BCS system once again, although it’s wrong this time. The voters had no choice but to put Notre Dame at number one going into game. It’s possible to value teams based on strength, but their record is more important. Notre Dame went undefeated through a tough schedule, and deserved to be in the final game. It had nothing to do with the popularity of the program in the media.
Oregon were probably the stronger side, but they lost. Would they have made more of a contest out of it? Probably, but that’s just throwing guesses in the air. These questions will be eliminated, hopefully, the day after the final BCS championship game next season. The playoffs begins, not in the perfect format it should be but it’s still better than what we have now. This time, blame Nick Saban for having too good of a team, not the BCS system for picking the wrong one.