Who needs a playoff? Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News reports that the average TV rating for the 34 bowl games was up 3% from a year ago, when there were 32 bowls.
Viewership of the five Bowl Championship Series games increased by 7%, according to data provided by Nielsen Media Research. But not all the news was positive.
The Orange Bowl between Cincinnati and Virginia Tech had a 5.4 rating, the lowest for the game since a 4.0 for Florida State-Nebraska in 1993. The Capital One, featuring Georgia-Michigan State, drew a 6.4, besting the Orange Bowl ratings for the second year in a row.
The Rose Bowl, despite a 5% increase in its ratings, still had its second-lowest rating in the past six years, dating to an 11.3 for the 2003 game between Oklahoma and Washington State.
Eighteen of the bowls saw an increase in viewership from last year. The bowl getting the biggest spike was the Humanitarian, featuring Maryland and Nevada. Its ratings jumped 200%.
And never doubt the ratings draw of Notre Dame. The Hawaii Bowl, featuring the Fighting Irish and Hawaii, had an increase of 100%.
The ratings winner by conference was the Big 12, which saw an average of 6.13. The Big Ten was second and the Southeastern third. The Atlantic Coast Conference, with 10 teams in the postseason, finished a disappointing sixth, behind the non-BCS Mountain West.
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