The ESPN telecast drew a 14 rating. The only BCS games with lower ratings were the 2005 USC-Oklahoma matchup, which got a 13.7, and the 2002 Miami-Nebraska game, which had a 13.8.
Ratings were down 8% from the 2011 title game between Auburn and Oregon.
Monday's telecast had regional appeal, with seven of the top 10 metered markets having a Southeastern Conference footprint, according to the overnight numbers. Birmingham topped the list with a 61.2, followed by New Orleans at 53.3.
Then the ratings took a steep drop, with Oklahoma City (29.1), Minneapolis-St. Paul (27.5), Atlanta (26.8), Memphis (25.8), Knoxville (25.5), Greenville (24.5), Jacksonville (23) and Austin (20.5) completing the top 10.
Which team will win Monday night's Bowl Championship title game between Louisiana State and Alabama? For the fifth year in a row, the Wiz went to distinguished members of the news media and blogging community for the answer. Opinions vary, but nearly everyone agrees that one of these teams will actually score a touchdown in this Rematch of the Century.
At the bottom of the post, readers are invited to vote in two polls. The first asks which team will cover the spread. At the time of this post, Alabama is favored by 1.5 points. The second asks if the total number of points will go over or under 40.5.
Let's get to it (Twitter feeds are linked off names):
Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports: Bama 20, LSU 17. Even though they lost, Bama appeared to be the better team in the first meeting between the squads. It moved the ball slightly better than LSU and lost because it couldn't make a field goal. I don't think LSU will get that lucky this time.
Yost of the Michigan blog M Zone: 'Bama 21, LSU 17. I just think it's going to be too hard for LSU to beat 'Bama twice in a season. Plus, unbeknownst to LSU, Nick Saban has probably signed 42 additional players since the end of the regular season.
Oddsmakers in Las Vegas aren't the only ones breaking down Monday night's Bowl Championship Series title game between Louisiana State and Alabama. After the jump is the complete list of odds from Bovada, everything from which team will win the coin toss to total number of interceptions thrown by Alabama's A.J. McCarron.
The 103rd and last (we believe) of 2011 poster schedules is from Alabama, regarded as the team to beat by many prognosticators. The Crimson Tide rolled past Kent State in the opener and will travel Saturday to Happy Valley to play Penn State. Other key games: Sept. 24 against Arkansas, Nov. 5 against Louisiana State and Nov. 12 at Mississippi State. Then there is the Nov. 26 game at Auburn.
The Wiz of Odds is conducting a comprehensive study of bowl game expense reports. All of the data collected — expense reports for 56 teams and bowl surveys for 40 teams — are being posted on the site. Here is the latest installment. For an overview of the project, click here.
The Capital One Bowl, held in Orlando, is operated as a nonprofit by Florida Citrus Sports Events, Inc. The game's origin dates to 1947 when it was known as the Tangerine Bowl. It has undergone several name changes since 1983, with Capital One being added to the title in 2001.
2011 participants: Michigan State and Alabama.
Michigan State expenses: The school reported 1,877 absorbed tickets at a cost of $150,900 and total expenses of $1.62 million. Michigan State was one of the few schools to include bonuses [did not specify who received the bonuses] totaling $328,736 on its report. Download Michigan State Expenses
Survey: Athletic director Mark Hollis, whose team absorbed a 49-7 pounding, answered either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" to every question but one — his overall impression of the bowl. For that, he answered "excellent (exceeded expectations)."
"Communication with bowl staff was excellent," Hollis wrote. "Questions were answered quickly and the few problems or requests we made were dealt with in a timely manner. New field in stadium was outstanding."
Hollis' satisfaction with the field came after bowl officials were embarrassed by mud bowl conditions in the 2010 game between Penn State and Louisiana State. Download Michigan State Survey
Alabama expenses: The Crimson Tide reported 2,062 absorbed tickets totaling $167,220. Total expenses were an off-the-chart $2.91 million, but a closer inspection reveals that the school included bonuses [did not specify who received the bonuses] of $1.1 million on the report. Alabama's travel party of 815 was high among the 56 reports obtained by The Wiz of Odds. Administrative costs of $263,194 were higher than norm. The school reported an expense allowance of only $113,600 from the Southeastern Conference. An Alabama official later told The Wiz of Odds that the allowance was $1.2 million. Download Alabama Expenses
Survey: (This section updated.) Athletic director Mal Moore was not a fan of the team's practice facility at Orlando's Dr. Phillips High.
"The condition of the game site field and locker room was excellent, however the practice site field and locker room need improvement," he wrote.
Matt Repchak, assistant director of communications for Florida Citrus Sports, told The Wiz of Odds on Thursday that Florida Citrus paid for improvements to the practice facility and that Alabama, which was recruiting defensive back Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and running back Demetrius Hart from Dr. Phillips, did not incur any expenses. The players signed with the school in February.
Moore praised the work of the bowl throughout, but when asked what areas needed improvement, he reiterated, "Practice field as well as practice site locker room." Download Alabama Survey