Rose Bowl TV Ratings Up; CFP Championship Game Viewship Down
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Talk about reaping what they sow.
When the FBS devised and deployed its flawed system for choosing its champion and turning it over to the ESPN hype machine, the scope of national interest in college football went micro.
From Week 1, the emphasis was on the once-intriguing concept that the entire regular season is a playoff.
In theory, this argument claims the battle for No 1 was all-inclusive.
Everybody, that is, if they're a top-tier Power Five program with an athletic budget that could be compared to small countries and who engages in the facilities-&-swag arms race that kindles memories of the extravagant USA vs USSR nuke-producing days.
Which pretty much narrows the field of realistic candidates for a CFP title down to around ten teams.
Apparently, that lack of variety can get a little old.
It seems that, after four years of establishing itself, the CFP championship game has yet to really establish itself.
College football's built on longstanding traditions, like the Rose Bowl.
Possibly due to getting sick of ostriches over the course of a decade, the Tournament of Roses organizers gave college football another shot in 1916.
This time, it turned out to be a bingo. So much so that the idea of holiday festivals wanting to make bank by inviting college teams and their hardcore followers spread like wildfire.
Being real, that's a lotta history for something else to replace, and so far, it's been tough sledding.
This year, the Rose Bowl game and the CFP title tilt were trending in different directions:
- The traditional Big Ten vs Pac-12 matchup saw ratings increase 23% from 2016, while
- The latest Alabama vs Clemson clash suffered a 9% drop over the same two-year period.
There could be a number of reasons why the CFP game was down, but it's not a stretch to think diminishing interest is a consequence of that season-long emphasis on teams being eliminated from contention on a weekly basis.
Compressing that elimination period to an expanded post-season bracket would go a long way to keeping more regional interest piqued.
As it is now, both avid and casual fans have long made the Rose Bowl a familiar part of their holiday season. With the Big Ten and Pac-12 having huge geographical footprints, the game's fine in those years when it's not hosting a CFP game.
Sooner or later, this has gotta add to every other argument for a bigger bracket to become a reality.