Tuesday, January 13, 2009

At Least Not Many People Saw Ball State's GMAC Turd

It's not a secret that BSU laid a giant turd in the GMAC Bowl. The walloping they took at the hands of Tulsa made many ask some pretty valid questions about the Cardinals, the MAC, and their (at the time) 12-1 record. The good news for BSU is that in the grand scheme of the Bowls, not as many people watched that implosion as most of the other Bowl games. The ratings... in pretty chart form!

Of course, had BSU still been undefeated, the ratings would have been significantly higher, but to have a Tulsa-BSU GMAC game finish 7th lowest in the bowl season is a bit surprising. There's many reasons why that happened, not the least of which includes being on a Tuesday night, on ESPN, etc. Of course a counter argument could be made that it should have drawn considerably higher considering it was the only football game in town that particular night.

In terms of other MAC teams, BSU drew 3rd best out of 5, which is again surprising considering, on paper, this was the best matchup out of all the MAC bids. The highest? Central Michigan's loss in the Motor City Bowl.

The other piece of good news for the Cardinals is that despite their low ratings against Tulsa, it still was better than the January 08 edition of the GMAC Bowl. This year's game drew a 70% increase in viewers. That is the 4th highest jump for a Bowl Game in the 08 Bowl season. The rest:

Not surprisingly, the MAC was largely not watched, most notably to the perceived quality of the conference and their less than spectacular matchups across the board. The MAC finished 10th out of 11 as a conference for ratings. The tops? The Big 12.

Ball State has had some success this season on the field, but with it's continued success in the televisions of homes across the country, this could serve well to get the Cardinals a little more face time with the general population via ESPN. Recruits care about being on television, and at least now there is some tangible evidence that people WILL watch BSU. Of course, just don't compare those numbers to the rest of college football.

Overall, the Bowls themselves saw a 3% jump in average viewership from last year. When taken into consideration that 2008 had 2 more Bowls on the schedule than last year, that's great. But while the number of people watching the Orange Bowl and Rose Bowl was high, in comparison to previous years it was not a successful endeavor for either. It was the lowest rated Rose Bowl in 6 years and the lowest in 15 years for the Orange. Ouch.

(Image hat tip to: The Wiz of Odds)

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