The Outback Bowl was watched on television by a lot of people in Iowa and South Carolina and, uh, uh, uh …
Of the 34 bowl games, the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl ranked 17th in television viewers according to Nielsen, which knows a bit more about ratings than most of us.
The game had 4,093,000 viewers according to http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/media_entertainment/sports-wrap-college-football-bowls-over-audiences/. That’s a 10 percent drop from the year before when the Outback’s matchup was Tennessee-Wisconsin.
The TV audience for the Georgia-Michigan State Capital One Bowl, which started two hours after the Outback Bowl, was 10.8 million. But that was a 27 percent drop from its Michigan-Florida pairing of the year before.
These weren’t great matchups for American interests.
Some of the bowls that had more viewers than the Outback, though … hard to believe.
The Emerald Bowl was ninth of the 34 bowls. It was a game between unranked Miami and unranked California. The Wisconsin-Florida State Champs Sports Bowl had the seventh-largest audience, over 7 million viewers on the night of Dec. 27.
The Outback Bowl is a crummy time slot for TV (It begins at 8 a.m. on the West Coast), so you know you’ll never have a huge audience no matter the matchup. It’s a hangover game according to one West Coast friend of the Hlog’s, someone who may have some first-hand knowledge of such things.
So if you think just because you play in a Florida bowl you’ll get a lot of sweet national exposure for recruiting and merchandising, think again. If that bowl is the Outback, anyway.