Television ratings for the College Football Playoff on ESPN dropped from last season, dragged down by lopsided games and not being playing on New Year’s Day.
ESPN says Alabama’s 45-34 victory against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Saturday night drew a 10.4 overnight rating, peaking at 11.8 early in the first quarter when the Crimson Tide jumped out to a 14-point lead. Alabama eventually led 28-0.
The network says Clemson’s 30-3 victory against Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl earlier Saturday drew a 10.3 rating, peaking at 11.2 when the Tigers scored with 2 second left in the first half to make it 23-3.
Last season, when the semifinals were played on New Year’s Day and Georgia and Oklahoma went to overtime in the Rose Bowl, the games averaged a 13.9 overnight rating.