ABC saw its biggest Week 10 ratings in five years during the Sunday Night Seahawks/Patriots game. So clearly, all the panic about falling ratings might have been a little premature. Then again, looking at the college football odds, one wonders why the excitement surrounding college football never died down.
It wasn’t merely the NFL ratings that caused concern. People honestly seemed a little disinterested in the NFL as a whole. This is as opposed to college football which has only surged in popularity.
Once the elections ended, the NFL ratings seemed to rise again. Of course, one cannot jump to any conclusions after just one game. However, things are looking up. The Cowboys/Steelers 35-30 game garnered some pretty impressive numbers.
The NFL didn’t waste time releasing a statement in response to the rising ratings. The league wouldn’t blame any one thing for their ratings problems. Rather, they suggested that a confluence of events had arisen to kill the buzz surrounding the NFL.
The elections were definitely a big problem; though, one wonders why college football didn’t suffer even during the election cycle. Of course, the perception that college football is doing well in terms of ratings might not be entirely true.
The new college football season started well. Looking at all the matchups from the first week, from Wisconsin/LSU to Texas/Notre Dame, there was more than enough excitement to keep fans interested, and the ratings reflected this.
In recent weeks, the numbers have fallen. However, the dip has been so small it’s almost negligible. In contrast, the first few weeks of the college football season saw some truly impressive spikes in interest.
Even pointing at the recent dips, it would be ridiculous to call the College football ratings anything other than healthy. So why did college football not suffer like the NFL?
Most pundits agree that the stars were an issue. The NFL doesn’t have nearly enough of them. Tom Brady wasn’t on the field for the first few weeks of the season, and neither was Peyton Manning.
These figures have been driving the NFL for decades. The absence of star power meant that the game of football wasn’t that exciting anymore, at least for a section of the population.
College football, on the other hand, creates new stars in every season. And even when stars leave, college football fans tend to follow coaches rather than players. And even if you take the argument of stars out of the picture, College football is simply more exciting than the NFL.
The quality of play is superior. The NFL, on the other hand, has been quite flat. In some cases, it has been downright dull. It should be noted that regional NFL games didn’t suffer as much as primetime packages that showed select games to the whole country.
And because college football is so localized and regionalized, it is easy to see why people still gravitate towards it. Of course, saturation might also be an issue. It is possible that the NFL gives fans too much football, and they simply cannot afford to give so much time to the league.
There aren’t that many lessons for the NFL to learn from college football. The two are different entities. The NFL just needs to find its footing once more, and hope that it can still draw fans like its college counterpart.