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CFP must react to low ratings

Bill Hancock said he was not worried about the low ratings and was committed to New Years Eve games, but the semifinals games should be on New Years Day.

Bill Hancock said he was not worried about the low ratings and was committed to New Years Eve games, but the semifinals games should be on New Years Day.

College Football Playoff director Bill Hancock saw plenty of reasons why the two national semifinal games this year saw dramatic ratings drops from last year’s game. The fact that both games were huge blowouts that did not give fans a reason to either switch over to the game or keep the game on were the main factors, but the real reason is that New Years Eve is a terrible day to play major college football games.

College football is not the NFL. It will not draw any more than die hard fans to sit around the house with their buddies over for a party when most people go out to bars or clubs for New Years festivities. Especially if somebody’s wife or girlfriend has anything to say about it.

This year’s Cotton Bowl between Alabama and Michigan State generated a 9.9 overnight rating and the Orange Bowl between Clemson and Oklahoma did a 9.3 rating. Last year’s Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Ohio State on New Year’s Day had a 15.3 rating and the Oregon-Florida State Rose Bowl had a 15.5 rating last year.

Because Stanford’s blowout of Iowa on New Years Day produced a 7.9 overnight Nielsen rating, the lowest on record dating back to 1983 (the previous low was 9.4 in 2013), it is fair to believe that the lack of drama led to the low ratings, but the playoffs should be held on New Years Day, not New Years Eve.

The Rose Bowl was not willing to give up it’s traditional New Years Day time slot, which was part of the reason the national semifinal games were played on New Years Eve, but with the major drop off in their ratings the college football players are going to have to react and simply not trying to compete with New Year’s celebrations that typically do not revolve around watching television in somebody’s living room, or even in a bar where there are more than likely to be DJs and loud music as the focus, is the most logical first step toward avoiding it happening a second year.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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