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   Welcome to TSLMail #314 - Friday, January 25, 2008    
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2007 Bowl Game TV Ratings, Plus N(D)BC Ratings
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com

Now that college football season is over, we can take a look back and check out the most-watched bowl games. Television ratings are about what teams are playing and what other games they are up against in their time slot. Some ACC bowls fared better than expected. Others, not so much.

First, let's look at the entire table. Every bowl game, along with the teams and household impressions, is highlighted below. Bowls featuring ACC teams are in bold.

2007-08 Bowl Ratings, Household Impressions
(all information from The National Football Foundation)
(
Click here for more info)
Bowl Teams Impressions
National Championship Ohio State vs. LSU 16,291,263
Rose Bowl USC vs. Illinois 12,531,880
Capital One Bowl Michigan vs. Florida 10,301,679
Fiesta Bowl West Virginia vs. Oklahoma 8,736,935
Orange Bowl Virginia Tech vs. Kansas 8,345,715
Sugar Bowl Georgia vs. Hawaii 7,850,519
Chick-fil-A Bowl Auburn vs. Clemson 4,919,331
Holiday Bowl Texas vs. Arizona State 4,223,682
Liberty Bowl Mississippi State vs. UCF 3,986,674
Cotton Bowl Missouri vs. Arkansas 3,974,484
Music City Bowl Kentucky vs. Florida State 3,883,875
Meineke Car Care Bowl Wake Forest vs. Uconn 3,607,429
Champs Sports Bowl Mich. State vs. Boston College 3,561,309
Emerald Bowl Oregon State vs. Maryland 3,463,061
Outback Bowl Tennessee vs. Wisconsin 3,260,313
Gator Bowl Virginia vs. Texas Tech 2,960,799
Motor City Bowl Purdue vs. Central Michigan 2,584,994
Alamo Bowl Penn State vs. Texas A&M 2,568,881
Sun Bowl Oregon vs. USF 2,554,678
Las Vegas Bowl BYU vs. UCLA 2,390,098
Papajohns.com Bowl Cincinnati vs. Southern Miss 2,167,420
Poinsettia Bowl Utah vs. Navy 1,932,246
Armed Forces Bowl Cal vs. Air Force 1,928,556
New Mexico Bowl New Mexico vs. Nevada 1,888,695
Independence Bowl Alabama vs. Colorado 1,828,965
New Orleans Bowl Florida Atlantic vs. Memphis 1,561,000
International Bowl Rutgers vs. Ball State 1,528,141
Hawaii Bowl East Carolina vs. Boise State 1,415,395
GMAC Bowl Tulsa vs. Bowling Green 1,096,521
Humanitarian Bowl Fresno State vs. Georgia Tech 745,082
Insight Bowl Oklahoma State vs. Indiana 458,918
Texas Bowl TCU vs. Houston 326,650


A couple of things stand out. First, the Chick-fil-A Bowl is the second most watched non-BCS Bowl, as usual. The Chick-fil-A Bowl is played on either December 30 or December 31 each year, on ESPN. There is no other bowl game on at the time, and it generally features good ACC-SEC regional rivalry games. This year it was Clemson vs. Auburn. Last year it was Virginia Tech vs. Georgia. The Chick-fil A Bowl is in a great position. They are the Holiday Bowl of the East coast, with slightly better ratings.

Take a look at the Gator Bowl. We already knew that not many people are interested in traveling to Jacksonville, but apparently nobody is interested in watching games played in that city on television, either. Virginia vs. Texas Tech isn't exactly an appealing matchup, and it doesn't help that the game is matched up with the Capital One Bowl. The Gator was the second lowest rated ACC bowl game.

If I were the Champs Sports Bowl, I'd take a good hard look at outbidding the Gator Bowl next year and attempting to slide up into the #3 spot in the ACC. Virginia Tech, Florida State or Clemson in Orlando would be great, especially matched up with a Big Ten team. The Champs Sports Bowl has been stuck with BC and Maryland the last two years, but it has the potential to be so much more. Would you make the trip to watch Virginia Tech vs. Penn State in Orlando? Frank Beamer vs. JoePa? I sure would.

Four ACC bowls were basically in the middle of the pack, or a little higher. The Music City Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl and the Emerald Bowl all drew over 3,000,000 household impressions.

Georgia Tech? Ouch. Here's hoping the Hokies never end up in Boise. The Humanitarian Bowl was the only bowl not televised by The NFL Network to draw fewer than 1,000,000 household impressions. Not good. The ACC needs to separate itself from that bowl. A Liberty Bowl tie-in would be sweet.


Notre Dame's Ratings Plummet

The Humanitarian Bowl got us on the topic of lousy television ratings, so now it's time to discuss Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish play all of their home games on NBC. NBC can't be pleased, as their ratings have been dropping like a rock over the past couple of years.

According to a recent article in Business Week, here's how Notre Dame's Nielson Ratings have looked over the last few years.

Notre Dame's TV Ratings
Year Nielson Rating Record
2005 3.6 9-3
2006 2.9 10-2
2007 1.8 3-9


Charlie Weis rejuvenated the program in 2005, taking the Irish to the Fiesta Bowl, where they lost to Ohio State. The next year, with ESPN and the Brady Quinn hype machine in full swing, their ratings surprisingly dropped, and by a significant margin. That despite the fact that Notre Dame went back to another BCS bowl, this time getting hammered by LSU in the Sugar Bowl.

In 2007, it was apparent that Notre Dame wasn't going to be very good from the beginning, and their ratings dropped off the map. 1.8 is an ugly number, half as good as their 2005 number. That's a huge dropoff in two years.

NBC pays $9 million a year for the right to televise Notre Dame home games. That contract expires in 2010. According to Business Week, NBC has given free ads to companies such as Allstate and Proctor & Gamble to make up the 30-second ads those companies purchased before the season started. The ads cost anywhere from $55,000-$80,000.

NBC, which has fallen behind ABC, CBS and Fox, has to hope the Irish get things turned around. Notre Dame's television ratings in 2007 where half of ABC's college football games.

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   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Boston College

January 25, 2008
The Hokies have an even more daunting task on Saturday than they did on Thursday. They must travel to Boston to take on Boston College in the Conte Forum, less than 48 hours after playing a physical Duke team. Meanwhile, the Eagles have had the week off and should be fresh and ready to go. This is a very tough turnaround for freshmen, especially without Jeff Allen.
more

Bruce Taylor Discusses Visit, Position
January 25, 2008
Myrtle Beach (S.C.) linebacker Bruce Taylor has been committed to Virginia Tech since September of his junior season. It has been a long road for the 4-star prospect since then, so he is certainly glad that he will finally make his decision official in less than two weeks.
more

Blue Devils Wear Out Hokies in Second Half
January 24, 2008
Virginia Tech gave a noble effort in the first half, but #3 Duke's talent, depth and experience won out in the second half in an 81-64 victory for the visiting Blue Devils in Cassell Coliseum on Thursday night. The Hokies dropped to 11-8 overall and 2-3 in the ACC with the loss, while Duke improved to 16-1 and 4-0.
more

Duke-Virginia Tech: Always Intense, Never Boring
January 24, 2008
In Virginia Tech's first three years in the ACC, the Hokies and Duke have played five ACC games. In that short time, the matchup has turned into a fierce rivalry, full of triumph, heartbreak and drama on both sides. The games have included more than one dagger to the heart, and even a kick in the face. Tonight's game appears to be a colossal mismatch, but you just never know what Duke-VT is going to bring.
more

TSL Audio: The Len Martez Show, 1/23/08
January 24, 2008
On Wednesday's show, host Len Martez and TSL's Chris Coleman discussed Jeff Allen's suspension, the Hokies' upcoming game with Duke, and how new football recruiting commitment "Ju-Ju" Clayton fits into the Hokies' future plans. Will he stay at QB, or play elsewhere? (WMA format, compatible with Windows Media Player and MP3 players, 3.6 MB, 15:20).
more

Virginia Tech Recruiting Notes
January 24, 2008
Hargrave Military Academy defensive back/running back D.J. Thomas, a former star at Patrick Henry High School in Ashland (VA), will not re-sign with Virginia Tech. The 5-9, 175-pound prospect originally signed with Tech last February and had planned to re-sign with the Hokies next month, but the two parties have decided to go their separate ways. Check out this "Recruiting Notes" segment for the latest on Thomas, Green Run (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive end Joe Jones and more.
more

Basketball Game Preview: Virginia Tech vs. #3 Duke
January 23, 2008
Virginia Tech has quite a challenge ahead of them on Thursday night. They have to face #3 Duke in Cassell Coliseum, and they must do so without Jeff Allen, arguably the best player on the team and one of the top freshmen in the ACC. It was going to be a very tough game with Allen, and without him it will be difficult at best.
more

Clayton Commits
January 23, 2008
As expected, Hermitage (Richmond, VA) quarterback Joseph "Ju-Ju" Clayton made his college choice today. In fact, the 6-2, 210-pound signal caller just informed coaches of the program of choice of his decision this afternoon. Where is the Panthers star quarterback headed?
more

Greenberg Receives Contract Extension
January 23, 2008
The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors has approved an extension to the contract of men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg through the 2012-13 season. Greenberg's old contract would have originally expired following 2010-11. Greenberg, whose team hosts Duke on Thursday night, has also received a salary increase.
Also: Nyarko Drafted Seventh; Chicken Hill Lot to be Partially Paved
more

Hermitage QB Expected to Commit
January 23, 2008
According to Hermitage (Richmond, VA) head coach Patrick Kane, 6-2, 210-pound quarterback Joseph "Ju-Ju" Clayton is expected to make his college choice today.
more

Dunn Loves Virginia Tech Experience
January 23, 2008
Last week, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) wide receiver Randall Dunn was excited about receiving a scholarship offer from West Virginia. Last night, the 6-3, 215-pound standout was excited about the experience he just had at Virginia Tech.
more

Hokie Hotline Notes for 1/21/08
January 22, 2008
Presented by Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech: Head men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg appeared on the show Monday night and spent the full hour talking about Jeff Allen's suspension, the loss to Georgia Tech, the win over Virginia, and the Hokies' upcoming matchup with Duke.
more

Stephens Discusses Early Playing Time
January 22, 2008
One of Virginia Tech's four high school senior linebacker recruits, Halifax County (South Boston, VA) star Allen Stephens believes there is an opportunity for playing time as a true freshman next year. He says the message was clear this past weekend, when he, along with the other three linebackers and a handful of other commitments, made an official visit to Blacksburg.
more

Around the ACC: January 21st, 2008
January 21, 2008
The last couple of weeks are a perfect example of how crazy the ACC is. Virginia Tech handed UVA their first-ever ACC loss in the John Paul Jones Arena, then lost to last place Georgia Tech. Maryland lost at Virginia Tech, then won at #1 UNC. Buckle your seatbelts, because the ACC ride is just getting started.
more

Clayton Discusses Visit, Possible Decision
January 21, 2008
A decision could come very soon from Hermitage (Richmond, VA) quarterback Joseph "Ju-Ju" Clayton, who made an official visit to Virginia Tech this past weekend. The 6-2, 210-pound standout senior is considering offers from Tech, William & Mary, and Youngstown State, but Virginia Tech is the only favorite he has made an official visit to.
more

Green Run DE Enjoys Virginia Tech Visit
January 20, 2008
Green Run (Virginia Beach, VA) defensive end Joe Jones enjoyed his official visit to Virginia Tech, which he had never visited before, and came away impressed with the campus and feeling comfortable with the players. The 6-3, 245-pound prospect has yet to make a decision, but did he name a favorite?
more

Allen Suspended for Two Games by the ACC
January 20, 2008
Virginia Tech forward Jeff Allen was suspended two games by the Atlantic Coast Conference on Sunday for making inappropriate contact with an official during the Hokies' game at Georgia Tech. Allen, who fouled out with 4:32 to play Saturday in an 81-70 loss, was on his way to the bench when he made contact with official Zelton Steed. Steed promptly ejected the freshman.
more

Bad First Half Leads to Hokie Loss in Atlanta
January 19, 2008
Virginia Tech got down late in the first half, rallied to tie the game in the second half, but ultimately fell to Georgia Tech 81-70 in Atlanta on Saturday afternoon. The loss drops the Hokies to 11-7 overall and 2-2 in ACC play, and they now get to face Duke at home on Thursday night before traveling to Boston College next Saturday. The Blue Devils and Eagles are undefeated in ACC play.
more
 
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