Surveying the Big 12 bowl TV ratings

January, 14, 2011
1/14/11
1:15
PM ET
The Birmingham News compiled the Neilsen ratings data for 34 of the 35 bowls (Sorry, TicketCity Bowl), and here's a look at how the Big 12 did, with a few notes.

Bowls are listed in order of rating, which reflects the percentage of American homes that watched the broadcast.

1. Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma versus Connecticut. The game drew a 6.15 rating, down 25 percent from the 2010 Fiesta Bowl between TCU and Boise State. It was the lowest of the five BCS games, which shouldn't come as a surprise. The Outback Bowl between Florida and Penn State also outdrew the Fiesta Bowl. The 17-point line between the teams wasn't very attractive, and the game wasn't in much doubt in the second half.

2. Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M versus LSU. Not a big surprise here. The game's 5.81 rating was up 29 percent from the 2010 Cotton Bowl between Oklahoma State and Ole Miss. The biggest reason why: a move later in the bowl calendar, and the move to prime time, away from the game's usual early-morning kickoff.

3. Holiday Bowl: Nebraska versus Washington. The game's 3.48 rating was down just six percent from last year's game between Nebraska and Arizona. Certainly, Nebraska's national fan base helped, as did Washington, whose fans hadn't seen their team in a bowl game since 2002. And the Huskers, two-touchdown favorites in the game, were losing for most of it. Upsets are a nice draw.

4. Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Arizona. The game's 2.84 rating was down 41 percent from the 2009 Alamo Bowl, but that game also featured the first game for Texas Tech without Mike Leach after the controversy surrounding his exit.

5. Texas Bowl: The game's 2.65 rating was up 24 percent from the previous year's game between Navy and Missouri. The game was the only one on television while it was being played this year, which probably helped that number. Last year, the Texas Bowl was played at the same time as the Sun Bowl between Oklahoma and Stanford.

6. Pinstripe Bowl: Kansas State versus Syracuse. The inaugural game posted a solid 2.26 rating, certainly helped by playing in Yankee Stadium and playing a game that was close throughout.

7. Insight Bowl: Missouri versus Iowa: The game posted a 2.24 rating, up 460 percent from 2009's game between Minnesota and Iowa State. That's what happens when you move from NFL Network to ESPN. Not helping the game's rating? Kicking off at 10 p.m. ET with an NFL game between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles already in progress, which relegated the game to the worst rating of the Big 12 bowls. That has to be frustrating for those affected by it. The Giants and Eagles were scheduled to play on Sunday night, but a Philadelphia blizzard forced officials to move the game to Tuesday night.

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