If a trophy is lifted in a dome and nobody watches it, does it mean anything?
While last night's initially enthusiastic crowd at the Superdome and a modest home viewing audience made certain that there were eyewitnesses to Alabama's 21-0 dismantling of LSU in the BCS National Championship Game, the ratings and interest in college football's showcase seem to have reached a nadir.
Was it the matchup? The teams? The late start on a school night? Or just bowl fatigue after so very many games during the previous few weeks?
The ESPN broadcast of the SEC rematch drew an overnight rating of 13.8, the lowest rating in the history of the BCS. While this lackluster rating did edge the rating earned by the 9-6 regular-season battle between these two leaguemates, it undercut the previous BCS low recorded during the 2002 Rose Bowl between Nebraska and Miami.
The reasons for the lack of interest in this game are as numerous as the poorly-executed plays by the LSU offense were in the game itself. The anticipation of those plays is prominent among the factors that so many people took a pass on this game -- perhaps to watch DVR'd episodes of The Bachelor or Downton Abbey. Other factors include the fact that we'd seen this game before -- and that it was boring the first time.
Not only did the 9-6 brawl in November not live up to the ample pre-game hype but it also seemed to limit the promotion that ESPN could give to this game. After all the talk of the last meeting being "the Game of the Century," what slogans were left to sell this? The Game of the... well it's the last game that we'll get for a months.
Had LSU and Alabama come out of the tunnel looking sharp on offense then perhaps viewership could have grown over the course of the night thanks to word of mouth and tweet of hand. However, the parade of field goal attempts in the first only served to reinforce that this was a game worth missing. If there was one term appearing most alongside the obvious hashtags #LSU, #Alabama and #BCS it was BORING.
HERE ARE SOME NOTABLE TWEETS FROM THE BRAVE AND UNENTERTAINED FEW WATCHING THE GAME: