Big 12 News

Top 10 Most-Watched College Football Games of 2020

NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Wisconsin

The 2020 college football regular season is in the books and as we look back on the strangest season of our lifetimes, we also get some insight into what fans were most interested by this season.

Unfortunately for the Big 12 Conference, there were no Big 12 games in the Top 10 most-watched college football games of the 2020 season.

Top 10 most-watched college football games (2020)

1. Nov. 7: Clemson vs. Notre Dame (NBC): 10.1 million
2. Dec. 19: Notre Dame vs. Clemson (ABC): 9.9 million
3. Oct. 17: Georgia vs. Alabama (CBS): 9.6 million
4. Dec. 19: Alabama vs. Florida (CBS): 8.9 million
5. Dec. 19: Ohio State vs. Northwestern (FOX): 8.0 million
6. Nov. 28: Alabama vs. Auburn (CBS): 6.7 million
7. Oct. 31: Ohio State vs. Penn State (ABC): 6.5 million
8. Nov. 7: Florida vs. Georgia (CBS): 6.3 million
9. Oct. 24: Nebraska vs. Ohio State (FOX): 6.2 million
10. Nov. 21: Indiana vs. Ohio State (FOX): 6.1 million


The numbers were reported by Stewart Mandel and Sports Media Watch.

Here’s what I believe happened for the Big 12 this year, it was too competitive top to bottom and with Oklahoma out of the College Football Playoff picture early in the season, it was unlikely the Big 12 was going to get as many prime time games where the viewership is naturally much higher.

But what’s also interesting is that college football viewership was down from 2019.

Here’s a comparison to last year.

Top 10 most-watched college football games (2019)

1. Nov. 9: LSU vs. Alabama (CBS): 16.6 million
2. Dec. 7: LSU vs. Georgia (CBS): 13.7 million
3. Dec. 7: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin (FOX): 13.6 million
4. Nov. 30: Ohio State vs. Michigan (FOX): 12.4 million
5. Nov. 30: Alabama vs. Auburn (CBS): 11.4 million
6. Nov. 23: Penn State vs. Ohio State (FOX): 9.4 million
7. Sept. 21: Notre Dame vs. Georgia (CBS): 9.3 million
8. Dec. 7: Oklahoma vs. Baylor (ESPN): 8.7 million
9. Sept. 9: LSU vs. Texas (ABC): 8.6 million
10: Oct. 12: Oklahoma vs. Texas (FOX): 7.3 million

As you can see, last year the Big 12 had three games in the Top 10. Also, if you’re a College Football Playoff skeptic like myself and think the committee is too entrenched and cares too much about brand for TV ratings for ESPN, well this certain confirms where some of that bias comes from. Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame are always some of the most-watched teams in the country and always get the benefit of the doubt from the College Football Playoff committee. Go figure.

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