When the ratings came out this week for the Week 13 college football games, the Big 12 should’ve taken a look in the mirror and asked themselves, “What have we done?”
That’s because the ratings for Farmageddon, which is going to end as an annual rivalry in 2027, beat every other Big 12 game on Saturday, including Oklahoma State vs. BYU, which had Big 12 Championship implications.
Here are the numbers from Brett McMurphy on X, formerly Twitter.
As you can see, Texas Tech at Texas led the way in the Big 12 with 3.77 million viewers. But that game was on a Friday with less competition in the evening window. It went up against Penn State vs. Michigan State, which had no implications in the Playoff race or the conference. Also, Texas is a Top 5 national brand in the College Football Playoff race.
Iowa State at Kansas State drew 3.29 million viewers on FOX, and was going up against Florida State vs. Florida, which had College Football Playoff implications. Meantime, Farmageddon had absolutely nothing on the line on Saturday night.
Farmageddon also blew out Oklahoma vs. TCU, which drew 2.22 million and also beat Oklahoma State vs. BYU by nearly one million viewers (2.39M), even though that game went to double overtime and was on ABC.
This year’s number is definitive proof that Iowa State vs. Kansas State, which has been played every season since 1917, has become one of the must-watch match ups in the Big 12. And given the fact that the Big 12 some key match ups next year with Oklahoma and Texas’ departure, including Bedlam, the Red River Rivalry, Oklahoma State vs. Texas, Texas vs. Texas Tech, and others, to throw Farmageddon out the window as an annual match up is a massive mistake.
There are only four games that will be played annually in the Big 12 starting in 2024: Arizona vs. Arizona State, BYU vs. Utah, Baylor vs. TCU, and Kansas vs. Kansas State.
How’d those games fare this year?
Kansas vs. Kansas State: 869,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1
Arizona vs. Arizona State: 740,000 viewers on ESPN
Baylor vs. TCU: No ratings numbers, on ESPN+
Those game are great, and should be protected, but I’m a big believer in the the marketplace never being wrong. If your product is desirable, people will consume it. If it’s not, they won’t.
The Big 12 is literally being told by college football fans, we don’t just like this game, we really like this game. And the Big 12 basically said, “Sorry”.
What a disappointment.
Now, there’s always times to correct mistakes. Technically, there’s 3-4 years to do that. Brett Yormark is a marketer and business man at his core. He has to look at these numbers and realize a mistake has been made. And if Yormark wants it fixed, we know full well the Big 12 Conference can, and is going to, fix it. And fix it fast.
The Big 12 is losing some great rivalries, there’s no need to lose more than they have to via a self-inflicted wound.