The Week 8 college football schedule included a number of marquee games, and the TV numbers showed it. There would be rivalry games once more, including significant SEC and Big Ten contests.
Teams all around the nation are getting ready for the race to win their conference titles, and the games will take on even more significance since the first College Football Playoff rankings are expected to be released in less than a week.
According to Sports Media Watch, TV viewership for college football this year has already been remarkable, and the most recent Nielsen figures indicated that this continued in Week 8.
Penn State versus Ohio State
9.96 million people watched
FOX got a great deal out of a top-10 matchup between two unbeaten teams when Ohio State upset Penn State in Columbus. The Buckeyes’ game against Notre Dame and Colorado’s game against Oregon in Week 4 were the two highest-rated games of the year, respectively, behind this showdown.
Tennessee vs. Alabama
8.01 million people watched
There’s usually a lot of interest on the third Saturday in October, and this year was no exception as Alabama triumphed over Tennessee at Bryant Denny Stadium. Even though the audience was 3 million fewer viewers on average than the previous year’s ratings, it was CBS’ largest TV audience of the college football season. Alabama is currently 10/ odds at online sportsbooks to win the national title.
Florida State vs. Duke
4.08 million people watched
Up until the very end, when the Seminoles defeated Duke in prime time with three straight touchdowns, Florida State appeared to be on upset alert. After seven games, Mike Norvell’s team is still unbeaten and at the top of the ACC. The game drew the largest crowd of the busy late window.
Michigan State versus Michigan
3.73 million people watched
In a 49-0 thumping of rival Michigan State, Michigan left no doubts whatsoever to retain the Paul Bunyan Trophy in Ann Arbor. It was the second Michigan game this season to average more than three million viewers, making it another significant prime time match for NBC.
USC vs. Utah
3.23 million people watched
Utah defeated USC in the regular season for the second time in a row, and this time in front of a sizable television audience. With a lot of eyeballs on the games and both occurring in the late window, the Trojans have now dropped their last two games.
Houston vs. Texas
3.08 million people watched
It wasn’t simply the American League Championship Series between Texas and Houston in Major League Baseball. In addition, more than 3 million spectators witnessed Quinn Ewers’ injury when the Longhorns defeated the Cougars on the football field.
Oregon State vs Washington State
2.35 million people watched
After losing to Washington in Week 7, Oregon recovered admirably, and Bo Nix is still regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. The Ducks easily defeated Washington State, 38–20, and provided ABC with high-quality ratings in the afternoon.
UCF versus Oklahoma
2.17 million people watched
Even though Oklahoma vs. UCF was playing for the Dillon Gabriel Bowl versus Penn State-Ohio State, the game attracted over two million people on ABC. Despite the fact that the game was closer than some may have predicted, the Sooners prevailed 31–29 to maintain their perfect record.
Arkansas vs. Ole Miss
1.8 million people watched
Hugh Freeze faced Ole Miss last week for the first game as Auburn’s head coach since his return to the SEC. Despite their 28-21 home loss, the Tigers, who have struggled this season, managed to rank among the top 10 most-watched college football games of the week based on TV ratings.
Iowa vs. Minnesota
1.68 million views
As Iowa faced Minnesota, low scoring was anticipated (the over-under closed at roughly 30 points), and the Golden Gophers prevailed 12–10. There was some controversy surrounding it, though, as Cooper DeJean’s late punt return was disregarded due to an erroneous fair catch call.
College football has maintained a high level of viewing throughout the season, with TV ratings for some of the major games consistently reaching high levels. That being said, Saturdays are likely to get even more exciting because there are lots of parity this season, conference titles, and CFP contests at stake.