The ratings for Monday night’s National Championship Game between LSU and Clemson are in. The all-Tigers battle wound up with a 14.3 rating, and 25.59 million viewers.
With those numbers in, Sports Media Watch has published the entire list of television ratings for every National Championship Game in college football list. Because there was no system to set up a title game until the BCS was launched in the late-1990s, there have only been 22 in the sport’s long history.
As television ratings slide in general, and with the games now being on ESPN rather than an over-the-air television network like ABC, there is a natural decline over time. ABC broadcast the game from 1999 to 2006, and again in 2010 before ESPN took over. FOX had the title games from 2007-09.
This year’s game finished with the 17th highest ratings of every title game.
Here is the full list:
- 2005-06 BCS: Texas def. USC – 21.7 rating, 35.63 million viewers
- 2014-15 CFP: Ohio State def. Oregon – 18.6 rating, 34.148 million viewers
- 2000-01 BCS: Oklahoma def. Florida State – 17.8 rating, 27.240 million viewers
- 1999-00 BCS: Florida State def. Virginia Tech – 17.5 rating, 26.962 million viewers
- 2006-07 BCS: Florida def. Ohio State – 17.4 rating, 28.795 million viewers
- 2009-10 BCS: Alabama def. Texas – 17.2 rating, 30.776 million viewers
- 2002-03 BCS: Ohio State def. Miami – 17.2 rating, 29.104 million viewers
- 1998-99 BCS: Tennessee def. Florida State – 17.2 rating, 26.112 million viewers
- 2008-09 BCS: Florida def. Oklahoma – 15.8 rating, 26.767 million viewers
- 2017-18 CFP: Alabama def. Georgia – 15.6 rating, 28.443 million viewers
- 2010-11 BCS: Auburn def. Oregon – 15.3 rating, 27.316 million viewers
- 2012-13 BCS: Alabama def. Notre Dame – 15.1 rating, 26.38 million viewers
- 2015-16 CFP: Alabama def. Clemson – 15.0 rating, 26.182 million viewers
- 2013-14 BCS: Florida State def. Auburn – 14.8 rating, 26.205 million viewers
- 2003-04 BCS: LSU def. Oklahoma – 14.8 rating, 23.937 million viewers
- 2007-08 BCS: LSU def. Ohio State – 14.4 rating, 23.069 million viewers
- 2019-20 CFP: LSU def. Clemson – 14.3 rating, 25.59 million viewers
- 2016-17 CFP: Clemson def. Alabama – 14.2 rating, 25.266 million viewers
- 2011-12 BCS: Alabama def. LSU – 14.0 rating, 24.214 million viewers
- 2018-19 CFP: Clemson def. Alabama – 13.8 rating, 25.28 million viewers
- 2001-02 BCS: Miami def. Nebraska – 13.8 rating, 21.559 million viewers
- 2004-05 BCS: USC def. Oklahoma – 13.7 rating, 21.419 million viewers
-The 2006 Rose Bowl remains incredible in every way. We were all lucky to witness a game like that.
-The “ESPN wanted Clemson over Ohio State” conspiracy theory looks even more ridiculous with this data laid out. Ohio State has been involved in three of the top seven title games ever.
-Following that up, Clemson’s dominance really isn’t great for ESPN. None of the Clemson games have broken a 15.0, and the two rematches with Alabama have been bottom five games. This year’s game likely signals that people would rather see the Tigers play a team that isn’t Alabama than yet another Dabo vs. Saban game.
-USC getting “back” is probably important for the Pac-12, but Oregon getting back to title contention would also work. Texas doing so would be huge. The Longhorns are a real draw.