Georgia’s TCU wipeout leads to lowest ratings in college football title game history

It seems fans didn’t feel like watching most of Monday’s college football playoff title game between Georgia and TCU, and it’s hard to blame them.

Georgia’s 65-7 show of force en route to a second straight national championship drew just 17.223 million viewers for the ESPN family of channels, according to Austin Karp of the Sports Business Journal. That number would have made the Bulldogs’ win the least-watched college football title game since the BCS began in 1999.

ESPN’s main show reportedly averaged 16.6 million viewers, though the “Field Pass with The Pat McAfee Show,” in which the former NFL punter and some of his friends watched and reacted to the game from the field, was a relative success, with 423,000 viewers.

Georgia won the CFP title game in the second quarter

Most stories about a sporting event’s record ratings would lead to soul-searching about the future of the sport, but there’s nothing really complex about what happened on Monday.

Georgia was a massive favorite (lopsided matchups are usually a ratings detriment) and punched TCU in the face for 60 minutes. The Bulldogs beat the Frogs 589-188, won the rotation margin 3-0 and had their quarterback back up for the entire fourth quarter. It was the largest margin of victory in not only college football playoff history, but any bowl game.

As such, it’s hard to blame non-Georgian fans for stopping the game early. TCU entered the contest with a reputation built on magical returns, but there’s little room for drama when the score is 38-7 at halftime.

The bright side of college football and ESPN playoffs is that this season’s semifinal thrillers have done very well in the ratings department, as the Fiesta Bowl (21.7 million viewers) and the Peach Bowl (22.4 million) were the most-watched semi-final games in five years, despite being on New Year’s Eve.

Georgia won big on Monday.  ESPN did not.  (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Georgia won big on Monday. ESPN did not. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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