People have been counting down the days to the start of the college football season since Ohio State was crowned champions in January. The long lay-off that occurs year-to-year simply drives fans mad. No rivalry games. No fourth and inches. No mascot commercials. No Lou Holtz. People are going crazy.
However, that is only for the people who are apart of the college football fan base. The College Football Hall of Fame and the NFF set out to determine whether or not that fan base is growing.
In short: Yes, yes it is.
NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell spoke out about the results.
“The already intense interest in college football continues to grow,” Hatchell said. “Embracing ever changing technology, the leaders of our sport have done a spectacular job in ensuring that the fan experience not only keeps pace but sets the standard in innovation. We are grateful to the conferences, bowl games and the media for their creativity and commitment in delivering a first-class product that allows fans to experience the game in every imaginable way.”
All in all there is no question that game is growing. The NCAA expanded the bowl season to include 40 games this season, meaning over half of the bowl-eligible teams will be seen on a national scale. This report though lengthy, spoke to some of the record breaking precedents set over the past year. Some of the highlights include:
- The National Championship and the two semi-final games were recorded as the first, second, and third highest audiences in cable TV history.
- NCAA football programs attracted over 49 million fans in attendance (over thirty million more than the first records show).
- The SEC averaged 77,694 fans in attendance (more than the max capacity for 28 of 32 NFL stadiums).
- Week Two of FOX College Football delivered its highest ratings of all time.
The entire report can be viewed on the NFF website.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports