SEC dominates 2013 TV Ratings, Texas A&M and Mizzou thrive

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC is the top conference and has 7 teams among the Top 10 in terms of TV ratings.

Now that the regular season is over for the SEC, let's take stock of TV ratings relative to the rest of College Football. During conference realignment in 2011, many media types could not stop talking about what a bad move Texas A&M, Missouri, and the SEC were making. As far as exposure, remember that when asked about the SEC entering the state of Texas market, University of Texas Athletic Director Deloss Dodds said, "They have a sliver down the east side (of Texas)." We've since learned that things look brighter than most expected for Texas A&M and Missouri, both competitively and financially. So let's see if the SEC footprint has grown as commissioner Mike Slive hoped it would.

Top College Football Teams by TV Ratings

There are 12 SEC teams in the Top 25, including 7 teams in the Top 10. Unsurprisingly, Alabama is king of the mountain. SEC newbies Texas A&M and Missouri are ranked 2nd and 22nd respectively. Their rival Big 12 schools Texas (27) and Kansas (73) did not crack the Top 25. Big 12 replacements TCU and West Virginia ranked 48th and 51st.

Ratings include only games on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and FOX Sports 1. Data for other networks are unavailable (e.g., Big Ten Network, Pac-12 Network, Longhorn Network), and this boosts averages for teams playing on those networks since ratings are generally low (see Longhorn Network).

Some teams benefit from having a low number of rated games since only their most attractive matchups are picked up by top TV stations (e.g., Northwestern ranked #16 with only 5 rated games due to opponents like Ohio State driving ratings).

Individual game data was collected from Sports Media Watch. Only teams with 3 or more rated games are included in the list.

12/7/2013 Table Update after final viewer numbers for Week 14 were posted.

Rank Team Avg Viewers Avg Rating # of Rated Gms
1 Alabama 6,465,000 3.9 10
2 Texas A&M 5,263,900 3.3 10
3 Michigan 5,257,381 3.3 7
4 Georgia 4,832,300 3.0 10
5 LSU 4,531,818 2.7 11
6 Ohio State 4,374,500 2.7 10
7 Auburn 4,201,667 2.5 9
8 Notre Dame 3,906,364 2.5 11
9 South Carolina 3,499,875 2.2 8
10 Florida 3,369,583 2.1 8
11 Nebraska 3,240,833 2.1 6
12 Tennessee 3,082,630 2.0 9
13 FSU 3,011,727 1.9 11
14 Clemson 2,970,417 1.8 10
15 Stanford 2,885,056 1.8 9
16 Northwestern 2,684,300 1.7 5
17 Wisconsin 2,671,278 1.7 9
18 Penn State 2,652,000 1.7 6
19 Oklahoma 2,640,455 1.7 11
20 Mississippi State 2,607,429 1.6 7
21 Mississippi 2,536,750 1.5 8
22 Missouri 2,511,714 1.6 7
23 Michigan State 2,502,750 1.7 8
24 Arkansas 2,485,000 1.5 6
25 Oregon 2,372,350 1.5 10
26 North Carolina 2,244,500 1.5 4
27 Texas 2,239,875 1.4 8
28 UCLA 2,235,650 1.4 10
29 USC 2,205,000 1.4 8
30 Purdue 2,203,500 1.5 4
31 Arizona State 2,199,333 1.4 6
32 Iowa 2,171,250 1.4 6
33 Oklahoma State 2,125,958 1.3 8
34 Vanderbilt 2,120,000 1.4 4
35 Miami 2,095,300 1.3 11
36 Pittsburgh 2,074,000 1.3 5
37 Texas Tech 1,919,300 1.2 10
38 Boston College 1,734,125 1.2 4
39 UCF 1,679,600 1.1 5
40 Baylor 1,664,111 1.0 9
41 Illinois 1,627,600 1.1 5
42 Minnesota 1,616,524 1.1 7
43 Arizona 1,601,375 1.0 4
44 Virginia Tech 1,556,111 1.0 9
45 Georgia Tech 1,496,000 1.0 8
46 Washington 1,457,750 0.9 8
47 Louisville 1,416,143 1.0 7
48 TCU 1,352,125 0.9 8
49 Kentucky 1,323,857 0.8 7
50 Oregon State 1,278,286 0.8 7
51 West Virginia 1,271,200 0.8 10
52 BYU 1,245,000 0.8 8
53 Indiana 1,191,875 0.8 4
54 Boise State 1,189,429 0.8 7
55 Maryland 1,150,200 0.7 5
56 San Diego State 1,134,250 0.7 4
57 Kansas State 1,058,167 0.7 10
58 Washington State 1,025,500 0.6 8
59 UConn 1,013,250 0.6 4
60 Cal 986,000 0.7 8
61 Rutgers 917,000 0.7 5
62 Virginia 883,500 0.6 6
63 SMU 881,750 0.6 4
64 Fresno State 863,800 0.5 5
65 USF 852,000 0.6 5
66 Air Force 849,000 0.6 5
67 Wake Forest 758,833 0.5 6
68 Utah 662,000 0.4 5
69 Iowa State 644,000 0.4 9
70 Nevada 644,000 0.4 4
71 Buffalo 585,800 0.4 5
72 San Jose State 569,750 0.4 4
73 Kansas 564,571 0.4 7
74 Houston 558,500 0.4 4
75 Duke 547,667 0.4 6
76 Cincinnati 449,200 0.3 5
77 UL-Lafayette 409,750 0.3 4
78 Tulsa 355,200 0.2 5
79 Bowling Green 182,250 0.1 4
80 Troy 145,500 0.1 4

Conference TV Ratings

The SEC has the strongest TV viewership in college football. The distance between the SEC and runner-up Big 10 is substantial, and another wide gap exists between the Big 10 and other major conferences. Remember that each conference game counts twice so "a rising tide lifts all boats," especially a Crimson one.

Rank Conference Avg Viewers Avg Rating # of Rated Gms
1 SEC 3,593,577 2.2 115
2 Big 10 2,706,934 1.7 78
3 ACC 1,895,508 1.2 85
4 Pac-12 1,814,430 1.1 72
5 Big 12 1,577,781 1.0 90
6 AAC 1,148,886 0.8 44
7 MWC 1,000,433 0.6 46
8 C-USA 853,450 0.5 37
9 MAC 764,219 0.5 32
10 Sun Belt 630,265 0.4 17

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