AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt

Hardcore college football supporters across the country undoubtedly will be tuned set for the College Football Playoff. But how about casual fans outside SEC, ACC and Big 12 country?

With all the Pac-12 and Big Ten not really represented in the four-team playoff, the TV sports viewership analyst stated interest could be tempered on the Western Coast, upper Midwest and Northeast.

The campuses of Clemson, Atlanta and Alabama are in close closeness in the Southeast – Clemson plus Georgia are just 75 miles aside. Oklahoma is the outlier, a good day’s drive west of Alabama.

“I think it’s too regional this season, ” said Jon Lewis, publisher of Sports Media Watch. “That hurts in every sport – unless of course it’s the Super Bowl. ”

Having said that, Lewis expects a potential loss of viewership could be offset because the semifinals is going to be played on New Year’s Time, the traditional college football holiday. The final two years the semifinals were upon New Year’s Eve, when the video games competed with parties and other festivities.

An additional boost might come from the particular Alabama-Clemson semifinal in the Sugar Dish being a rematch of the last 2 national championship games.

But , Lewis said, “I still think the particular numbers are going to be well short of the very first year of the playoff. ”

Within 2015, the inaugural playoff semifinals matching Oregon-Florida State and Kansas State-Alabama each drew better than twenty-eight million viewers on ESPN, based on the Nielsen company. The Oregon-Ohio Condition title game had 33. four million.

Viewership the last two years went from 15. 5 million to nineteen. 8 million for the New Year’s Eve semifinals, and the Clemson-Alabama name games drew 26. 7 mil in 2016 and 26 mil in 2017.

Los Angeles sports radio stations host Petros Papadakis acknowledged the particular regional flavor of the playoff — “I hope Oklahoma can a minimum of strike a blow for the individuals west of the Mississippi, ” he or she joked – but said this individual didn’t think it would put the damper on fans’ enthusiasm country wide.

“Call me crazy, but I believe we’ve reached a point in our modern society where football fans put soccer on, ” Papadakis said. “If there is live football and it’s a large game that’s on, people are viewing…. I really do feel like the College Soccer Playoff is transcendent like the Extremely Bowl, where people are just likely to watch because it’s championship-level soccer. ”

Still, Lewis said this can’t be overlooked that much of the country is left with no rooting attention. He noted the Big Ten plus Pac-12 have larger geographic foot prints (never mind the Big 12’s far eastern outpost of West Virginia) plus there is some overlap between the SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION’S and ACC.

“It’s good to achieve the SEC represented. I don’t know it’s far good to have two SEC groups represented, ” Lewis said. “And when you talk about the conferences, the Big twelve, ACC and SEC are very comparable in terms of their makeup, in terms of their own regions. You don’t want it to be as well regional. ”

An interesting test would be the Rose Bowl, where the traditional Large Ten-Pac-12 matchup gives way to the particular playoff semifinal between Oklahoma plus Georgia.

Papadakis said the Went up Bowl obviously would have more nearby interest if Southern California or even UCLA were participating, but the truth the game is a playoff makes it interesting.

“The key for the Rose Dish is that they’re big, blue-blooded conventional college football programs, ” he or she said. “As long as that is a big blue blood, people can come out to Los Angeles and the game can feel big. There are so many transplants in UNA, and I would argue there are a lot more Georgia and Oklahoma people within this town than Oregon people who stomach to the game. ”

Brandon Heideman, who bartends at The Lodge Sports activities Grille in Seattle, said there was clearly standing-room only at his institution last year when the hometown Washington Huskies were in the playoff. The lack of a Pac-12 team in this year’s playoff, let alone the Huskies, will probably temper enthusiasm.

“As long because someone in the Pac-12 is actively playing in a game, we’re very occupied, ” Heideman said. “We’ll convey more people than usual in here for your playoff, but it won’t be like it had been last year. ”

Ali Jones, the bartender at Bunkers Sports Club and Grill in Dayton, Kansas, said she and her customers are disappointed Ohio State did not make the final four. Still, the girl expects a full house for the semifinals and the Jan. 8 final which folks probably will be pulling for Ok, which beat the Buckeyes within the regular season.

What about Alabama, the particular team that edged out the particular Buckeyes for a playoff spot?

“We won’t be rolling any Tides more than here, ” Jones said.

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