New Year’s Eve is a time to party, and New Year’s Day is a time to watch college football. The NCAA tried to change that paradigm this year, scheduling both College Football Playoff Semifinals for New Year’s Eve, and as a result, the cable TV ratings dropped 38.5% from last year for one game and 44.5% for the other, a catastrophic result for a group of people trying to “redefine” what people do on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
More from USA Today:
The dramatic matchups and results of last year’s first College Football Playoff semifinals led to record-breaking cable audiences for ESPN.
Those games included a face-off between Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacksMarcus Mariota and Jameis Winston in the Rose Bowl. Ohio State and Alabama, two of the most popular programs in college football, played a game that went down to the final play. Ohio State upset the Crimson Tide 42-35.
Those games represented the biggest cable TV audiences ever, until the first playoff championship game with Oregon-Ohio State topped it with 33 million viewers.
The matchups of this year’s games weren’t as attractive and both turned out to be lopsided. Clemson beat Oklahoma 37-17, pulling away in the second half. Alabama routed Michigan State 38-0 in a game that was pretty much over midway through the third quarter.
But the biggest difference was the day the games were played.
As of right now, next season’s playoff games are also set to be played on New Year’s Eve, but maybe the NCAA will learn from their mistake for once and actually listen to the fans who want to have it both ways—New Year’s Eve to party, and New Year’s Day to recover in front of the TV watching the best college football has to offer.