The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame highlighted today numerous powerful facts from the 2017 college football season that emphasize the strong popularity of college football among millions of fans across the country, including the 56 percent of U.S. adults who cited themselves in a Gallup Poll as college football fans, a two percent increase from 2011 and more than professional baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer. Additionally, excluding the combined numbers for Olympic Sports, college football ranks second in core fans behind only the NFL, and the sport’s fan base grew by 1.4 million people in 2017, according to media outlets.

“College football will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2019, and our sport has certainly come a long way from several hundred spectators lining a wooden fence to watch the first game in 1869,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We saw a big shift this year in the metrics and how things are measured with the adaptation of total live audience numbers by several media outlets. The need for the switch highlights that fans truly are reveling in the vision of college football anytime, anywhere and on any screen.

“The networks, as well as the colleges, conferences and bowls, all deserve high praise as innovators who continue to break new ground within an ever-changing high-tech landscape. There is no doubt that college football fans everywhere are the big winners with options galore, thanks to the creativity and commitment of the leaders of our sport.”

The top highlights include:

Second Most Watched Event in Cable TV History

·         The 2018 College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship Presented by AT&T between Georgia and Alabama on ESPN delivered the second biggest audience in cable television history, solidifying the College Football Playoff's place in history as a ratings juggernaut with the four biggest TV audiences in cable history and seven of the top 10.  This year’s game produced a total live audience* of 29,932,000 viewers. The inaugural CFP game on ESPN in 2015 between Ohio State and Oregon remains No. 1 with 33,395,000 viewers.

·         The seven CFP games on ESPN, covering the New Year’s Six and the CFP National Championship, averaged a total live audience* of more than 17 million viewers, making it the best ever in the four years of the new system. The average marked a 10 percent increase from last year and 25 percent from the 2015 season. The seven games also averaged a 9.8 overnight, also the best ever in the four years of the new system and up 5 percent from last year.

·         The 355 college football telecasts on ABC, beIN Sports, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX, FS1, FS2, NBC and NBCSN during the 2017 regular season averaged 1,942,000 viewers per game while reaching more than 200 million unique fans†.

·         The 39 postseason college bowl games on ABC, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX and FS1 at the conclusion of the 2017 season averaged 5,308,000 viewers per game (representing an 8 percent increase over last season and a 3 percent increase from two years ago) while reaching 122 million unique fans† on television. (The figures include the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, which was played at the FCS level, but not the AutoNation Cure Bowl and the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl, both telecast on CBSSN, which is not rated by Nielsen Media.)

NCAA Programs Attract More Than 47.6 Million Fans:

The 666 NCAA football programs (FBS, FCS, DII and DIII) drew 47,622,196 fans at home games, neutral-site games and postseason games in 2017, according to the annual NCAA report. The number represents a 3.3 percent drop from the 2016 season, but it also represents a 29.2 percent increase since 1997 and a 148.9 percent increase from the 19,134,159 fans that the NCAA reported when they first started collecting attendance figures in 1948*.

The 40 FBS bowl games this season (including the CFP National Championship, but excluding the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl at the FCS level) attracted 1,620,253 spectators to the stands (40,506 per contest). The Top Ten bowls all had attendance in excess of 57,000 fans, and eight bowl games saw increases of more than 4,000 fans.

The game has benefited enormously from the commitment of every major media sports outlet, including the ABC, beIN Sports, Big Ten Network, BYUtv, CBS, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPN3, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, FOX, FS1, FS2, FOX College Sports, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports Net, Longhorn Network, NBC, NBC Sports Network, Pac-12 Networks, Root Sports, SEC Network, Stadium and multiple regional and local outlets. Throughout the regular and bowl seasons, these outlets continue to capitalize on college football’s ever-increasing popularity to produce an increasingly dynamic product that engages fans on new levels.

Regular Season Attendance Highlights

·         The overall attendance for NCAA football games across all divisions (FBS, FCS, Division II and Division III) drew 47,622,196 fans at home games, neutral-site games and postseason games in 2017. The number represents a 3.3 percent drop from the 2016 season, but it also represents a 29.2 percent increase since 1997 and a 148.9 percent increase since 1948 when the NCAA began collecting attendance reports.

·         The Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) drew 36,632,625 spectators for an average of 42,203 fans per game. The Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) pulled in 5,509,277 fans for an average of 8,223, followed by Division II with 2,975,145 for a 3,273 average and Division III with 2,305,716 for a 1,873 average.

·         The SEC led all FBS conferences in attendance for the 20th straight year, averaging 75,074 fans per game or a total of 7,357,228 in 2017, followed by the Big Ten (66,227), Big 12 (56,852), Pac-12 (49,601) and the ACC (48,442).

·         Michigan led all FBS schools again with an average attendance of 111,589 fans per home game in 2017. Three other schools also averaged more than 100,000 fans per game: Ohio State (107,495), Penn State (106,707) and Alabama (101,722). Rounding out the 2017 Top Ten leaders for average home team attendance were: Texas A&M (98,802); LSU (98,506); Tennessee (95,779); Texas (92,778); Georgia (92,746); and Nebraska (89,798).

·         Other universities with more than 80,000 fans per home game included Florida (86,715); Oklahoma (86,520); Auburn (86,446); and Clemson (80,773).

·         Michigan has led the nation in attendance for 41 of the past 43 seasons. (The two breaks occurred with a No. 3 ranking in 2014 and No. 2 ranking in 1997.) The Wolverines have now played before 100,000-plus fans for a record 279 straight home games, a streak that extends back to Nov. 8, 1975.

·         Ohio State led the nation for total fan attendance, attracting 1,254,160 spectators to all of their games in 2017, including home, away, neutral and postseason tilts. Eleven other teams eclipsed the million mark in 2017: Georgia (1,246,201), Alabama (1,228,376), Auburn (1,162,955), Penn State (1,146,641), Michigan (1,140,358), LSU (1,114,205), Texas A&M (1,093,368), Oklahoma (1,054,046), Tennessee (1,043,298), Clemson (1,016,347) and Texas (1,000,818).

·         Nebraska continued its streak of an NCAA record 361 consecutive home sellouts, a stretch that dates back to Nov. 3, 1962, at Memorial Stadium. The stadium has a current capacity of 85,458, and the Huskers averaged 89,798 at its home games during the 2017 season for a total attendance of 628,583 at seven games. Notre Dame holds the second longest sellout streak, which started in 1974, continuing through the 2017 season and now at 262 games.

·         The top 10 FBS schools with the largest increases in attendance all averaged more than 4,200 additional fans per game with Purdue leading the way with 13,433 additional fans at each game, followed by Akron (9,232), Florida Atlantic (8,875), New Mexico State (8,694), Penn State (6,450), Iowa State (5,374), Fresno State (5,139), Colorado State (4,462), Washington (4,233) and Southern California (4,224).

·         The top 10 FBS schools with the largest percentage increases in attendance included New Mexico State (91.1%); Akron (89.3%); Florida Atlantic (88.1%), Purdue (38.9%); Ball State (27.1%); Kent State (20.9%); Fresno State (20.16%); Colorado State (16.2%); North Texas (12.5%); and Boston College (11.7%).

·         Florida Atlantic, which notched its first winning season since 2008, attracted 125,588 attendees over seven games for an average of 17,941 per game, both single-season high water marks for the school.

·         Penn State recorded a 6.4 percent increase in home attendance for the 2017 season, including the largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history with 110,823 fans attending the Oct. 21 game against Michigan. The 2017 attendance total of 746,946 and 106,707 average per game ranked as the highest for a seven-game home schedule since 2009 and the seventh-best average in school history.

·         Iowa State set a new school attendance record with 347,586 fans attending its six home games for a 57,931 average or 10.2 percent increase over 2016.

·         Colorado State set a school record, averaging 32,062 fans for its six home games at a new $220 million on-campus stadium, which has a total capacity of 41,200.

·         Southern California, which saw a 5.8 percent increase in the number of fans attending its home games in 2017, attracted an average of 72,683 spectators to the Coliseum for seven games. The Trojans produced a season-high crowd of 84,714 during a 27-24 overtime win against Texas on Sept. 16, a mark that eclipsed the combined crowds for the NFL’s Rams (56,612) and Chargers (25,381), who both played in Los Angeles the same weekend.

·         Troy set a single-season attendance record for the second consecutive year, averaging 24,456 fans during its six home games or a 9 percent increase from last year and 46 percent above the 2015 average. The home opener between Troy and Alabama State drew a record crowd of 29,278, and the season saw a record 146,736 attend games.

·         North Texas attracted more fans (134,174) in 2017 than any of the previous seven seasons that Apogee Stadium has been open. Average attendance equaled 22,362, eclipsing the previous record of 21,030 set during the 2013 season. North Texas had three of its top six crowds ever.

·         Appalachian State attracted a record crowd of 35,126 to Kidd Brewer Stadium for Wake Forest's first-ever trip to Boone, N.C.

·         Old Dominion sold-out season tickets for the ninth-straight season. After reinstating football in 2009, Old Dominion is the only Division I program to sell out every home game it has ever played, attracting 120,708 fans to six home games in 2017.

The Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game sold out at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., drawing a crowd of 74,372 to watch No. 1 Clemson defeat No. 7 Miami (Fla.), 38-3. The seven previous ACC Football Championship Games have averaged more than 70,000 fans per game, including four sellouts.

·         Liberty University, which will play in the Football Bowl Subdivision as an independent during the 2018 season, averaged 16,571 in attendance per game, meeting the FBS attendance requirement of 15,000 during the first year of its transition process.

·         Montana claimed the FCS attendance title for a fourth consecutive season, drawing an average of 23,535 fans per home game for a total of 141,212 spectators in 2017. James Madison (21,724) landed in the No. 2 spot with Florida A&M (19,048), Yale (18,940) and Montana State (18,617) rounding out the top five.

·         Tuskegee (Ala.) captured the Division II attendance title, attracting a total of 44,994 fans for a 14,998 average per home game. Grand Valley State (Mich.), which had led Division II for three years, landed in the No. 2 spot with an average of 13,432 fans per game, followed by Morehouse (Ga.) with 10,100, Fort Valley State (Ga.) with 9,572 and Texas A&M-Commerce with 8,580.

·         The St. Thomas (Minn.) - Saint John's (Minn.) game on Sept. 23 crushed the Division III attendance record with 37,355 spectators, or 19,820 more than the previous record. The Tommie-Johnnie game was played at Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins, and the game outpaced 80 of 81 Twins home games at the venue, all but the 39,615 fans at the Twins home opener. Ranking among the largest non-Division I games ever, the Tommie-Johnnie game topped 84 Division I games played the same weekend, including 28 FBS contents and 56 of the 57 FCS games.

·         St. Thomas (Minn.) finished first among all 240 Division III programs in 2017 home attendance, with a total of 52,349 attending seven home games for an average of 7,478. They claimed the crown from perennial rival Saint John's (Minn.), which landed in the No. 2 spot after holding the title for 15 of the previous 16 years. The Johnnies, which did not count the rivalry game as a home game, attracted 36,553 fans during six home contests for a 6,092 average. Rounding out the top five were Emory & Henry (Va.) with 4,786, Geneva (Pa.) with 4,467 and Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) with 4,429.

·         The Southwestern Athletic Conference earned its 39th FCS attendance title in 40 years, averaging 13,694 fans for a total of 739,464 in 2017.  

·         The Southland Conference at the FCS level set a single-season conference record with 472,342 total fans attending games in 2017.

·         The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) netted its 14th Division II attendance crown in 15 years, averaging 7,117 fans.

·         The Minnesota Intercollegiate Conference grabbed the top spot for Division III attendance for the 12th time in the last 13 years with an average of 3,090 fans per game. 

Regular Season Ratings Highlights

·         The 355 college football telecasts on ABC, beIN Sports, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX, FS1, FS2, NBC and NBCSN during the 2017 regular season averaged 1,942,000 viewers per game while reaching more than 200 million unique fans†.

·         Auburn’s 26-14 upset of Alabama in the Iron Bowl on CBS was the most watched game of the season with 13,657,000 viewers and a 7.59 rating. CBS also carried the second most watched game of the regular season with 13,466,000 viewers watching Georgia best Auburn 28-7 in the SEC Championship.

·         A total live audience* of 12,604,000 watched No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 3 Florida State on ABC on Sept. 2, the first time in the sport’s history that a No. 1 preseason team opened against an opponent ranked in the Top 3. The viewership set a new record across all networks as the most-watched college football kickoff weekend matchup ever.

·         The Top Five regular season games all attracted more than 10 million viewers and the Top 10 all eclipsed the seven million mark: Alabama-Auburn (13,657,000 on CBS); Auburn-Georgia (13,466,000 on CBS); Ohio State-Wisconsin (12,918,000 on FOX); Florida State-Alabama (12,335,000 on ABC); Ohio State-Michigan (10,507,000 on FOX); Penn State-Ohio State (9,868,000 on FOX); Army-Navy (8,419,000 on CBS); Oklahoma-Ohio State (8,086,000 on ABC); Michigan-Florida (7,650,000 on ABC); and Georgia-Auburn (7,407,000 on CBS).

·         Army's 14-13 win over Navy gave the game its highest rating (5.9) in 23 years, a 5 percent increase from last year, with 8,419,000 fans tuning in to watch.

·         The number of viewers topped more than 5 million for 24 regular season games, including three games on cable.

·         ABC’s Saturday Night Football remained college football’s most-viewed franchise, averaging a total live audience* of 5,834,000 per game during its 14-week prime-time run this season.

·         The SEC on CBS finished as the highest-rated individual package for the ninth year in a row. The package averaged a household rating/share of 3.0/7, according to Nielsen national ratings, topping all other networks.

·         ESPN’s networks reached more than 171 million unique fans during the 2017 regular season, collectively watching more than 85 billion minutes of college football games.

·         FOX, which expanded its coverage through a new deal with the Big Ten finished the regular season with record-high viewership, increasing its average from 2.951 million to 3.625 million or a 23 percent increase.

·         ESPN, with the most games overall, continued as the most-viewed cable network for college football games, and its prime-time series for games kicking off between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, averaged 3,103,000 viewers, up 19 percent year-over-year, making it the most-watched cable series this season.

·         FS1 landed its best average since the network launched in 2013 with an average 816,000 viewers for the 40 games carried by the network.

·         Five teams played in three or more games ranked in the Top 25 for viewership: Michigan (5), Ohio State (5), Alabama (4), Auburn (3) and Penn State (3).

·         Ohio State's 27-21 victory over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game drew 12,918,000 viewers on FOX, ranking as the network’s most-watched college football game since the 2013 Big Ten Championship and at the time was the network’s most-watched prime-time telecast of any kind since Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. The game attracted a combined 13,063,000 viewers on the FOX broadcast network, FOX Deportes and FOX Sports GO with an average minute audience of 136,161 on FOX Sports GO, making it the streaming service’s biggest college football event ever.

·         Oklahoma's 41-17 win over TCU in the first Big 12 Championship Game since 2010 delivered 5,896,000 viewers on FOX. Overall, a combined 5,982,000 viewers watched the Big 12 Championship Game on FOX, FOX Deportes and FOX Sports GO, with an average minute audience of 79,373 on the streaming service, making it the best-performing Big 12 game in FOX Sports GO history and its fourth-best college football event ever.

·         The SEC Championship Game between Georgia and Auburn earned an 8.0 rating and 13.5 million viewers on CBS, up 21 percent in ratings and viewership from last year (6.6, 11.1 million) and up 3 percent and 6 percent respectively from 2015 (7.8, 12.8 million), both of which pit Alabama against Florida. The Bulldogs’ win ranks as the highest rated and most-watched SEC Championship since the 2013 Auburn-Missouri matchup (8.6, 14.4 million).

·         The Oklahoma-Ohio State game on Sept. 9 produced the best September non-opening week overnight rating on ABC in seven years with a 5.3 rating and 8,086,000 viewers.

·         ESPN’s telecast of Alabama's 31-24 victory at Mississippi State on Nov. 11 delivered 7,031,000 viewers, making it to the most watched cable game of the season and among ESPN’s top 10 most-viewed regular season Saturday games during the past 20 seasons. It also ranked as the 11th most-watched game of the regular season.

·         More than 5.4 million viewers watched the Ohio State-Indiana game on ESPN Aug. 31, notching the largest audience for an opening weekend Thursday game on record and making ESPN the most-viewed network in prime-time for all key male and adult demographics. The viewership marked an increase of 172 percent over last year’s opening Thursday game.

·         FOX Sports had its most-watched opening week ever with seven games on FOX and FS1, drawing an average audience of 1,522,000 across the networks’ seven games and representing an increase of 15 percent from 2015, the last time an opening-week game aired on the FOX broadcast network.

·         FOX had its most-watched college football Labor Day Weekend game ever with UCLA’s 45-44 victory over Texas A&M drawing 3,190,000 viewers.

·         FS1’s telecast of Maryland’s 51-41 victory over Texas on Sept. 2 drew 2,046,000 viewers, making it cable television’s most-watched Saturday college football game of Labor Day Weekend.

·         The Nov. 18 Navy-Notre Dame game on NBC produced a 1.99 rating and 3.205 million viewers, ranking as NBC’s highest rated and most watched afternoon Fighting Irish game since the 2015 season opener against Georgia Tech, which netted a 2.41 rating and 3.731 million viewers.  The game also represented a 30 percent increase in both metrics versus the comparable season concluding game last year between Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.

·         Notre Dame’s final three games of the season on NBC, which were all afternoon tilts and played against NC State, Wake Forest and Navy, notched a 15 percent increase in average viewers when compared to the final three games of last year, which were also afternoon and played against Miami (Fla.), Army and Virginia Tech. 

·         The first week of the 2017 football season was the most watched week ever on Pac-12 Networks, as well as on the Pac-12 Now app and where fans consumed over 120,000 hours of video.

·         The Pac-12 Networks delivered its most-watched Facebook Live video ever during the Sept. 2 USC postgame press conference, which featured blind long-snapper Jake Olson who played in the Trojan's 49-31 win over Western Michigan. FOX Sports also reported a Pac-12 Networks production, highlighting Olson's snap on FOX Sports' Facebook page, ranked as one of their most-viewed videos of the 2017 season with 2.7 million views. Click here to watch the video.

·         The South Florida at UCF game Nov. 24 on ABC delivered a total live audience* of 4,700,000 on the Friday after Thanksgiving, making it the most-watched game between two American Athletic Conference teams ever and the network's second most-watched Black Friday late afternoon game since 2005.

·         UCF’s 62-55 double-overtime win over Memphis on ABC attracted a 2.27 rating and 3,385,000 viewers, making it the most-watched American Athletic Conference Championship Game in the league’s history.

·         College GameDay Built by the Home Depot on ESPN, which aired from Auburn, Ala., Nov. 25 before the Iron Bowl averaged 2,311,000 viewers, its most-viewed episode of the 2017 season. The show averaged 1,841,000 viewers during the season.

·         The College Football Playoff Selection Show on ESPN (Dec. 3) was the most-viewed four-hour CFP Selection Show ever. The audience for the four-hour show was 1,630,000 viewers, up 23 percent from last year. The show’s first hour, which saw the four College Football Playoff teams announced, averaged 3,027,000 viewers, up 14 percent from last year.

·         The final Tuesday College Football Playoff: Top 25 Ranking show (Nov. 28) averaged 1,418,000 viewers on ESPN, up 19 percent from the final Tuesday ranking show in 2016.

·         For the 16th year in a row, Birmingham, Ala., remained the strongest TV market in the nation for college football on ESPN, averaging a 6.8 rating for all games televised by the network. The top five markets included Birmingham (6.8), Columbus, Ohio (5.0), Greenville, S.C. (4.5), Oklahoma City (3.9) and Knoxville, Tenn. (3.9).

·         ESPN’s Digital Content: Fans spent 4.3 billion minutes consuming non-game, college football content on the ESPN app and, up 16 percent from last season.

·         Stadium, launched in August 2017 as a 24/7 sports network with both digital and traditional broadcast platforms, produced 65 live games during the 2017 season, including Conference USA (15), Patriot League (10) and the Southern Conference (3). In addition to over-the-air-television distribution, Stadium delivered 28 games via Twitter, which attracted 7,680,000 unique viewers and a total number of 15,752,000 views. The network also distributed 15 games on Facebook, which resulted in 10.2 million additional views.

·         Stadium’s most viewed Facebook game occurred Sept. 9 during New Mexico State’s 30-28 win over New Mexico with 1.2 million views on the social network. Stadium’s Facebook coverage also produced a viral moment with 1.2 million views and 7,000 comments during a live interview with a Wyoming cheerleader about her dad who was on military deployment in Germany and watching her and the Cowboys during their Sept. 30 game against Texas State. Click to watch the interview.

Postseason Attendance Highlights

·         A total of 1,620,253 fans attended the 40 FBS postseason games this season, including the CFP title game, averaging 40,506 spectators per game. (This number excludes the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl at the FCS level.)

The Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual, which has led all bowls in attendance every year since 1945 (excluding title games), attracted 92,844 spectators while serving as a CFP Semifinal between Georgia and Oklahoma, again the most of any bowl game.

·         The Top Ten bowls for attendance all attracted more than 57,000 fans: Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual-CFP Semifinal (92,844); CFP National Championship (77,430); Allstate Sugar Bowl-CFP Semifinal (72,360); Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (71,109); Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (67,820); Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (67,510); Capital One Orange Bowl (65,032); PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (61,842); Citrus Bowl presented by Overton’s (57,726); and Valero Alamo Bowl (57,653).

·         Eight bowl games saw increases of more than 4,000 fans over last year’s games: Allstate Sugar Bowl-CFP Semifinal (18,283); Citrus Bowl presented by Overton’s (11,663); Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman (9,265); Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic (7,895); Las Vegas Bowl (7,146); AutoZone Liberty Bowl (6,179); Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl (5,324); and Walk-On’s Independence Bowl (4,606).

·         The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl attracted 71,109 fans to see UCF remain undefeated after defeating Auburn, its 19th sell-out in the last 21 contests. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2017, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has had more than 2.95 million fans attend its games during its history.

With an official attendance of 72,360, this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl marked the 62nd time in the Sugar Bowl’s 84-year history that it has featured more than 70,000 fans. The game served as a CFP Semifinal between Alabama and Clemson.

·         Excluding the New Year’s Six games, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl attracted the largest crowd of any bowl game with 67,820 fans watching Texas beat Missouri, 33-16.

The 26th edition of the Las Vegas Bowl attracted 36,432 fans for the matchup between Boise State and Oregon, ranking ninth in the game’s history for attendance. The game has produced sellouts for eight of its last 13 years at Sam Boyd Stadium.

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl between Memphis and Iowa State attracted a sellout crowd of 57,266. The sellout marked the second in the last three years for the annual tilt in Memphis.

·         The Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman notched its third sellout in five years since moving to Annapolis. During the five-year run in Annapolis, the game has played to 102 percent capacity. 

·         The Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl experienced a second-consecutive jump in attendance in only its third year for existence, following last year’s 66 percent increase with another 16 percent rise this year. This year’s game between New Mexico State and Utah State attracted 39,192 fans, or 5,324 more than last year.

·         The Division I FCS Championship playoffs attracted 222,424 fans for an average of 9,671 spectators over 23 games.

The FCS National Championship at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, attracted a sellout crowd of 19,090 to watch North Dakota State beat James Madison, 17-13, or an increase of 4,667 fans from 2016.

·         The Division II Championship playoffs attracted 84,003 fans for a 3,111 average over 27 games.

·         The Division III Championship playoffs attracted 59,750 fans for a 1,927 average over 31 games.

The NCAA Division III National Championship at the Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va., attracted 4,971 fans to watch Mount Union (Ohio) beat Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) 12-0, or 1,495 more spectators than 2016.

Postseason Ratings Highlights

·         The 39 postseason college bowl games on ABC, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, FOX and FS1 at the conclusion of the 2017 season averaged 5,308,000 viewers per game (representing an 8 percent increase over last season and a 3 percent increase from two years ago) while reaching 122 million unique fans† on television. (The figures include the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, which was played at the FCS level, but not the AutoNation Cure Bowl and the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl, both telecast on CBSSN, which is not rated by Nielsen Media.)

·         The 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T on Jan. 8 between Georgia and Alabama delivered the second biggest audience in cable television history, only behind the 2015 CFP National Championship between Ohio State and Oregon. This year's game, the first CFP title matchup to go into overtime, averaged 28,443,000 viewers during the MegaCast production on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, up 13 percent from last season’s game and 9 percent from two years ago. The ESPN-only telecast averaged 27,383,000 viewers, and the total live audience* clocked in at 29,932,000. The game delivered a 16.7 overnight rating on its Nielsen-rated networks (ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU), up 9 percent from last season’s game and 5 percent from two years ago.

·         The College Football Playoff system on ESPN has now delivered the four biggest audiences in cable history and seven of the top 10.

The three-game College Football Playoff averaged 26,266,000 viewers, up an impressive 21 percent from last year’s three-game presentation, and the three games averaged a 14.9 overnight, up an impressive 18 percent from last year’s three-game presentation.

·         This season’s two CFP Semifinals (the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual and the Allstate Sugar Bowl) on New Year’s Day averaged a 13.9 overnight, up 26 percent from last year and 42 percent from the 2015 season. The two CFP Semifinals averaged 24,590,000 viewers, up 27 percent from last year and 44 percent from the 2015 season. Individually, both games rank as the third and fourth most-viewed and highest-rated CFP Semifinals ever, trailing only the two record-breaking CFP Semifinals from the inaugural year.

·         The seven CFP games, covering the New Year’s Six and the CFP National Championship, averaged a total live audience* of more than 17 million, making it the best ever in the four years of the new system. The average marked a 10 percent increase from last year and 25 percent from the 2015 season. The seven games also averaged a 9.8 overnight, also the best ever in the four years of the new system and up 5 percent from last year.

All non-CFP Semifinal New Year’s Six Games set new viewership records this season. The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, and Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl all delivered their most-watched game of the New Year’s Six era, except for the years their games were CFP Semifinals. 

·         ESPN’s presentation of the entire New Year’s Six averaged an 8.4 overnight, the highest rated New Year’s Six in the system’s four-year history. This year’s presentation of the six games was up 8 percent from last year, 15 percent from the 2015 season and 3 percent from year one.

ESPN’s postseason, consisting of 35 bowl games plus the CFP National Championship, averaged 5,682,000 viewers, up 11 percent from last year’s similar slate, and the games averaged a 3.4 overnight rating, up 10 percent from last year. The average total live audience* for the games was 6,079,000, making this year’s postseason ESPN’s most-watched in at least eight seasons.

Viewership for the 29 non-New Year’s Six bowls games on ESPN increased 7 percent, averaging 2,945,000 viewers. 

·         The CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual on ESPN and ESPN2, which saw Georgia claim a 54-48 victory over Georgia on New Year’s Day, ranks as the sixth most-watched cable telecast of all time. The game drew 26,826,000 viewers on ESPN & ESPN2; and a total live audience* of 28,311,000. The game delivered an exceptional 14.8 overnight rating (ESPN + ESPN2), nearly equaling the record-breaking inaugural CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game, which remains the highest-rated CFP Semifinal to date with a 15.5 overnight. The numbers represent a 29 percent increase from last season’s first CFP Semifinal on the same two networks and a 53 percent increase from the 2015 season’s first CFP Semifinal. The rating also is just shy of the record-breaking inaugural CFP Semifinal on Jan. 1, 2015, which notched a 15.5 overnight.

·         The CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl on ESPN and ESPN2, which saw Alabama claim a 24-6 victory over Clemson on New Year’s Day, attracted 20,407,000 viewers on ESPN; 21,117,000 viewers on ESPN & ESPN2; and a total live audience* of 22,067,000. The game delivered an impressive 12.5 overnight rating (ESPN and ESPN2), up 19 percent from last season’s second CFP Semifinal, also on ESPN and ESPN2, and 26 percent from the 2015’s season second CFP Semifinal on the same two networks.

·         The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on ESPN, which saw Ohio State defeat Southern California, 24-7, was the most-watched non-CFP Semifinal Cotton Bowl of the New Year’s Six era with 9,544,000 viewers, 10,475,000 total live audience* and a 5.34 household rating, representing a more than 70 percent increases from last season’s New Year’s Day Cotton Bowl. The Trojans-Buckeyes Cotton Bowl viewership also ranks as the bowl’s third best viewership in 20 years, excluding the year it was a CFP Semifinal.

·         The Capital One Orange Bowl on ESPN, which saw Wisconsin defeat Miami (Fla.), 34-24, attracted 11,727,000 viewers and a 13,068,000 total live audience*, making it the third most-watched non-CFP Semifinal game of the New Year’s Six era. The Orange Bowl viewership also represented a 2 percent increase from last year and more than 30 percent from 2014, which were the last two non-CFP Semifinal editions of the game.

·         The PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on ESPN, which saw Penn State beat Washington, 35-28, attracted 10,167,000 viewers and a 11,308,000 total live audience*, making it the fifth most-watched non-CFP Semifinal game of the New Year’s Six era. The Fiesta Bowl viewership also represented a 4 percent increase from the 2015 season and a 37 percent increase from the 2014 game, which were the last two non-CFP Semifinal editions of the game.

·         The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on ESPN, which saw UCF remain undefeated with a 34-27 victory over Auburn, delivered 8,377,000 viewers and a 8,841,000 total live audience*, making it the second-most watched Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl of all time, and the most-watched non-CFP Semifinal Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in the New Year’s Six era. The game's viewership marked a 49 percent increase from the 2015 season and a 67 percent jump from 2014.

·         The Outback Bowl, which featured Michigan playing South Carolina on ESPN2 at Noon on New Year’s Day, delivered a 3.1 overnight, up 72 percent from the 2016 Outback Bowl, the last time the game aired on ESPN2.  The viewership was 5,095,000 and a 5,366,000 total live audience*, making it the second most-viewed program ever on ESPN2, behind only the 2015 Outback Bowl, which gives the game the two-most watched programs in ESPN2’s history.

·         The Citrus Bowl Presented by Overton’s, which featured LSU playing Notre Dame on ABC on New Year’s Day, earned a 5.5 overnight, up 32 percent  from last year’s game. The game attracted 8,712,000 viewers and a 9,239,000 total live audience*, up 36 percent from last year.

·         The Camping World Bowl featuring Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State on ESPN earned a 2.8 overnight, an 8 percent increase from last year’s game. The game attracted 4,358,000 viewers and a 4,829,000 total live audience*.

·         The New Era Pinstripe Bowl on ESPN between Iowa and Boston College on Dec. 27 attracted 4,008,000 viewers and a 4,325,000 total live audience*, the best for the bowl since 2013.

·         The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on ESPN between San Diego State and Army on Dec. 23 attracted 3,498,000 viewers and a 3,781,000 total live audience*, the best viewership for the bowl ever.

·         The Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 16 between Boise State and Oregon attracted 3.8 million viewers on ABC, making it the most-watched Las Vegas Bowl since Boise State played Washington on ESPN in 2012 (4.4 million).

·         The Cactus Bowl earned a 2.04 rating, attracting a 3,565,000 total live audience* on ESPN for the Kansas State win over UCLA. The ratings marked a 44 percent increase in viewership over the 2016 game, and the game ranked as the most-watched program on cable television for Dec. 26.

·         The Hawaii Bowl on ESPN between Fresno State and Houston on Dec. 24 attracted 2,097,000 viewers and a 2,368,000 total live audience*, the highest for the bowl since 2013.

ESPN notched its second most-watched 24-hour period in the history of the 38-year old network on New Year’s Day, averaging 6,011,000 viewers from 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 to 6 a.m. on Jan. 2. The network attracted 96.1 million fans between Friday, Dec. 29 and Monday, Jan. 1, and they consumed more than 28.6 billion minutes of college football content.

The Reese’s Senior Bowl drew a 0.50 rating and 786,000 viewers on NFL Network, making it the most-watched edition of the game since 2011 (874,000).

The East-West Shrine Game had a 0.32 rating and 472,000 viewers on NFL Network, making it the most-watched edition of the game since at least 2012.

Notable Bowl Facts and Postseason Milestones

·         Alabama's 26-23 overtime victory against Georgia in the CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T gave the school its second championship of the CFP era. The school has now claimed the NFF MacArthur Bowl for an unprecedented nine times, or four more than any other school. The win also placed Alabama No. 1 in the final AP college football poll for the 11th time, three more than any other program.

·         Alabama’s 2017 CFP victory also marked the fifth national championship for the Crimson Tide since 2009 under coach Nick Saban, who now, including his 2003 national title at LSU, has matched the number of national titles claimed by Hall of Fame Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant with six.

·         Alabama has played in the postseason a record 65 times and a record 68 games.

·         The NFF announced the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class from the set of ESPN’s SportsCenter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta as part of the network’s coverage of the CFP title game. Coach Mack Brown (Appalachian State, Tulane, North Carolina, Texas) represented the class on SportsCenter, and he was joined by fellow 2018 electees Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia and the 1998 NFF Campbell Trophy® recipient) and Coach Frank Beamer (Murray State, Virginia Tech) in the pregame festivities and the coin toss prior to the title game.

·         Virginia All-America linebacker Micah Kiser was recognized as the 2017 recipient of the 2017 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy® at the CFP National Championship during a special on-field tribute between the first and second quarters in front of the sold-out crowd of 77,430 at the title game.

·         The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl hosted the 13th Annual NFF National Hall of Fame Salute, featuring members of the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame Class.

·         The NFF inducted Arthur Blank, the Atlanta Falcons owner & chairman and co-founder of The Home Depot, into its Leadership Hall of Fame during an event that kicked off the CFP National Championship weekend in Atlanta, Ga. The event took place at the College Football Hall of Fame.

·         Nine of the 13 members of the 2017 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, led their teams to the postseason. Braxton Berrios (Miami [Fla.]), Mason Hampton (Boise State), Justin Jackson (Northwestern), 2017 Campbell Trophy® recipient Micah Kiser (Virginia), Brad Lundblade (Oklahoma State), Chandon Sullivan (Georgia State) and Blaise Taylor (Arkansas State) all guided their teams to an FBS Bowl berth. Justin Lea (Jacksonville State) and Jake Wieneke (South Dakota State) played in the FCS Playoffs with the Gamecocks advancing to the second round and the Jackrabbits making it to the Semifinals.

·         President Donald Trump’s appearance at the CFP title game was the first appearance by a U.S. President at a college football game (excluding Army-Navy games) since 1997 when Bill Clinton watched Arkansas play Louisiana Tech in Little Rock and the first postseason game since Jimmy Carter attended the Jan. 1, 1981, Sugar Bowl between Georgia and Notre Dame.

·         Florida State played in a bowl game for the 36th consecutive year, the longest current streak in the nation, which started in 1982.

·         CBS aired the Hyundai Sun Bowl for the 50th consecutive season, the longest continuous relationship between a bowl game and one TV network. The game featured North Carolina State and Arizona State, and CBS aired a halftime segment on 2017 William V. Campbell Trophy® recipient Micah Kiser (Virginia).

·         The San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl between Washington State and Michigan State marked the first bowl game ever televised on FS1 while the Foster Frams Bowl retured to the FOX broadcast network.

·         The FBS postseason featured 40 games, including the CFP National Championship, with 78 teams. The SEC led all conferences with 11 appearances, and the Big Ten boasted the best record, going 7-1 for an 87.5 winning percentage.

·         Conference USA sent a record nine teams to play in bowl games.

·         The CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual became the first CFP game to go to overtime. The CFP National Championship was the first title game of the CFP era to go into overtime.

·         The 104th Rose Bowl Game registered as the highest scoring edition of the game ever with Georgia beating Oklahoma, 54-48.

·         Wisconsin (13-1) concluded its winningest season in school history with a 34-24 victory over Miami (Fla.) in the Capital Orange Bowl. Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor ran for 130 yards on 26 carries, ending the year with an FBS-freshman-record 1,977 yards. Miami quarterback Malik Rosier's third-quarter touchdown pass set the Hurricane single-season record at 31, eclipsing the mark set by College Football Hall of Fame inductee Vinny Testaverde during his 1986 Heisman Trophy winning campaign.

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett claimed Big Ten career records for total offense with 12,697 yards and career touchdowns with 147, capping his career by leading the Buckeyes to a 24-7 win over Southern California in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.

·         Penn State standout Saquon Barkley set a PlayStation Fiesta Bowl record with a 92-yard touchdown run, contributing to the Nittany Loins’ 35-28 win over Washington.

·         North Carolina A&T State became the first MEAC team to finish a season undefeated after a 40-8 victory over Grambling State in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, the annual matchup between the MEAC and SWAC champions.

·         Georgia State, which launched its football program in 2010, won its first bowl game in school history with a 27-17 victory over Western Kentucky in the AutoNation Cure Bowl.

·         Troy defeated North Texas, 50-30, in the highest scoring game in R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl history.

·         Middle Tennessee claimed its first bowl win since 2009 with a 35-30 victory over Arkansas State in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl.

·         Louisiana Tech claimed its fourth straight bowl win with a 51-10 victory over SMU in the DXL Frisco Bowl.

·         Temple registered a Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl-record seven sacks en route to a 28-3 victory against Florida International in the 10th edition of the game in St. Petersburg, Fla.

·         UAB, which returned to the gridiron in 2017 after a two-year hiatus, won its most games as an FBS team (eight) and appeared in just its second bowl game, losing 41-6 to Ohio in the Bahamas Bowl, the only international FBS postseason game.

·         Central Michigan honored alumni Dick Enberg a day after the legendary sports broadcaster passed away at the age of 82 by wearing helmet stickers with his signature “Oh My!” catch phrase during their 37-14 loss in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to Wyoming.

·         South Florida quarterback Quinton Flowers became the American Athletic Conference's career leader in total offense, leading South Florida to a 38-34 victory over Texas Tech in the Birmingham Bowl. In addition to the record, which now stands at 11,802 yards, Flowers holds the conference record for total touchdowns with 112.

·         San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny became the fourth FBS player ever to run for 200 yards in five straight games with an impressive performance in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, which came up short in 35-42 loss to Army. Penny finished the season with a school-record 2,248 rushing yards.

·         Appalachian State's 34-0 victory over Toledo in the Dollar General Bowl gave the Mountaineers their third-straight bowl win since completing their transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2015, and they are now 3-0 in bowl games.

·         Fresno State's 33-27 win over Houston in the Hawaii Bowl gave the Bulldogs their first 10-win season in five years. The win also marked the biggest turnaround in FBS this season with the Bulldogs going from 1-11 last year to a 10-4 record, making them just the second team in FBS history to go from double-digit losses the previous season to double-digit wins the next.

·         Utah's 30-14 win over West Virginia in the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl gave the Utes their fifth straight bowl victory, improving Coach Kyle Whittingham's postseason record to 11-1 and the school to an overall 17-4 mark or 81 percent.

·         Kansas State claimed a 35-17 Cactus Bowl victory over UCLA, giving Hall of Fame Coach Bill Snyder his second-straight bowl win and his ninth overall. Kansas State’s win gives them a 3-1 record in four Cactus Bowl appearances. The Wildcats have also played in three Fiesta Bowl games.

·         Florida State Freshman quarterback James Blackman threw an Independence Bowl-record four touchdowns as the Seminoles claimed a 42-13 victory over Southern Mississippi.

·         Iowa beat Boston College 27-20 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl to snap a five-game bowl losing streak. The win gave Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz his 143rd win at the school, tying Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry for first on Iowa's career wins list.

·         Purdue's 38-35 victory over Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl gave the Boilermakers their first winning record (7-6) since 2011; their first bowl win since 2011; and coach Jeff Brohm a postseason win during his first year at the helm after taking over a program that had won only nine games in the previous four seasons.

·         Texas punter Michael Dickson became only the second punter in history to be named a bowl game MVP, following the Longhorns' 33-16 victory over Missouri in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl. The game marked the Longhorns’ first bowl appearance since 2014, and their 7-6 overall record notched their first winning season since 2013. The Longhorns honored College Football Hall of Famer Tommy Nobis, who died earlier in the month, by wearing helmet stickers with his No. 60.

·         TCU claimed a 39-37 win over Stanford in the Valero Alamo Bowl, giving coach Gary Patterson his 40th win over the last four seasons. Heisman Trophy finalist Bryce Love rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown on the losing side, finishing his season and setting a Stanford single-season rushing record with 2,118 yards.

·         Michigan State's 42-17 victory over Washington State in the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl gave Mark Dantonio his 100th victory in 11 seasons as the Spartans’ head coach and his sixth 10-plus win season.

·         Oklahoma State beat Virginia Tech, 30-21, in the Camping World Bowl, giving the Cowboys three consecutive 10-win seasons for the first time in school history. James Washington caught five passes for 126 yards during the game, making him Oklahoma State’s career receiving leader with 4,472 yards. Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph completed his career with 52 school records.

·         Virginia appeared in a bowl for the first time in six years, losing to Navy 49-7 in the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.

·         Northwestern nipped Kentucky, 24-23, to claim back-to-back bowl victories in consecutive years for the first time in school history, winning the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. The win marked the Wildcats’ (10-3) second 10-win season in three years and third under coach Pat Fitzgerald, a 2008 College Football Hall of Fame player inductee. NFF National Scholar-Athlete Justin Jackson ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the contest for the Wildcats, finishing his career ranked No. 10 all-time among FBS rushers with 5,440 yards.

·         North Carolina State beat Arizona State, 52-31, in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, playing in their fourth consecutive bowl game and sixth in seven years under coach Dave Doeren.

·         Wake Forest edged Texas A&M, 55-52, in the Belk Bowl, giving the Demon Deacons their second straight season with a bowl victory and the team's first eight-win season since 2008. The teams combined for 1,260 yards and 107 points, tied for the fourth-highest scoring game in college bowl history.

·         New Mexico State appeared in and won its first bowl game in 57 years, beating Utah State in overtime, 26-20, in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl. (Ironically, the 1960 opponent was also Utah State in the Sun Bowl.)

·         Iowa State edged Memphis, 21-20, in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, giving the Cyclones their first bowl victory since 2009 and a third win over a Top 25 team during the 2017 season.

·         Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson ran 24 times for 158 yards and a touchdown, breaking the TaxSlayer Bowl record for most rushing yards by a quarterback. The rushing touchdown marked the 50th of his career, making him only the third player in FBS history with at least 50 touchdown passes and 50 touchdown runs. The effort fell short as Mississippi State beat Louisville, 31-27.

North Dakota State claimed its sixth FCS national championship in seven years with a 17-13 victory over James Madison on Jan. 6 before a sellout crowd of 19,090 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The title marked North Dakota State's 14th football national championship overall since 1965 and tied the FCS record of six national titles held by Georgia Southern. 

Texas A&M-Commerce beat West Florida, 37-27, on Dec. 16 in Kansas City, Kan., to claim the school’s first NCAA Division II National Championship and the second national title for the Lions who won the NAIA National Championship in 1972.

Mount Union (Ohio) claimed the school’s 13th Division III national title with a 12-0 victory over defending champion Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas) in the NCAA Division III National Championship game Dec. 15 in Salem, Va.

Saint Francis (Ind.) claimed back-to-back NAIA National Championships after a 24-13 victory over Reinhardt (Ga.) on Dec. 16 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The only NAIA coach to eclipse 300 wins, Saint Francis coach Kevin Donley is the winningest coach in NAIA football history with a 316-129-1 record in 39 years.

·         The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has paid out $173 million to its participating teams and has distributed an additional $30.3 million in charitable and scholarship contributions since 2002.

·         Fiesta Bowl Charities distributed more than $2.5 million during the 2017-18 season, the most of any bowl organization, to 67 Arizona non-profits, including $700,000 through the Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers program. The organization has donated more than $10 million to the Arizona community over the last seven years.

·         The Allstate Sugar Bowl has made an estimated $2.5 billion in economic impact over the past decade, and more than six million people have attended the game since its inception in 1935.

·         Since 2006, the Birmingham Bowl has generated an economic impact of more than $145 million in the local community.

·         The AutoZone Liberty Bowl will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2018. Founded in 1959, the Liberty Bowl is the seventh oldest bowl in the country, and the bowl has an annual economic impact of $25 million to $30 million on the local Memphis economy.

The Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl, first played in 2015, donates 100% of its net proceeds to charity, having already donated more than $200,000. 

2017-18 Chronological Bowl Results:

Bowl Result. (Attendance) & [US HH coverage rating] & [Household Impressions] & [Viewers (P2+)]

·         Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, ABC: North Carolina A&T 21 – Grambling State 14. (25,873) & [1.59] & [1,904,000] & [2,358,000]

·         R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, ESPN: Troy 50 – North Texas 30. (24,904) & [0.87] & [1,041,000] & [1,336,000]

·         Las Vegas Bowl, ABC: Boise State 38 – Oregon 28. (36,432) & [2.32] & [2,775,000] & [3,802,000]

·         AutoNation Cure Bowl, CBSSN: Georgia State 27 – Western Kentucky 17. (19,585) & [N/A] & [N/A] & [N/A]

·         Gildan New Mexico Bowl, ESPN: Marshall 31 – Colorado State 28. (26,087) & [0.75] & [898,000] & [1,217,000]

·         Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, ESPN:  Middle Tennessee 35 – Arkansas State 30. (20,612) & [0.73] & [868,000] & [1,194,000]

·         Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, ESPN: Florida Atlantic 50 – Akron 3. (25,912) & [0.95] & [1,139,000] & [1,405,000]

·         DXL Frisco Bowl, ESPN: Louisiana Tech 51 – SMU 10. (14,419) & [0.82] & [976,000] & [1,257,000]

·         Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, ESPN: Temple 28 – Florida International 3. (16,363) & [1.02] & [1,219,000] & [1,607,000]

·         Bahamas Bowl, ESPN:  Ohio 41 – UAB 6. (13,585) & [0.62] & [739,000] & [892,000]

·         Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, ESPN: Wyoming 37 – Central Michigan 14. (16,512) [0.98] & [1,178,000] & [1,508,000]

·         Birmingham Bowl, ESPN: South Florida 38 – Texas Tech 34. (28,623) & [2.15} & [2,576,000] & [3,418,000]

·         Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, ESPN: Army 42 – San Diego State 35. (35,986) & [2.10] & [2,515,000] & [3,498,000]

·         Dollar General Bowl, ESPN: Appalachian State 34 – Toledo 0. (28,706) & [1.02] & [1,221,000] & [1,778,000]

·         Hawaii Bowl, ESPN: Fresno State 33 – Houston 27. (20,546) & [1.14] & [1,369,000] & [2,097,000]

·         Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl, ESPN: Utah 30 – West Virginia 14. (20,507) & [1.44] & [1,719,000] & [2,227,731]

·         Quick Lane Bowl, ESPN: Duke 36 – Northern Illinois 14. (20,211) & [1.55] & [1,856,000] & [2,542,000]

·         Cactus Bowl, ESPN: Kansas State 35 – UCLA 17. (32,859) & [2.04] & [2,444,000] & [3,284,000]

·         Walk-On's Independence Bowl, ESPN: Florida State 42 – Southern Mississippi 13. (33,601) & [1.40] & [1,679,000] & [2,244,000]

·         New Era Pinstripe Bowl, ESPN: Iowa 27 – Boston College 20. (37,667) & [2.27] & [2,719,000] & [4,008,000]

·         Foster Farms Bowl, Fox: Purdue 38 – Arizona 35. (28,436) & [1.69] & [2,018,000] & [2,826,000]

·         Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, ESPN: Texas 33 – Missouri 16. (67,820) & [2.07] & [2,478,000] & [3,455,000]

·         Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman, ESPN: Navy 49 – Virginia 7. (35,921) & [1.34] & [1,605,000] & [2,079,480]

·         Camping World Bowl, ESPN: Oklahoma State 30 – Virginia Tech 21. (39,610) & [2.62] & [ [3,129,000] & [4,358,000]

·         San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, Fs1: Michigan State 42 – Washington State 17. (47,092) & [0.89] & [1,065,000] & [1,617,000]

·         Valero Alamo Bowl, ESPN: TCU 39 – Stanford 37. (57,653) & [2.54] & [3,041,000] & [4,368,000]

·         Belk Bowl, ESPN: Wake Forest 55 – Texas A&M 52. (32,784) & [1.93] & [2,313,000] & [2,998,000]

·         Hyundai Sun Bowl, CBS: NC State 52 – Arizona State 31. (39,897) & [1.41] & [1,690,000] & [2,207,000]

·         Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, ESPN: Northwestern 24 – Kentucky 23. (48,675) & [2.75] & [3,291,000] & [4,626,000]

·         Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, ESPN: Ohio State 24 – USC 7. (67,510) & [5.34] & [6,381,000] & [9,544,000]

·         Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl, CBSSN: New Mexico State 26 – Utah State 20. (39,132) & [N/A] & [N/A] & [N/A]

·         TaxSlayer Bowl, ESPN: Mississippi State 31 – Louisville 27. (41,310) & [2.68] & [3,204,000] & [4,424,000]

·         AutoZone Liberty Bowl, ABC: Memphis 21 – Iowa State 20. (57,266) & [2.17] & [2,591,000] & [3,438,000]

·         PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, ESPN: Penn State 35 – Washington 28. (61,842) & [5.69] & [6,809,000] & [10,167,000]

·         Capital One Orange Bowl, ESPN: Wisconsin 34 – Miami 24. (65,032) & [6.34] & [7,587,000] & [11,727,000]

·         Outback Bowl, ESPN2: South Carolina 26 – Michigan 19. (45,687) [2.83] & [3,388,000] & [5,095,000]

·         Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, ESPN: UCF 34 – Auburn 27. (71,109) [4.62] & [5,523,000] & [8,377,000]

·         Citrus Bowl Presented By Overton's, ABC: Notre Dame 21 – LSU 17. (57,726) & [5.13] & [6,134,000] & [8,712,000]

·         Rose Bowl Game Presented By Northwestern Mutual - CFP Semifinal, ESPN: Georgia 54 – Oklahoma 48. (92,844) & [13.11] & [15,683,000] & [25,854,000]

·         Allstate Sugar Bowl - CFP Semifinal, ESPN: Alabama 24 – Clemson 6. (72,360) & [10.78] & [12,890,000] & [20,407,000]

·         CFP National Championship Presented By AT&T, ESPN: Alabama 26 – Georgia 23. (77,430) & [14.95] & [17,877,000] & [27,383,000]

The NFF would like to thank the following people for providing information for this release, including NFF Correspondent Bo Carter; ACC’s Kevin Best; CBS’s Jennifer Sabatelle, ESPN’s Derek Volner; FOX’s Valerie Krebs; NBC’s Chris Mccloskey, NCAA’s Christopher Radford;, Pac-12 Network’s Josh Ishoo, and Stadium’s Sarah Minkoff.

Information for this release was compiled from Nielsen Ratings Reports, CBS, ESPN, FOX Sports, NBC, the NCAA, Pac-12 Networks, Sports Media Watch, and releases from bowl games and football-playing conferences, universities and colleges.

* The figures for “Total Live Audience” expand the number of viewers from traditional broadcast, cable and satellite TV to count those watching through other devices and services, including streaming, OTT (over-the-top), mobile apps, multichannel distributors, and out-of-home co-viewing such as restaurants and gyms. Nielsen Media started providing “Total Live Audience” numbers in the fall of 2016, and ESPN started using numbers from the new system on Sept. 26 2017. 

** The NCAA began keeping national home football attendance in 1948 (including non-NCAA teams) and started keeping NCAA-only teams in 1978.

† Reach measures the number of “unique” (or different) individuals who were exposed to college football during the season, providing an unduplicated view of the TV audience for a sports property. 

ABOUT The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame

Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include Football Matters®, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy® presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at