Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Big East Aims for Another Successful Season

Wednesday's Frat Boy News Daily Sports Page (compiled by The Providence Journal)

A few years after being left for dead by many in the college football world, the Big East experienced a rejuvenating — and surprising — season of success in 2006.

Besides the three teams ranked in the top dozen and the perfect 5-0 bowl record, perhaps the most stunning statistic of all came in the TV ratings. The two most-watched college games on ESPN all of last year didn’t come on a Saturday and didn’t involve powers Florida, Ohio State or Southern California. Instead, the nation tuned in to see West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers.

“We had the highest ratings average of any conference on ESPN last year,” said the Big East’s Nick Carparelli, the associate commissioner in charge of football. “We had the second and third largest audiences for a regular-season game ever on ESPN. It was a great year TV-wise.”

Three years ago, Big East football was written off nationally after Miami and Virginia Tech left the conference for the ACC (Boston College followed in 2005). After a shaky season in 2004, the league has rebounded very well. In ’05, West Virginia rolled to an 11-1 season and had a big win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, a victory that Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese calls the most important in the history of the football league.

Last year, West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers all got off to fast starts and a place in the top 10 in the national polls. Then, on successive Thursday nights, Louisville beat WVU, and Rutgers shocked the Cardinals. Both games drew ratings above 5.0 and nearly five million viewers on ESPN. Louisville eventually won a tight race for the conference title with a 6-1 record.

“Thursday night has become our version of Monday Night Football,” said Chuck Gerber, the executive vice president for college sports at ABC and ESPN, “and the Big East certainly bought into that. It offers national exclusivity with full national distribution. The exclusive window is priceless.

1 comment:

Jason h said...

Hey! i'm going to cali this sunday.. gonna be there for a week, this is the site i was talking about where i made the extra cash. later!

Template Design | Elque 2007