Jan. 15, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama's 12-2 football season under second-year head coach Nick Saban included some of the most watched college football games this fall, according to The Sporting News and the Nielsen ratings.
UA appeared on national television 10 times this season with games on CBS, ESPN and FOX. Alabama was also on ESPN's popular "College GameDay" show four times in 2008 against Clemson, Georgia, LSU and Florida.
Two Alabama games rated among the Top 10 most watched regular season games on network television in 2008, including the highest rated collegiate game of the season. The 2008 SEC Championship Game featuring No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida drew a 9.3 rating and was viewed in 15.3 million homes. The Crimson Tide's thrilling overtime win at LSU on Nov. 8 was the ninth-highest rated game of the season on network television with a 5.2 rating.
The Crimson Tide was also a popular choice on cable this season as three games televised by ESPN ranked among the Top 10 football telecasts on cable this season. The Alabama-Georgia game on Sept. 27 was ESPN's second-highest rated game of the season with 4.6 rating. The Alabama-Mississippi State game on Nov. 15 placed seventh with 3.3 rating, while the Alabama-Tennessee game on Oct. 25 was the 10th highest rated game with 2.8 rating.
In addition to its success on television, the Tide also had a successful year at the gate, recording the eighth-highest home attendance in college football this season. Alabama's seven games at Bryant-Denny Stadium drew 644,996 fans, an average of 92,138 per game and all seven games were at 100 percent capacity. The Tide went 7-0 at Bryant-Denny Stadium this year with wins over Tulane, Arkansas State, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas State, Mississippi State and Auburn.