Trend: College football attendance down, TV figures up in 2012

A trend that has long been documented in the NFL is making its way to college football: more and more fans are spurning a Saturday at the stadium and choosing instead to stay at home and watch games on the couch. 

Jon Solomon of AL.com reported yesterday that attendance figures were down throughout college football. Among the six power conferences, the Pac-12 was the only league to report increased attendance this fall. Not coincidentally, the Pac-12 is the only conference that plays a nine-game conference schedule and makes a league-wide effort to play home-and-home series with BCS foes. Across the board, BCS teams hosted an average of 45,724 fans per game, the lowest figure since 2003. 

Meanwhile, college football's TV numbers continue to grow. The two highest-rated games of the season, the SEC Championship (9.8 rating, 16.2 million viewers) and Notre Dame at USC (9.4 rating, 16.1 million viewers) were the fifth and sixth-most watched regular season college football games in the last 20 years. 

It's important to understand why this trend is happening. Part of it is simple fan economics. As more games pop up on television networks, fans feel they can get more out of their Saturdays at home watching six games instead of devoting a six-hour round trip to see one game. That's part of the world we live in. 

But, as home entertainment improves by leaps and bounds seemingly every six months, schools need to think about meeting fans halfway. When a school charges the same amount for a ticket to see their team play Alabama and South Alabama, it's an easy decision for many fans. 

Most importantly, though, is that if you noticed a slight increase in empty seats at your games this fall, remember that you're not alone. 

'The Spartan way' explained

Good video here from Michigan State explaining the tradition and expectations in East Lansing.

After a disappointing year, we wouldn't be surprised if this video is being shown to recruits and their families to bring energy back to the program.

If that's the case, they'll really like the message that starts at the 6 minute mark.

"Everyone has a choice. A choice to follow...or a choice to lead. Not everyone has the opportunity to wear the ring of a champion, or raise their hands to the thrill of victory."

"But when opportunities come, to those who are ready...to those who are willing...pay heed."

VIDEO: Tuberville arrives at Cincy

If you needed any more proof of how excited the Cincinnati fan base and players are about landing Tommy Tuberville, consider this video.

The players give him a standing ovation upon entering his first team meeting and his introduction to the fan base, which was on very short notice (and two hours after a basketball game), drew quite a loud and excited crowd.

Tuesday TV- National champions will be decided later this week

No games tonight, but quality action from all levels will return later this week with multiple national title games, and two FCS semifinal games before the bowls get started. Thursday will feature the NAIA national title game, as well as the weekly NFL Thursday night NFL game. Friday we'll get the some semifinal FCS action, as well as the  D-III national title game, and then bowl games start Saturday, along with the other FCS semifinal and the D-II national title game. 

Eastern time listed.


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Mike MacIntyre introduced at Colorado

Colorado formally introduced Mike MacIntyre as its newest head coach on Monday afternoon. 

"I feel very blessed and honored to be the head coach at the University of Colorado," said MacIntyre.

MacIntyre was hired to mirror the success he cultivated at San Jose State. In 2010 he took over a program that had registered just two winning seasons since 1993 and went 2-10 in the year before his arrival. The Spartans went 1-12 in MacIntyre's first year, jumped to 5-7 in 2011 and leaped to 10-2 and the school's first BCS ranking this fall. 

MacIntyre inherits a program that went 1-11 this fall, lost eight games by 25 points or more and ranked 94th or lower in 13 of the 17 official statistics tracked by the NCAA.

MacIntyre thinks he is just the man for the job, citing his turnaround of the San Jose State program on the field and in the classroom, boosting the team's APR from 930 to 981 during his tenure.  

"If you get to know me, you're going to say one thing about Mike MacIntyre: He has passion," he explained. 

MacIntyre said he plans on bringing a lot of his assistants with him to Boulder, and mentioned defensive line coach Jim Jeffocat by name. Jeffcoat was a finalist for the 2012 FootballScoop Defensive Line Coach of the Year award.  

Like any head coach taking over a 1-11 program, MacIntyre knows the path to success lies in recruiting. He referenced the growing demographics of the state of Colorado and also noted that California is home to over 1,000 high schools and just seven FBS schools. "We're going to treat California like it's in-state," said MacIntyre. 

MacIntyre touted his recruiting skill on a personal level, saying of his wife, "From the look of her, you can tell I can recruit. She told me no three times before she went on a date with me."

MacIntyre will be paid $10 million over five years, and was assured of a high-level of commitment from the CU administration. There are many similarities between his old job and new job to MacIntyre, including the task of entering a new conference while battling back from extended periods without sustained success. 

"When I was growing up and playing ball, Colorado was special," said MacIntyre. "I definitely think they can get there again." 

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