Having Notre Dame in any bowl is bound to draw a lot of interest for that bowl. This year, the lucky recipient was the Gator Bowl. The Irish didn’t need to win to affect the interest in the game, but they beat South Carolina anyway. Call it a bonus for anyone who had anything significant invested in the game.
We now know how big the Gator Bowl viewership on ESPN was: 5.766 million. That makes it the most-watched bowl this year outside of any New Year’s Six bowl. Making it more impressive is that it beat out bowls that could have drawn more interest like Florida State and Oklahoma in the Cheez-It Bowl and Washington and Texas in the Alamo Bowl. Instead, the Irish and Gamecocks have enough interest that they won the race for viewers.
Maybe Notre Dame and South Carolina will meet in a New Year’s Six bowl in the future. Until then, we have an idea of what the ratings would be.
Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89