The focus last Saturday was on the two SEC newcomers. ESPN College GameDay broadcasted from College Station, and SEC fans tuned in by the millions to watch Florida-Texas A&M and Georgia-Mizzou.
The Georgia-Missouri game was the highest-rated and most-viewed Saturday regular season football game ever broadcasted on ESPN2.
Moreover, the Georgia-Missouri game was ESPN2′s highest rated college football game ever in the Atlanta and St. Louis markets. It was also the second highest rated game ever in Kansas City.
The 3:30pm ET matchup between Texas A&M and Florida was on ESPN. It was the highest rated game of the day behind the ABC afternoon game (split between USC-Syracuse and Air Force-Michigan).
The timing for the two new SEC programs to play their first conference game was ideal. Overall, it was a down week in terms of big games across the country. The extra presence of College GameDay in College Station further fueled the excitement.
This is exactly what the Missouri and Texas A&M athletic departments were hoping for with regards to an SEC debut. The top notch exposure last weekend is major marketing for these programs.
If you watched the College GameDay broadcast in the morning, you got to see a great deal about the traditions and atmosphere at Texas A&M. It’s quite effective marketing for the school impactful in the areas of recruiting, alumni relations and more.
While both programs lost their SEC openers, they have to be pleased with the energy that both fan bases have and the television ratings that these games delivered.