The overnight ratings for Saturday's college football games represented season-highs for Fox and CBS… and a record-low for ABC. CBS crushed the competition with a thrilling Alabama-LSU matchup that drew a 7.0 overnight. Fox's USC-Oregon matchup drew a respectable 3.5 overnight. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma State-Kansas State game was down 10% to a 1.9 overnight from last year's matchup between the same two teams, the previous lowest rated Saturday night game on ABC.
ABC's woes began early in the day, with the early game between Oklahoma and Iowa State drawing just a 2.0 rating, and the mid-afternoon slot occupied by Nebraska and Michigan State drawing a 2.6. That 2.6 overnight was down 42% from Oklahoma and Texas A&M last season, and fell to NBC's broadcast of Notre Dame's triple overtime with over Pittsburgh, which drew a 4.3 as the Irish continue to draw monster numbers for the peacock. However, the matchup in the Big Ten's Leaders division did draw a high enough rating to finish in second for the timeslot, ahead of CBS's broadcast of Ole Miss and Georgia (2.0) and Fox's TCU-West Virginia clash (1.0).
How the ratings play out this weekend is going to be an interesting storyline. The same teams are involved, but on different networks. Kansas State jumps from ABC primetime to Fox primetime to take on TCU. Notre Dame jumps from NBC to ABC in a matchup with Boston College. Alabama slides to the late afternoon slot on CBS to take on Texas A&M. Oregon will be on ESPN in the late night slot against California. The lack of primetime games for both NBC and CBS will really help both ABC and Fox, but if the ratings from last weekend are any indicator, ABC is likely going to have a nice bounceback after a disappointing weekend. Of the top four unbeaten teams remaining, it seems pretty apparent that Kansas State is the worst national ratings draw, and the ratings this Saturday can make that statement a little more definitive.