Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders Sep 16, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) passes the ball against the Colorado State Rams during the first half at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, it’s undeniable that the Colorado Buffaloes are a force in college football viewership during the 2023 season.

The Buffaloes’ 43-35 double overtime win over rival Colorado State on Saturday night averaged a staggering 9.3 million viewers on ESPN, a record for a game in the late window on the network.

It was also the fourth most-watched regular season game on ESPN or ABC regular season game in the last six years and the fifth most-watched ESPN regular season game ever. Interestingly, Week 2’s Texas-Alabama game in primetime is also on that list of the most-watched ESPN regular season games ever, ranking seventh.

Sports Media Watch notes that the most-watched regular season ESPN college football game ever was the 2014 Iron Bowl, which averaged 13.53 million viewers.

As mentioned, this is the third straight week of a monster audience for Colorado. In Week 1, the Buffaloes’ upset win over TCU averaged 7.262 million viewers on Fox, while their Week 2 victory over Nebraska averaged 8.725 million viewers. Both games aired in the Big Noon window.

This week, Colorado takes on Oregon, with the game airing on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game faces stiff competition in the forms of UCLA-Utah on Fox and Ole Miss-Alabama on CBS, but given how much of a viewership juggernaut Coach Deion Sanders’ team has been this year, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Colorado dominated its window once again. However, with a tantalizing Ohio State-Notre Dame matchup airing in primetime on NBC, Colorado might not play in the most-watched game of the weekend for the first time since the abbreviated Week 0.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.