One of the good things about a BCS game is the nationwide TV exposure for a game on in prime time.
As such, I thought it interesting to see the ratings for yesterday's game came in at a 6.3 share, down 11% from the comparable 3rd BCS game last year (which last year was the Orange Bowl game btw Stanford and Va Tech, which got a 7.1).
To compare it to last year's VACATED vs. Arkansas Sugar Bowl (which was the 4th BCS game on the schedule last year), that got a significantly higher 8.4 share.
I'm not sure why there was such a big drop, but my guess is a) having the "New Year's Games" on January 2nd this year threw everyone's calendars off (I can't tell you how many casual Michigan fans I talked to over the holidays who didn't know when Sugar Bowl was, so I can imagine non-UM fans had no clue) and b) people outside of Michigan and Virginia weren't impressed by UM and VA Tech's seasons and weren't that excited for the game (as opposed to, say, last year's clash btw higher ranked OSU and Arkansas). But those are guesses. I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts.
As an aside, this year's "New Year's Day" games on January 2nd also took ratings hits, with only the Gator Bowl (OSU-FL) getting higher rating (2.2 vs 1.7). The Outback Bowl was a 5.0, down from last year's 7.0, and Capital One was a 2.5, down from last year's 3.7