Outback postmortem: For hoteliers still smarting that Florida Gator fans didn’t fill nearly as many hotel rooms as South Carolina fans would have, here are some statistics – if not solace. According to the Wall Street Journal, which did a study of Nielsen ratings for 15 bowls over (as many as) 15 years, teams such as Florida (with or without Steve Spurrier) consistently bring home the TV ratings, which drives advertising rates, which pays a lot of bowl bills.
“To nobody’s surprise, among the best draws were schools like Michigan, Florida and Penn State, which have great football pedigrees, large alumni bodies and are located in populous states,” notes the WSJ. “These schools tended to boost ratings by as much as 8 per cent above the average. On the other hand, schools that are isolated from big cities (Virginia Tech, LSU, West Virginia and Syracuse) suppressed ratings by as much as 21 per cent.”