One of the thoughts that's been percolating in my head in recent months has been the notion that baseball is over-covered relative to college football in the national media. This thought jibes with most of the irrational prejudices that I use to govern my opinions on sports. It works with the "Atlanta isn't a bad sports city" theory because Atlanta is possibly the best college football city of any of the major media markets. It works with the "ESPN is too influenced by its location in Connecticut, where the Yankees and Red Sox take on out-sized importance." It jibes with my idea that the lack of a college football playoff isn't as bad as people make it out to be because it means that college football has the only useful regular season of any American sport (with the possible exception of the NFL). Hell, it even works with my left-of-center notion that players in the free market don't always identify their self interest with perfect accuracy.
Anyway, the ratings for the first weekend of college football are in and they give credence to the idea I'm working on. The Alabama-Clemson game drew a 4.0, despite the fact that it was played on Saturday night, which is typically a dead period for TV ratings, and it does not exactly involve two giant media markets (unless you take into account that the entire South was interested in the game and the South is collectively a very large media market). The 3:30 games on ABC drew a 3.2. What's most interesting to me is that the 3.2 drawn by a rebuilding Michigan team against Utah and USC obliterating Virginia was a better number than any baseball broadcast on ESPN or Fox this year (as of July 6).