The months-long hype surrounding Saturday night’s Florida-Miami game showed up with a big TV rating.
The No. 8 Gators’ 24-20 win over the Hurricanes in Orlando was ESPN’s highest-rated regular-season college football game in almost three years. Its 4.1 national overnight rating was the network’s best ever for a Saturday game in August/Labor Day weekend. The last ESPN college football game to top that national rating was Michigan State-Ohio State in November 2016.
Tampa Bay was ESPN’s No. 4 market with an 11.6 rating. That’s behind Birmingham (18.7), Jacksonville (17.0) and West Palm Beach (11.7) but ahead of Miami (10.0) and Orlando (9.4).