In television, there's nothing that guarantees monster television ratings like a brand name. It's why the Dallas Cowboys are in primetime seemingly every week despite being a championship contender once a decade, why the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers are on national television every other night, and why ESPN manages to pit the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees against each other on Sunday Night Baseball fifty times a season.
College football has its own brand name that guarantees ratings success: the SEC.
College football's highest-rated television package, the SEC on CBS, was up 24 percent this season, giving CBS a record 4.2 rating since the network began its SEC-specific schedule in 2001.
"It was a good year," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said in the understatement of the century.
SBNation has compiled a list of the 50 highest-rated teams in the 2013 regular season and, you're not going to believe this, but the top of the chart is littered with SEC teams. Four of the top five, eight of the top 11 and 11 of the top 25 are SEC teams. All 14 SEC teams are represented in the top 47 in the nation.
According to this chart, the average Arkansas game reached more eyeballs than the average Oregon game.
Filling in the gaps at the top of the list are other gold star, brand name programs like Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Nebraska.
Here's the top 25:
1. Alabama - 6.445 million average viewers
2. Michigan - 5.355 million
3. Texas A&M - 5.264 million
4. Georgia - 4.845 million
5. LSU - 4.486 million
6. Ohio State - 4.413 million
7. Auburn - 4.191 million
8. Notre Dame - 3.921 million
9. Florida - 3.433 million
10. Tennessee - 3.392 million
11. South Carolina - 3.382 million
12. Nebraska - 3.187 million
13. Florida State - 3.058 million
14. Stanford - 2.904 million
15. Clemson - 2.876 million
16. Northwestern - 2.684 million
17. Oklahoma - 2.640 million
18. Wisconsin - 2.619 million
19. Penn State - 2.573 million
20. Mississippi State - 2.555 million
21. Missouri - 2.513 million
22. Michigan State - 2.502 million
23. Ole Miss - 2.490 million
24. Arkansas - 2.401 million
25. Oregon - 2.377 million