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October 13, 2013
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This Saturday's showdown between No. 5 Florida State and No. 3 Clemson game will easily by the biggest ACC game of the year, if not the last decade. With an 8:00 p.m. prime time slot on ABC it should also be the highest rated ACC game this year.
So far, the most watched game involving an ACC school was a 4.8 rating in week two when Clemson defeated Georgia. The most watched intra-conference game was FSU's season opener at Pittsburgh on Labor Day night with a 2.9 rating. That, and the Oct. 5 Clemson-Syracuse game, were the only true ACC matchups to reach the 2.0 threshold.
Five other games exceeded a 2.0 rating but all involved well-known national non-conference opponents. That's a big reason why FSU, a school with normally high TV ratings, has a modest 1.75 average television rating in its four network televised games. With remaining games against Clemson, Miami and Florida, it's likely that the Seminoles' average rating will be significantly higher by the end of the year.
Kickoff times also have a major bearing on ratings. Prime time games usually bring in more viewers especially on nights when there is little competition from other college games (Thursday, Monday).
Not surprisingly some of the lowest rated games involving ACC teams belonged to Duke, Maryland, Wake Forest and Virginia. However, there simply isn't enough of a sample size to draw solid conclusions just yet. For instance, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and North Carolina have some of the highest average ratings so far but have documented network ratings for one or two games so far.
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