The Florida State–Notre Dame game was a rare Sunday college football game. But judging by the latest ratings, it might become a more common attraction.
ESPN released the numbers for Sunday’s game and they are monstrous. With 7.1 million average viewers, the game was the second-most viewed Labor Day Sunday game in over 25 years. And that isn’t even taking into account the out-of-home data, which isn’t available yet.
The stats showed a 29-percent increase from the last Labor Day Sunday game from 2019 between Oklahoma and Houston. At its peak, 8.8 million people were watching the game.
Given the brand recognition behind the two teams and their massive fanbases, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise. And the action on the field was among the most compelling that a game can have.
More evidence that this weekend marked a moment of reprieve for the country.
Notre Dame vs Florida St ranks as the #2 most-viewed Labor Day Sunday game on record —data dates back to 1995.
Sports achieving these numbers in this linear TV environment is nothing short of epic pic.twitter.com/8ARxK9fNPR
— Flora ESPN Insights (@ESPNFlora) September 6, 2021
Each quarter was its own story as the two sides stayed with one score through the first half of the third quarter. But Notre Dame went on a 21-point scoring spree in the third that gave them an 18-point lead.
Florida State responded with 18 points in the fourth quarter, with a 43-yard field goal from Ryan Fitzgerald to force overtime. Sadly, Fitzgerald went wide left on his overtime field goal attempt, allowing Notre Dame to win 41-38.
It was a great game, and one that might rank among the best in the Florida State-Notre Dame rivalry’s history.
We need more great games like that on future Labor Day Sunday games.