ATHENS Georgia football put on quite a show on Saturday night, and the largest television audience of the season was tuned in, according to a CBS release.
The Bulldogs' 23-17 win over Notre Dame peaked with a 6.9 rating and captured an average rating/share of 6.2/13.
The ratings are evidence the CBS executives knew what they were doing when they chose Georgia's game with the Irish as their nighttime exemption game. It's the first time since 2010 CBS didn't use it for Alabama-LSU.
The Georgia brand looked strong and resilient in its come-from-behind victory in the battle of Top 10 teams, showing potential to be even better moving forward.
From an entertainment standpoint, UGA used its new LED lights creatively to keep the fans engaged throughout and provide one of the most unique settings in college football.
Coach Kirby Smart was surely pleased. It was one of the most attractive home games for Georgia to showcase its campus and facilities for top recruits in years,.
The Bulldogs play their biggest rival, Florida, 330 miles away in Jacksonville annually, which eliminates what would be one of the school's prime-time recruiting weekends in Athens..
The rating marks the highest for a CBS game in September in six years, dating back to when a No. 1-ranked Alabama team faced Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in a 49-42 classic in 2013.
To put Saturday night's 6.2/13 rating in further perspective, last year's biggest audience was the SEC Championship Game (10.5/22) and the largest CBS regular-season audience was against Florida in Jacksonville (4.5/10).
Smart danced in the locker room to celebrate with his team and entertain recruits, but he might have danced on the field if he knew the Atlanta TV ratings for the Notre Dame game was a 25.9/47 second only to Birmingham (26.8/41).
Atlanta was also the No. 2 highest market for last season's SEC Championship Game, and it was No. 3 for both the Florida and LSU games last season.
The state of Georgia produces a high volume of top prospects each year, and Atlanta is central to that effort.
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