Whether the Grinch stole BYU's viewers or Cougar fans were just uninterested in the finale of a diappointing season, the TV numbers for the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl are just plain bad.
BYU's win over San Diego State drew 2.2 million viewers, down about 900,000 from the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl (TCU-Louisiana Tech) and down 1.4 million from the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego State-Navy).
That's not good. Even if that's, in part, because the first three quarters of that game were a big, honkin' bore, that's bad.
And, yes, I'm surprised by this. If only because of the great, prime-time kickoff, BYU-SDSU should have done better. That's only about 200,000 more than BYU's appearance in the 2011 Armed Forces Bowl, which was in a miserable Friday morning time slot.
Utah State, on the other hand, not only improved by winning this year's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl matchup with Toledo but drew about 400,000 more viewers than the 2011 Potato Bowl, which the Aggies lost to Ohio. The Aggies were seen by about 2.8 million viewers.
For those of you keeping track, yes, USU's bowl game was seen by more viewers than BYU's bowl game for the second year in a row.
Again, I'm somewhat surprised. Not displeased because — as I pointed out before the games were played — I thought the Potato Bowl was the more interesting of the two.
This is pretty good news for Utah State. And pretty awful news for BYU.