This year's BCS title game could challenge the record television rating for the 2006 championship between Texas and Southern California.
That match-up had the perfect formula for broad appeal with two undefeated teams, three Heisman Trophy finalists, five lead changes and :19 left when the winning touchdown was scored. The game was on in nearly 22 percent of American homes with televisions. The second-best number is under 18 percent.
Notre Dame and Alabama could change that if the game is close. The Fighting Irish are so popular they can stay independent and negotiate their own television contract and they're competing for their first championship since the 1988 season.
"It sets up really remarkable possibilities," says ESPN Senior Vice President Burke Magnus.