This year's BCS title game could finally challenge the record television rating for the 2006 championship between Texas and Southern California.
That matchup had the perfect formula for broad appeal: two undefeated teams, three Heisman Trophy finalists, five lead changes and 19 seconds 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 elements to possibly 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.
ESPN senior vice president Burke Magnus says: "It sets up really remarkable possibilities."