IRVING, Texas (Jan. 15, 2020) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame salutes the College Football Playoff (CFP) and its staff, led by CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock and CFP Chief Operating Officer Andrea Williams, for their exceptional efforts in staging the sixth CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T. The organization also congratulates the New Orleans College Football National Championship Host Committee (NOCFCHC) for their hospitality in hosting multiple first-class events.
“The College Football Playoff continues to exceed everybody’s expectations,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “The CFP National Championship is one of the most compelling gatherings in all of sports, and the game’s success is a testament to our country’s love of college football. Bill Hancock and the CFP staff have once again transformed an entire region, highlighting everything right with our great game as well as the region’s unique local culture.”
A sellout crowd of 76,885 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans witnessed No. 1 LSU notch an impressive 42-25 victory over No. 3 Clemson (14-1) on Jan. 13. LSU, headed by Coach Ed Orgeron, is 15-0 for the first time in school history, and the Tigers become just the second team in FBS history to go 15-0. Seven of LSU’s 15 wins came against teams ranked in the Top 10, the most of any team in college football history.
Heisman-Trophy-winning-quarterback Joe Burrow claimed offensive MVP honors in the game. He set multiple records in a CFP title game, including passing for 463 yards and five touchdowns. The LSU signal caller also ran for 58 yards and another score, which gave him six TDs on the night for an additional CFP record. Tiger linebacker Patrick Queen made eight tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks, to claim defensive MVP honors.
The game generated a Nielsen-reported audience of 25.5 million viewers as part of ESPN’s MegaCast presentation, attracting the best cable audience for any type of programming in more than two years and a 1% increase in viewership from last year’s game. The results for the LSU-Clemson match-up place the game in the Top 10 biggest cable audiences ever with CFP games now holding eight of the top 10 audiences for all-time. Including the two CFP semifinal games, the three-game playoff system averaged 21.6 million viewers, a 4% increase from last season.
The CFP worked closely with the NOCFCHC, led by Judge Monique Morial, chair of NOCFCHC and president of the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and Jeff Hundley, executive director of the NOCFCHC and CEO of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The NOCFCHC headed the fundraising effort to host the game and the accompanying events in New Orleans, which culminated with the big game on Monday night.
“The whole picture, the championship game, the Peach Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl, the New Year’s Six, are a fabulous showcase for college football,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “And the impact on the local community, including the extraordinary work of the Extra Yard for Teachers program, is a great testament to impact of college football. We are extremely grateful to 2020 NOLA, Bill Hancock and his entire staff for delivering a first-class experience. We know that they sacrificed incalculable hours with their families and endured many sleepless nights to ensure an exceptional experience for the fans.”
Using the national spotlight of the game, the CFP honored Oregon QB Justin Herbert, the 2019 recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy® Presented by Mazda, airing a video profiling his accomplishments as a scholar-athlete between the first and second quarters. The CFP also celebrated the 150th anniversary of college football with a special CFB150 presentation during halftime, featuring an all-time list of greatest 11 players as selected by ESPN (all Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame inductees): Jim Brown (Syracuse), Herschel Walker (Georgia), Bo Jackson (Auburn), Archie Griffin (Ohio State and an NFF Board Member), Jim Thorpe (Carlisle, Pa.), Red Grange (Illinois), Earl Campbell (Texas), Dick Butkus (Illinois), Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State), Gale Sayers (Kansas) and Roger Staubach (Navy and an NFF Board Member).
As a testament to the hard work done by the CFP over the past six years, ESPN reported on Monday that Hancock’s contract has been extended. The CFP, which began during 2014-15 season, has a contract that currently expires in 2026.