Clemson's thrilling 35-31 win over Alabama in college football's national championship game was an all-time great, but were the TV ratings?

According to ESPN, the ratings actually dropped from the previous year's championship game when Alabama defeated Clemson.

Last year drew 26,709,000 viewers. This year, 26,029,000 tuned in to ESPN's family of networks to watch the contest.

Another telling number is the amount of spectators who viewed the game on-line. Streaming numbers for Clemson and Alabama's title game rematch increased by 21 percent.

ESPN may not be happy about the overall decrease, but can hang their hat on the combined viewership of the New Year's Six bowls and the national championship game increased 2,040,000 viewers from a season ago, thanks in large part to New Year's Even falling on a Saturday, helping the semi-final playoff games draw a better number.