College football is regional and local. Trying to expand it by playing it in random neutral stadiums 2500 miles away from teams home stadiums and trying to make it a super bowl experience is not a good move. It is not like te NFL where they have made the super bowl an event for everyone, as NFL fans will watch their team or their conferences team.
Even if SEC guy or ACC guy watched the game (which most do not because college loyalty is insane and what Georgia fan or North Carolina fan will root for either team) Pac 12 guy, Big 10 guy and Big 12 guy plus all of the ‘small’ conference fans have zero vested interest in either team.
Yes an expanded playoff would be amazing and would create more buzz, but title games usually will have just the fans of those teams. Add in that this is the 4th time in as many years that these two played each other and those ratings were higher than I thought they would be.
I tuned in during the 3rd quarter for about 5 minutes and they panned the crowd a few times and the empty seats everywhere, red so they looked like bama fans, and the chunks of missing people in the upper decks should be concerning as well.