On The Fly: Remarkable Viewership For Ohio State-Oregon Game

Oregon-Ohio State game sets ratings record for ESPN's college broadcasts

Enjoy the national championship game? It served as another reminder that good defense and a physical, ground-and-pound offense can and will beat all odds. Ohio State's win over Oregon in the first championship game of the College Football Playoff produced the highest overnight rating ever for ESPN. The network said that the Buckeyes' 42-20 win over the Ducks generated an 18.5 overnight rating, a 21 percent increase over the 2014 BCS national championship between Florida State and Auburn (15.3 rating). Monday night's title game also topped the 16.1 overnight rating for the 2011 BCS championship between Auburn and Oregon that had been the previous best in cable history. Columbus, Ohio, was the No. 1 overall market at 51.2. Portland, Ore., was fourth at 37.6. ... Ohio State QB Cardale Jones said he is not ready for the NFL. He has started just three games, all wins, and led the team to the national title, so the question of whether he will leave early came up.

The NFL has been beset by issues but that does not mean people aren't watching the games. Sunday's Cowboys-Packers NFC playoff matchup on Fox averaged 44.4 million viewers to rank as the second most-watched divisional game, behind the Giants-Packers 45.1 million draw in January 2012. ... Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who led all NFL rookies and set a club rookie record for receiving yards, was selected as the 2014 rookie of the year and offensive rookie of the year by the Professional Football Writers of America. He had 91 receptions for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in only 12 games. His 108.8 yards a game was the highest figure by a rookie in NFL history. ... Patriots coach Bill Belichick is now in a tie with Pro Football Hall of Famer Tom Landry for most postseason wins by a coach, with 20. And Sunday's game against the Colts will be the ninth AFC Championship Game that Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady are together.

A petition from a Seahawks fan wants the NFL to revise its media policy so that Marshawn Lynch does not have to talk with reporters after a game. At one point Tuesday, it had 14,000 signatures. The petition says Lynch has anxiety interacting with the media and since the NFL advocates against bullying and domestic violence, it shouldn't force its players into situations that make them uncomfortable. Lynch has lost $100,000 in fines in recent seasons for not talking. …The Red Sox have promoted Raquel Ferreira to vice president of baseball administration. She is just the third woman to reach that level in an MLB operations department. ... Kevin Garnett was suspended one game without pay by the NBA for head-butting Dwight Howard Monday night.


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