Texas and Ohio State put on a show last night, and FOX Sports was a major beneficiary. The Longhorns last-minute win over the Buckeyes will probably turn out to be the third highest-rated BCS Bowl game since Fox took over the rights.
Quan's dramatic finish helped produced an overnight rating over three ratings points higher than the 8.4 overnight rating pulled by West Virginia's upset of OU in the 2008 Fiesta Bowl.
Last night’s game pulled an 11.6 overnight rating, which should translate into almost 19 million viewers. The Rose Bowl, traditionally the highest rated Bowl game outside the National Championship contest, pulled an overnight rating of 12.6.
As a comparison, Utah's dramatic upset of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl produced an overnight rating of 8.5 which should translate to approximately 14 million viewers.
The Orange Bowl between Cincinnati and Virginia Tech is easily the lowest rated BCS Bowl game ever with a paltry 5.4 rating which translates into a little over 9 million viewers.
The 2006 Fiesta Bowl between Ohio State and Notre Dame, played in the traditional Jan. 1 time slot of the Rose Bowl, pulled a 13.6 rating. That game aired on ABC.
Of course the Rose Bowl that year hosted the National Championship contest. The Texas win over USC is still easily the highest-rated BCS game ever, as it pulled a 21.7 rating with over 35 million viewers.
No other non-championship BCS game on Fox has had a higher overnight rating than 9.8.
The final ratings numbers may fluctuate slightly as totals from all markets are assimilated, but these shouldn't change dramatically.