They said that having a college football playoff would cheapen the regular season. They said fans might not want it. If the TV ratings from last night's Ohio State-Oregon national championship game are any indication, those assumptions were wrong. Not only was the championship game a smashing success on the field, it was the highest rated event in ESPN history.
Per ESPN's release, Ohio State's win over the Ducks picked up a 18.5 overnight rating, beating out last year's national championship game (a 15.3), and the previous record of 16.1 from the 2011 national championship game, when the Auburn Tigers defeated Oregon, which was previously the highest rated in cable history.
The top market for the game? That's Columbus, of course, which recorded an absolutely staggering 51.2 rating. Oregon's market, Portland, recorded a 37.6, and the broadcast smashed records all over the country, from Ohio State strongholds in Cleveland and Dayton, to disparate markets like Norfolk, Salt Lake City, and newfound Big Ten town, Washington D.C.
Ohio State boasts one of the true national brands in college football, thanks to a huge alumni network and a wildly successful football program. When you match them up with such an exciting team like Oregon, in a great game, you're bound to get excellent results.
Well done, people of Ohio, and all over the country.