SBD/5/Collegiate Sports

BOWLED OVER: BCS RATING FLAT; IS BCS DEAL IN WORKS?

          A Superdome college football record attendance of
     79,280 was on hand last night for FL State Univ.'s 46-29
     victory over VA Tech in the second BCS Championship Game. 
     The game earned a 16.7/25 preliminary overnight Nielsen
     rating on ABC, down 2% from last year's 17.1/25 overnight
     for the Univ. of TN-FSU Fiesta Bowl matchup. In Richmond,
     Jerry Lindquist reviews ABC's coverage and writes that
     although "there were glitches," ABC "deserved high marks. 
     What helped, of course, was that the game surprisingly lived
     up to all the hype."  Lindquist also praises announcers
     Brent Musburger and Gary Danielson for calling the game
     "straight down the line" (TIMES-DISPATCH, 1/5).  USA TODAY's
     Rudy Martzke writes that Musburger and Danielson "passed
     another test of candidness," as Musburger "avoided the hype"
     (USA TODAY, 1/5).  In L.A., Larry Stewart writes that ABC
     "didn't miss much," as the net used 28 cameras, seven more
     than usual.  Stewart notes that Musburger and Danielson
     "could have done less talking, but Musburger wasn't as
     overbearing as he has been at times" (L.A. TIMES, 1/5). 
          A DONE DEAL? Meanwhile, Martzke writes that the BCS
     "almost surely will decide by spring to accept" ABC's four-
     year, $400M offer to extend the current bowl format.  ACC
     Commissioner John Swofford: "It's a good deal, although
     we'll have more discussions on it" (USA TODAY, 1/5).
          PHONING HOME IN THE BIG EASY: In St. Petersburg, Kyle
     Parks examines Nokia's "estimated" $2M per year title
     sponsorship of the Sugar Bowl and writes that Nokia was one
     name fans in New Orleans "couldn't miss."  Nokia placed its
     logo on everything from visitor's guides, banners around the
     Superdome and bus stops and "brought in 2,500 execs,
     employees and corporate customers, lavishing them with game
     tickets, a brunch with a jazz band and a pregame tailgate
     party."  Nokia Mobile Phone for the Americas President Kari-
     Pekka Wilska said that the company's plan was to "go
     national," and for months leading up to the game Nokia ran
     its "The Road to No. 1" TV spots.  Company employees also
     visited both the FSU and VA Tech campuses to give away Sugar
     Bowl trips and hold pep rallies.  Wilska: "The identity that
     we have established by sponsoring the Sugar Bowl is largely
     responsible for our success in the United States" (ST.
     PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/5).  Retired educator Bob Moderhak, with
     help from Joe Theismann, won $500,000 at halftime from
     Nokia.  Moderhak participated in Nokia's $2,000,000
     Challenge, throwing a football 15 yards through a small
     opening to win the prize (ABC, 1/4).  Moderhak appeared on
     "GMA" this morning wearing a Nokia shirt (ABC, 1/5).

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