SBD/Issue 76/Sports Media

Rose Bowl Up 9.5% For Ohio State Win; Gators Raise Sugar Ratings

ABC Earns 13.8 Overnight Rating
For Ohio State-Oregon Rose Bowl

ABC earned a 13.8 overnight Nielsen rating for the Ohio State-Oregon Rose Bowl on Friday, up 9.5% from a 12.6 for last year's USC-Penn State matchup. The 13.8 also marks the best Rose Bowl overnight since a 14.5 for USC-Michigan in '07. Meanwhile, Fox earned an 8.5 fast-national rating and 15.5 million viewers for Florida's 51-24 win over Cincinnati in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in primetime on Friday, up 57.4% from a 5.4 rating (9.3 million viewers) for the comparable Virginia Tech-Cincinnati FedEx Orange Bowl last year, which marked the lowest-rated BCS telecast ever. The 8.5 rating would give Fox the win in primetime for the night, with Cincinnati topping all local markets with a 27.1 rating. Florida-Cincinnati is also up 9.0% from last year's Utah-Alabama Sugar Bowl, which also aired on a Friday night (THE DAILY).

GOING BACK TO THE WELL: In Dallas, Barry Horn wondered how Fox play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman could "continue to slobber over" Florida QB Tim Tebow during Friday's Sugar Bowl after being roundly criticized for his praise of Tebow during last year's BCS National Championship game. Horn: "The Brennaman take: Tebow godlike; Tebow detractors who don't see him as a stud NFL QB just don't understand." Horn added Fox analyst Brian Billick during the telecast was "a voice of reason" Horn: "Who knew?" (, 1/2). EVERY DAY SHOULD BE SATURDAY's Orson Swindle wrote Billick "wasn't as horrible as we thought he would be." Swindle: "Bad, yes, but not an atrocity like Brennaman" (, 1/2).

OLD-TIME FOOTBALL: In Oklahoma City, Mike Baldwin wrote listening to announcer Pat Summerall during Fox' broadcast of the Ole Miss-Oklahoma State AT&T Cotton Bowl Saturday was a "treat, bringing back memories from hundreds of NFL games he called before he retired eight years ago due to health issues." Summerall's "golden voice, complemented by Daryl Johnston, an underrated analyst on Fox's weekly No. 2 NFL team, gave the Cotton Bowl a Sunday afternoon NFL-like feel." Fox sideline reporter Krista Voda also "did a solid job." But Baldwin noted Summerall, who was "working his first game since last year's Cotton Bowl," made a "couple of mistakes" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 1/3). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand writes while Summerall "made a few mistakes on play-by-play, he called a good game." Hiestand: "Like asking, after missed opportunities in Mississippi's 21-7 win against Oklahoma State, 'Does anyone want to win the AT&T Cotton Bowl?'" (USA TODAY, 1/4).

MISSED OPPORTUNITY: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote CBS "had the biggest postgame coach interview in recent memory" when sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson interviewed Florida State coach Bobby Bowden "immediately after he coached his final game" during the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl. But viewers "didn't initially hear" the interview, as Wolfson's microphone "went dead just as Bowden was talking about his emotions upon ending his legendary career." CBS "rallied to get another microphone, and even that one cut out a couple of times as Bowden spoke for the second time to Wolfson" (, 1/3).

Writer Thinks Texas Tech Controversy
Will Impact Craig James' Assignments
LINGERING EFFECTS: The DALLAS MORNING NEWS' Horn wrote regardless of what actually occurred in the controversy surrounding fired Texas Tech coach Mike Leach's handling of WR Adam James after James suffered a concussion, it is "difficult to imagine it won't have some effect" on the broadcasting career of ESPN's Craig James, Adam's father. Craig James was a "catalyst in getting Leach fired," and that is "baggage that ESPN's college football analyst will have to carry." The saga will "absolutely have an impact on James' assignments," as the net will be "hard-pressed to send him to any Big 12 games for awhile." Horn: "Ditto to the games of any school where Leach, in any capacity, might wind up." Horn noted Bob Davie replaced James in the booth for Saturday's Texas Tech-Michigan State Valero Alamo Bowl (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/2).

GUEST APPEARANCE: USC coach Pete Carroll will provide analysis about Thursday's Alabama-Texas Citi BCS National Championship game on ESPN on Wednesday and Thursday. Carroll will appear on ESPN's set at the Rose Bowl during Wednesday's evening "SportsCenter;" Thursday's edition of "College GameDay;" ABC's pregame and halftime coverage of the game; and during ESPN's "SportsCenter" postgame coverage (ESPN).

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