Ohio State, Mich. run up ratings


NEW YORK -- Saturday afternoon's Michigan-Ohio State thriller drew the largest audience for a regular-season college football game since 1993, ABC said Sunday.

The battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams -- both undefeated until Saturday -- averaged 21.8 million viewers on ABC, according to preliminary estimates released Sunday afternoon by Nielsen Media Research. Ohio State was leading most of the game but held on against a late-game charge by Michigan to win 42-39 at home.

It was the largest audience for any regular-season college football game since Nov. 13, 1993, when the Florida State-Notre Dame game averaged 22 million viewers. And it far outweighed Ohio State's previous game on ABC, when it beat then-second-ranked Texas.

ESPN said that the Michigan-Ohio State game would appear on ESPN Classic in primetime Wednesday, Nov. 22, as well as ESPNU several times during Thanksgiving Week. The game is available via iTunes as well.