Ohio State vs. Oregon set ESPN’s all-time viewership record

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This postseason has been a good one for the people at ESPN. With so much invested in the College Football Playoff, the network did all it could to pump up the championship game, and it seems to have paid off. More people watched Monday night’s College Football Playoff championship game between Ohio State and Oregon than any other program in ESPN’s history.

Per an ESPN release, ESPN generated a 18.5 overnight rating, the highest metered market in ESPN’s history according to Nielsen. This year’s championship game saw a 21 percent increase in ratings over last season’s BCS National Championship Game between Florida State and Auburn. It also topped the best overnight rating in cable history, which was previously owned by the 2011 BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Oregon.

Some more information passed along by ESPN;

Columbus, Ohio was the top market for the championship game, with a 51.2. Dayton (43.8) and Cleveland (41.3) followed atop the list of top markets for the game. Portland, Oregon recorded a 37.6, fourth best overall.

Birmingham, Alabama was the fifth top market with a 36.1), followed by Cincinnati (26.5), Jacksonville (25.7), Knoxville (25.5), Greenville (24.1) and Atlanta (23.0).

ESPN also claims to have recorded record overnight numbers for college football on ESPN in 22 different markets, including Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

Reports: Miami hiring Lance Guidry from Tulane as DC

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
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Miami is hiring Lance Guidry, who was defensive coordinator at Marshall last season and recently accepted the same position at Tulane, to lead its defense, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized between Guidry and Miami.

The 51-year-old Louisiana native was hired way from Marshall by Tulane just last month. Now he’ll replace Kevin Steele on Mario Cristobal‘s staff at Miami. Steele is reportedly on his way to Alabama to become Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator after holding that position for one season with the Hurricanes.

Alabama has yet to make the hiring of Steele and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees official. Rees had been assistant at Notre Dame.

Tulane announced the hiring of Guidry on Jan. 23 to replace Chris Hampton, who left the New Orleans-based school to join Oregon’s staff as an assistant coach.

Guidry’s defenses at Marshall ranked third in the nation in yards per play this season (4.56) and 26th nationally in 2021 (5.14 ypp).

Iowa-Northwestern set for Wrigley Field in November

Nikos Frazier/Journal & Courier/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CHICAGO — Wrigley Field will host a college football game for the third time since 2010 when Iowa plays Northwestern next season.

Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced that the Wildcats’ home game will be played Nov. 4.

Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley in 2010 in the MLB ballpark’s first college football game since 1938, and the Wildcats hosted Purdue there in 2021.

Wrigley Field has a long history of hosting football games. The Chicago Bears played there from 1921 to 1970 before moving to Soldier Field. The old Chicago Cardinals also played at Wrigley, as well as DePaul until its program folded in 1939.

Northwestern had been scheduled to play Wisconsin at Wrigley in 2020, but the game was moved to Ryan Field in Evanston because of the COVID-19 pandemic.