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Thursday, January 8, 2009
Champs Sports Bowl: ESPN's second-largest bowl

By Heather Dinich

Posted by's Heather Dinich

On Dec. 27, Florida State's 42-13 thumping of Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl drew ESPN's second-largest bowl audience ever. The game reached an average of 5,098,000 homes, based on a 5.2 rating. (ESPN's most-watched bowl game ever was the Alamo Bowl on December, 30, 2006, between Iowa and Texas. It was watched by an average of 5,521,000 homes, based on a 6.0 rating.)

And that was one of the worst bowl games of the season. FSU laid the smack down on Wisconsin. It was a snoozer. Over in the third quarter. And yet everyone still watched. Why? Because it's still FSU, and Bobby Bowden is still coaching. Because people want to see how far away they are from returning to their glory days. Because they were good enough to play in the more prestigious Gator Bowl, which chose Clemson instead (whoops).

Florida State might not be quite ready for primetime on the national stage yet, but there certainly doesn't seem to be a lack of fans interested in watching the Noles work their way back.