OSU-Michigan highest-rated since FSU in '93

Published November 20, 2006

BRISTOL, Conn. - Top-ranked Ohio State's victory over No. 2 Michigan drew the biggest television audience for any regular-season game in 13 years.

ABC pulled in a 13.4 rating, which translates to 14.96-million households and 21.77-million viewers. That's the biggest audience and rating for a regular-season college football network telecast since FSU-Notre Dame on Nov. 13, 1993.

The figures for Saturday's game are according to Nielsen Media Research.

This was the second time this season ABC had a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. On Sept. 9, Ohio State beat second-ranked Texas. That game averaged an 8.2 rating, and was seen in 9.1-million households.

FAREWELL TO BO: Hundreds of maize-and-blue-clad mourners filed past the casket of Bo Schembechler, the coach who became the face of Michigan football.

The closed casket at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church was festooned with floral arrangements. His likeness was presented in a painting and in a photo of him coaching in his signature navy blue "M" cap. A plaque on an easel listed his records during each of 21 seasons as the Wolverines' coach.

Schembechler died at 77 Friday after collapsing at a television studio in suburban Detroit.

Aram Sarkisian, a trumpet player in the Michigan marching band, said he had met the former coach after he spoke to the band.

"Bo has always meant a lot to my family," said the junior, who wore his letter jacket to the viewing. "He's the kind of person, you just hung on every single word he said."

Julia Moore, 37, who graduated from Michigan in 1991, attended Sunday's viewing. She worked in the university's football recruiting office as an undergraduate.

"He was like a dad," she said. "He wanted the best for you. I'm still in shock."

SOUTHERN CAL: Chauncey Washington was hobbling on a sore knee, and Emmanuel Moody was in street clothes with a bum ankle.

That left it up to C.J. Gable to handle most of the work at tailback in the team's biggest game of the season. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound freshman gained a career-high 91 yards on 19 carries, caught a pass for 35 yards, and returned a kickoff for 33 yards Saturday night in a 23-9 victory over California.

"It was C.J.'s night," Trojans coach Pete Carroll said. "He's just had a great rookie year and he was incredible tonight."

The victory enabled USC (9-1, 7-1) to become the first team to win five straight Pac-10 football championships, and the Trojans clinched a berth in the Rose Bowl.