Preliminary indications are that more television viewers nationally watched Monday's Fiesta Bowl, in which No. 1 Notre Dame defeated No. 3 West Virginia, 34-21, than watched the Rose Bowl, in which Michigan beat USC, 22-14. But the gap was not as large as many had expected, and in Los Angeles, the Rose Bowl was a big winner.
The Rose Bowl drew an average Nielsen rating of 26 in L.A., compared to an 8.8 for the Fiesta. The Rose Bowl started out with an 18.4 rating and peaked at a 32 late in the game. The Fiesta peaked early at 13.1 and had only a 6.8 in the last quarter-hour.
The Fiesta Bowl's average overnight rating for the nation's 17 largest markets was a 15; the Rose Bowl, which started a half-hour later, drew a 12.7
Other overnight bowl ratings for the 17 major markets: Orange, 11.2; Cotton, 10.2; Sugar, 7.6; Hall of Fame, 7.1, and Florida Citrus, 6.3.
Final national ratings won't be available until later this week or early next week.