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Michigan vs. Ohio State had the most TV viewers on any network for a college football game in 17 years

The Game always draws a big crowd, but this is ridiculous.

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The Game between the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes is always among the most watched college football games of the season, but the 2022 rendition meant just a little more for fans of both teams and big fans of the sport as a whole.

With the Wolverines ranked No. 3 and the Buckeyes ranked No. 2 in the latest College Football Playoffs — and with both teams at 11-0 entering the game for the first time since 2006 — this game was bound to draw in a huge audience from coast to coast. And boy did it deliver.

According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, 17 MILLION — with an “M,” OSU fans — people watched Michigan annihilate Ohio State in Columbus. It was the most watched college football game of all time on FOX, and the most for any network in 11 years.

Big Noon Kickoff has been a huge success for FOX, and that will definitely continue with the new television deal for the Big Ten that kicks in next season. FOX will continue to carry Big Ten games, and will likely have a ton for their Big Noon Kickoff broadcasts for the foreseeable future. They will also broadcast the Big Ten Championship every other year beginning next season, with CBS airing it in 2024 and 2028 and NBC airing it in 2026.

This is a big win for FOX, but it’s also a major win for Jim Harbaugh and his program. The Wolverines have already taken advantage of the big win on the recruiting trail, with two prospects from the state of Ohio — 2023 three-star corner Cameron Calhoun and 2024 four-star offensive lineman Luke Hamilton — announcing their commitments since yesterday’s victory. More commitments are on the way, too, as the early signing period for the 2023 class is less than a month away.

All in all, great for college football and great for Michigan.