I didn’t doubt for a second that a good number of people would watch the game last night, but the numbers were actually much better than I expected. Thanks to a close game, and some high profile players, the BCS National Title Game on Fox pulled in a 17.0/27 for their overnight ratings. Via Sports Business Daily….

Thursday night’s Florida-Oklahoma FedEx BCS National Championship Game earned a 17.0/27 overnight Nielsen rating on Fox, up 9.0% from a 15.6/23 for last year’s LSU-Ohio State matchup, which aired on a Monday night. The 17.0/27 marks Fox’ highest-rated primetime program this season and highest since last season’s “American Idol” finale, which earned a 17.5/27. Fox for the game earned a 16.1/25 in primetime, tops among all nets. Oklahoma City topped all metered-markets with a 52.6/67, followed by Tulsa’s 47.8/63. In Florida, Jacksonville delivered a 40.5/55, followed by a 32.5/49 in Tampa and a 30.7/45 in Orlando.

Your grand total of average viewers from the telecast comes out to a whopping 26.76 million, and while it easily beat last year’s average of 23.1, the final total could approach the 2007 LSU-OSU total of over 27 million. Also, when the final rating is tabulated, this year’s game should easily surpass both totals from the last two years, and should be in the top three of all games since the BCS was instituted in 1999.

Fox Earns 17.0 Overnight For BCS National Championship Game (Sports Business Daily)