Sugar Bowl Is Sweet, Spiking 61% From Last Year to 16.3M Viewers

ESPN continues to see ratings gains in the final year of the BCS college football system.

Thursday's Sugar Bowl, which saw Oklahoma upset Alabama 45-31, spiked 61% from last year to 16.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen fast nationals. The game was the most-viewed Sugar Bowl since 2004.

The telecast of No. 11 Oklahoma's upset over the third-ranked Crimson Tide also rose 50% from last year to a 9.3 household rating.

Through its first three BCS bowl games, ESPN has trended 23% higher than 2013 with an average of 15.4 million viewers. Coverage continues with the Orange Bowl Friday night.