Fireworks go off as the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate a...

Fireworks go off as the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrate a 3-2 shootout victory against the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. (Jan. 1, 2014) Credit: MCT

Many Americans spent big chunks of their New Year's Eve and New Year's Day watching college football and hockey, beginning with Tuesday night's Chick-Fil-A Bowl. In case you missed it because you have a social life, Johnny Manziel led a wild rally by Texas A&M over Mrs. WatchDog's Dukies and helped ESPN draw 5.3 percent of homes in major markets - its best ever for a non-BCS bowl game.

Wednesday brought additional interesting college football doings, highlighted by an entertaining Rose Bowl in which Michigan State upset Stanford and attracted an 11.2 rating in major markets - up 17 percent from last year's Stanford-Wisconsin game.

Detroit's rating was an astronomical 27.9 - the highest ever in that market for a bowl game on ESPN. That was particularly impressive because Detroit also led all markets for the NHL Winter Classic earlier in the day on NBC with an 18.0.

Nationally, the Winter Classic averaged 2.9 percent of homes in major markets, tying the record high for the event. What made the figure particularly impressive is that it included the Maple Leafs, whose home market does not count in U.S. TV ratings.

Toronto is in Canada.

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