And now, for the least surprising news of the day.
According to B/R's Barrett Sallee, CBS has released the TV ratings for Saturday's Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama—perhaps the best game in series history—and the ratings are through the roof, making it the most watched college football game of the season with an average of 13.8 million viewers:
CBS says the Iron Bowl was the most watched CFB game to date of the 2013 season, averaging 13.8 million viewers.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) December 4, 2013
Approximately 14 million viewers, if they stuck around until the end, were treated to one of the most incredible finishes in the history of sports.
Alabama's backup kicker kicked a 57-yard field goal as time expired in a tie ballgame, but the kick fell short. Auburn's Chris Davis caught the kick in the back of the end zone and returned it all the way for a game-winning touchdown—a play that's been coined the "Kick Six."
Even before that play, though, viewers got to see an incredible Iron Bowl and one of the very best games this season. Alabama entered the game No. 1 in the BCS rankings while Auburn checked in at No. 4, giving the game profound national title implications.
By contrast, last year's game featured a one-loss Alabama club against an Auburn team that hadn't won an SEC game all season, a game that ended in a 49-0 Crimson Tide rout. Predictably, as Sallee reports, viewership for this year's game was up almost 250 percent:
CBS says the Iron Bowl earned an average preliminary national household rating/share of 8.2/17, up 242% from last year’s game.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) December 4, 2013
With the win, Auburn took the SEC West title and advanced to this weekend's conference championship game against Missouri. The winner of that game will be declared SEC Champion and the victor might also stand a chance to play for a national title—with some help of course.
The SEC Championship Game kicks off at 4 p.m. ET and can be seen on CBS.