Turns out Miami won Monday night after all. No Florida State fans, nobody reversed last night's 10-7 nail-bite win over the Canes, but in the battle between the game and CSI: Miami, a repeat of the CBS procedural drama topped a tight game.
And over at Fox, Prison Break continued to draw visitors.
Early returns on ABC's marquee college football match-up between archrivals Florida State and Miami suggest that maybe viewers were looking for some more firepower, though it was a defensive barn-burner.
The game led the network to a nightly win in the key 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen overnight time-period averages, with ABC recording a 3.5 rating/9 share on the night.
The numbers are likely to change somewhat when the national ratings come in later in the week, but according to the overnights, the game averaged a 3.8/10 from 8:30 to 10, but dropped to a 3.3/9 when faced with CSI: Miami at 10-11.
There was no scoring in the second half, which might have accounted for some of the decline except that it was one of the most exciting nonscorers in recent memory, with crushing defense (OK and a couple of questionable goal line calls) and a kicking game that finally went against Miami after some heartbreaking misses on the Seminole side in seasons past.
Speaking of which, it was a game for names. Only a few weeks ago, the NCAA announced it was cracking down on Indian school names and discouraging broadcasters from using them. But a reversal in the case of the Seminoles--the tribe fully supports the team--and the devastation of Katrina meant that it was the Miami team name of Hurricanes that fell more jarringly on the ear.
Also somewhat jarring was the comment of Florida Governor Jeb Bush. When asked by Commentator Brent Musberger about the help Florida was supplying to the stricken Gulf Coast, he pointed out that Florida had braced for the storm, and having dodged it, was ready to offer assistance. But he also characterized the storm as "payback time," given that Florida had been hit by four hurricanes last year.
CBS was second on the night in the 184-9 demo with a 3.2/8 for a strong all-repeat lineup in which Two and a Half Man also beat the game with a 3.8/9 at 9:30.
Fox was third, thanks to new drama Prison Break, which won its 9-10 time period with a 3.9/9, including a 4/9 at 9:30-10, the top-rated half hour on any network.
NBC Came in fourth with a 2/5 for the night. Its strongest show was a Hurricane Katrina special at 8-9 (2.6/7). The WB and UPN tied for fifth at a .8/2.