MAC Championship Game Among Most Watched Ever On ESPN2

Updated 12/9/1999
MAC Enjoys Best Football Season Ever

Cleveland, Ohio (Dec. 9) -- Football in the Mid-American Conference has reached a new level of success.

In addition to today's announcement that the MAC title game was the second most watched college football game ever on ESPN2, the MAC also has one of only three undefeated teams in the nation and features the lone school in the nation to send its second player to the Heisman Trophy Award at the Downtown Athletic Club in the last three years.

Released by ESPN2 this afternoon, the December 3 MAC championship between #11 ranked Marshall and Western Michigan earned a 2.01 rating with an average of 1,350,000 households for the seventh highest most watched telecast in ESPN2 history. The game, a thrilling 34-30 last second victory for Marshall keyed by Heisman finalist and quarterback Chad Pennington, kept the Thundering Herd undefeated (12-0) and secured the team a spot in the Motor City Bowl versus #25 BYU on ESPN December 27.

"This is an exciting time for the Mid-American Conference," said MAC Commissioner Rick Chryst. "We are fortunate to have great programs throughout the conference and people nationally are starting to find that out."

In addition to the MAC Championship game featured as a national telecast, the league also had nationwide telecasts with an ESPN Thursday Night Game of the Week (Toledo at Marshall on Oct. 14) and a FOX Sports Net national game telecast (Ohio at Marshall on November 26). The three national telecasts are unprecedented in league history.