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Alabama-Ole Miss draws second-highest TV rating of 2016 season to date

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For college football TV ratings nerds (like me), Saturday’s Week 3 action was an interesting test study in fans’ viewing habits and the power of branding.

The day was full of good games involving brand-name programs and, equally important, brand-name programs playing in different time slots and spread across different networks. Florida State at noon on ABC. Alabama in the afternoon slot on CBS, opposite Oregon and Nebraska on ABC. The prime time slot offered Notre Dame on NBC, Ohio State and Oklahoma on FOX and USC on ABC.

The results are in, and Alabama’s 48-43 defeat of Ole Miss won the day with a 5.4 rating, which doubled the same time slot from the same week a year ago (Auburn-LSU, 2.7). The 5.4 rating is the highest daytime number of the 2016 season thus far, and passed Florida State-Ole Miss on Labor Day night for the second-highest rated game in all time slots. (Texas-Notre Dame’s 7.0 remains king.)

That’s not to say CBS was the only winner of the day.

Louisville’s 63-20 beatdown of Florida State scored a 4.5, ABC’s highest-rated noon kick for a game this early in the season since 2005. Ratings for Oregon-Nebraska, Stanford-USC and other ESPN offerings were not immediately available.

Michigan State’s 36-28 win over Notre Dame was also a ratings winner for NBC.

FOX also scored high for Ohio State’s 45-24 bludgeoning of Oklahoma was one of the network’s most successful broadcasts in the package’s short history as well.

While CBS won the day — that The Eye had the distinction of showing the only top-level game that was actually competitive from stem to stern no doubt helped — Saturday was a good one for college football and its broadcasters across the board.

(HT Sports Media Watch)

Dick MacPherson’s grandson one of six added to Sean Lewis’ first Kent State staff

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Sean Lewis‘ first staff at Kent State will come armed with a famous coaching surname.

The football program announced Monday that Lewis has hired a total of six new assistants. One of the coaching sextet is Mackey MacPherson, the grandson of former Syracuse head coach Dick MacPherson.

The younger MacPherson will coach the Golden Flashes running backs after spending the past two seasons as an offensive graduate assistant with the Orange.  Both Lewis and MacPherson were on Dino Babers‘ staff at the ‘Cuse.

The other full-time assistant hired by Lewis are as follows:

Zac Barton — special teams coordinator
Brian Cochran — defensive line
Jon Cooley — safeties coach
Matt Middleton — wide receivers coach
Bill O’Boyle — offensive line

Nearly two weeks ago, Lewis announced the hiring of his coordinators on both sides of the ball.

Western Kentucky’s Joel Iyiegbuniwe declares early for draft

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There’s a new leader in the clubhouse for “Early Entrant With the Most Vowels in his Surname.”

On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, Joel Iyiegbuniwe announced that he is leaving Western Kentucky early and making himself available for the April NFL draft. The linebacker, a native of Bowling Green, Kent., stated that he came to his decision “[a]fter much thought, prayer and discussion with my family, coaches and advisors.”

This past season, Iyiegbuniwe led the Hilltoppers in tackles with 117, tackles for loss with 11.5 and forced fumbles with three. He was named first-team All-Conference USA following the regular season.

Including last season, Iyiegbuniwe had started 27 straight games at outside linebacker for the Hilltoppers.

Today is the deadline for draft-eligible players to inform the NFL of their intentions.

Kent State announces signing of ex-Auburn QB Woody Barrett

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One day after Woody Barrett announced that he has found a new college football home, the school has confirmed as much.

Kent State sent out a press release Monday evening acknowledging that Barrett has signed with the football program. After spending the 2017 season at a Mississippi junior college, the quarterback will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.

Counting this coming season, Barrett will have three years of eligibility remaining.

“We’re excited about Woody’s potential, his ability and his raw tools both throwing and running the football,” new Golden Flashes head coach Sean Lewis said in a statement. “And we’re excited to have him on campus to be training with our team as we get ready for spring ball.”

A four-star member of Auburn’s 2016 recruiting class, Barrett was rated as the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback in the country that cycle. He took a redshirt as a true freshman, then opted to transfer from the Tigers in May of last year, ultimately ending up at the JUCO level.

At Copiah-Lincoln Community College this past season, Barrett passed for 1,294 yards and eight touchdowns in nine games, adding another 485 and six on the ground.

Michigan confirms hiring of Sherrone Moore as TEs coach

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One hole on Jim Harbaugh‘s coaching staff has been filled.

The football program confirmed Monday that Sherrone Moore has been hired and will serve as Harbaugh’s tight ends coach. Moore will replace Greg Frey, who moved on to a job on Willie Taggart‘s staff at Florida State.

The 31-year-old Moore — he’ll turn 32 in early February — spent the past four seasons coaching tight ends at Central Michigan. This past season, he added the title of assistant head coach as well as taking over as the MAC program’s recruiting coordinator.

Moore began his coaching career as an offensive graduate assistant at Louisville from 2009-12. He was promoted to tight ends coach in 2012, spending that season as well as 2013 in that role.