The inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship delivered the highest overnight rating in the history of ESPN. Ohio State's victory over Oregon reportedly received an 18.5 metered market rating based on Nielsen figures.
Derek Volner of ESPN MediaZone reports the rating marks a 21 percent increase over last year's title game, and it reached a peak of 20.5. The outlet also provided several additional options for watching the game, which, when combined, bumped the overall number even higher [sic]: "In addition to the traditional telecast, ESPN offered more than 12 ways to watch last night's championship game through the 'CFP Megacast.' ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNEWS combined to averaged 18.9 metered market average, up 20% (15.7) from the 2014 BCS Megascast."
Total viewership in terms of the number of people watching the game was not immediately released.
Unsurprisingly, the release also notes Columbus, Ohio (home of the Buckeyes), led the way with an eye-popping 51.2 market rating. A total of 22 different metered markets also set new records for postseason college football viewership.
The game itself lived up to the hype as Oregon came back from an early deficit to cut the lead to one point midway through the third quarter. Ohio State responded with three straight touchdowns from Ezekiel Elliott to post the 42-20 triumph.
Under the old system, the Buckeyes don't even receive a chance to play for the title. Now, they are the national champions. Pair that with the record-setting ratings, and it's fair to say the first-ever College Football Playoff was a success.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com
You might not have seen it coming, but the Ohio State Buckeyes are officially the champions of college football.
The Buckeyes shocked the nation with an upset win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl before following that up with another surprising victory over Oregon in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Cardale Jones moved to 3-0 as a starting quarterback in his career, outdueling Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.
It wasn't the quarterbacks who decided this game, though. It was a great team effort that helped continue a trend throughout the season, which head coach Urban Meyer expanded upon after the game:
Jones might end up in the spotlight as Ohio State's starting quarterback, but these are the players who had the best performances for each team Monday night.
Troy Hill, CB, Oregon
It's hard to find players who truly stood out for Oregon in the blowout loss, but one person who gave a solid effort was cornerback Troy Hill.
The senior was thrust into a bigger role during the past two games with All-American Ifo Ekpre-Olomu out with a knee injury. This led to problems early as he was called for pass interference in the end zone.
On the plus side, he made up for it with a big play later on, as noted by Ivan Maisel of ESPN:
Besides the forced fumble, he also helped slow down big-play receiver Devin Smith, who finished with just one catch. Though Oregon's defense struggled to slow down Ohio State, Hill did his job for the most part in this one.
Byron Marshall, WR, Oregon
His outing would have been much different if the referee had ruled he dropped the ball before crossing the goal line, but instead, Byron Marshall finished with the best day of anyone in an Oregon jersey.
The receiver ended up with eight catches for 169 yards and a 70-yard touchdown that helped keep the game close in the third quarter. Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated summed up the game for the youngster:
A former running back, Marshall was converted to a receiver this season and became Mariota's top target over the course of the year. He is dynamic with the ball in his hands, although he occasionally lacked consistency.
Fortunately, he came through with a great effort against Ohio State, despite his team falling way short of victory.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
The entire offensive line for Ohio State deserves a lot of credit for the team's success, but Ezekiel Elliott was truly incredible for the Buckeyes once again.
Brent Yarina of Big Ten Network shows just how good the running back has been over the past three games:
Elliott was simply unstoppable against Oregon, gaining big chunks of yards whenever he touched the ball. He set the tone early with a 33-yard touchdown run, then kept it going with three more scores and a national title game record of 246 rushing yards.
By the end of the game, it was almost comical to think the Ducks were capable of making a stop on the ground.
The running back has turned himself into a household name and a favorite for the 2015 Heisman Trophy, thanks to an unbelievable showing for Ohio State.
Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State
Tyvis Powell was named defensive MVP, but this doesn't do Darron Lee justice. The linebacker was a big factor in the win over Alabama with two sacks and had another huge performance against Oregon.
Charles Davis of Fox Sports gave his impression of Lee over the two games:
Meanwhile, Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee couldn't help but notice the sophomore's play:
Lee made stops in the red zone, he was active in pass rushes and could also be seen helping out in coverage. The defensive line won the battle in the trenches to slow down Oregon, but Lee was one of the key elements to the unit's success.
Considering Lee, Elliott, Joey Bosa and others are all returning next season, Ohio State is going to be a dangerous bunch.
Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.
Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com