Baseball is still number two, but here comes college football

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One of the reasons today is such a slow news day baseball-wise is because the sporting world is focused on tonight’s Alabama-Notre Dame game. It’s a focus that mirrors the increasing popularity of college football. Which, some say, may soon overtake baseball as the nation’s second most popular sport.

Baseball still has more viewers — 48% of adults watched an MLB game as opposed to 39% watching college football — but college football is gaining ground:

Other research indicates the Grand Old Game is still No. 2. But the power and pageantry of college football is grabbing younger consumers. Numbers are trending in the direction of college football. In the latest Harris Poll, 16% of adults cited baseball as their favorite sport, compared to 11% for college football. Baseball’s actually up three points from last year, when the two sports were tied at 13% while college football dropped two points. But since Harris started tracking America’s favorite sports in 1985, college football has gained 1%, while baseball has gone down 7%.

You know my take on this. Who cares? Bud Light sells more than Stone IPA and Justin Bieber sells more than Neil Young and yet I still like what I like, you like what you like and so to shall it always be with sports.

But it is interesting to see the surge of college football, especially given the public hits it has taken in recent years, what with scandals and greater reporting of its excesses and its corruption. Fans don’t care. They like the product and, our different tastes and the hand-wringing of some aside, there is no reason why they shouldn’t.

Video: Clint Frazier loses go-ahead home run to Tropicana Field speaker

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Yankees pinch-hitter Clint Frazier hit what appeared to be a go-ahead solo home run off of Vidal Nuño in the top of the ninth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Rays. Tropicana Field had other ideas. The ball struck a speaker hanging from the ceiling, then was caught in shallow left field by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

That’s a tough break.

The Yankees went on to lose 7-6 when Jake Bauers hit a walk-off solo home run off of Chasen Shreve in the bottom of the 12th inning. The Rays swept the Yankees in their three-game home series over the weekend. They’re still 14 games behind the Yankees in the AL East, however.