Friday, September 24, 2004

Network exec explains bias formula

There's an piece about TV and college football that finally puts some structure around media bias and why USC is the darling of AP writers, broadcasters and the Average Joe football fan.

According to Loren Matthews, who's in charge of ABC's college football programming, the TV guys root for teams who have:

• Broad national appeal
• A major TV market
• Sensational individual players

When a team that meets those criteria starts winning, Katie bar the door ... we've got a runaway smash!

Or, as Matthews says of USC: "When I say my prayers at night, I include USC in them. But it wasn't too long ago that I didn't have much interest in USC. We're with them win or tie."

Hmm. The guy in charge of football programming at the network that carries BCS games prays for USC to win? Interesting.

That explains why last year's Rose Bowl (TV-perfect USC vs. Broad National Appeal, Decent-Sized Market Michigan) was given more play by ABC than the Sugar Bowl (Broad National Hatred, Small Market Oklahoma vs. No National Appeal, Small Market LSU), where the actual national title was decided.

I'm glad we now have a BCS-type formula to apply to college football bias (National Appeal x TV Market Size x Star Power x Winning Percentage).

So here's this week's Top 25 teams, based on the Cap'n Ken Bias Calculation Standings (CK-BCS):

1. USC
2. Miami (FL)
3. Ohio State
4. Virginia
5. California
6. Texas
7. Georgia
8. Michigan
9. Florida State
10. Oklahoma
11. Tennessee
12. Florida
13. Fresno State
14. Auburn
15. Maryland
16. West Virginia
17. Utah
18. Purdue
19. Wisconsin
20. LSU
21. Arizona State
22. Minnesota
23. Oklahoma State
24. Louisville
25. Boise State

The ESPN piece (it's old, but just came through my RSS reader this morning).


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