Well there you have it folks. The great and powerful wizard has spoken! The Top 4 teams (currently) worthy of the first ever college football playoff have been selected. All hail the grand committee who spent hours, days, weeks deliberating intensely to determine who were the best teams in college football, and then finally came to their conclusions by…. going with the teams ESPN told them were best. [Cue FAIL music]
We showed you last week how, statistically, the SEC teams at the top actually play weaker teams… teams with inflated records from beating others who are pitiful. In comparisons to other conferences, the SEC just plays lesser competition overall. That’s statistics folks. Dispute it all you want, but stats don’t lie.
Clearly such common sense stats don’t go into things like computer polls and the bullshit Sagarin ratings, which continue to operate with a built-in “SEC is best, so all wins over an SEC opponent carry more weighted value” bias. Why else do you think it was so easy for the BCS for so many years to perpetuate this bias? Need proof? Look at last year’s Miami Hurricane squad. A mediocre, average team, who was vastly overrated last year in early October. And why were they thrust into the Top Ten from out of nowhere? For beating an SEC team (Florida), causing the computers to have a digital orgasm. Forget that UF was ultimately a 4-8 team that even lost to an FCS opponent. What matters is the weight carried by these computers for any SEC victory.
Sadly, humans are no better than these computers. Or at least the humans employed by ESPN and other wannabe media journalists who hang on ESPN’s every last word are no better. People have a hard time accepting the notion that ESPN is financially invested in the success of the SEC because, oh I don’t know, THEY OWN THE SEC NETWORK!!!
Just how much does ESPN have invested in the SEC?
– The ESPN-SEC contract that runs till 2034 isn’t just the longest sports rights deal, it’s the longest deal in all of television.
– In 2008, ESPN signed a 15 year, $2.25 billion dollar deal with the SEC.
– This year, ESPN launched the SEC Network and the league’s revenue (and ESPN’s financial investment) is bound to skyrocket. ESPN owns the SEC Network and splits the profit with the SEC 50/50.
– ESPN worked directly with each individual school in the SEC to upgrade their broadcast facilities and capabilities for the SEC Network.
– ESPN runs the official website of the SEC – SECSports.com. On the homepage of the official website of the SEC, you’ll see links to ESPN.com, the SEC Network, and even The Paul Finebaum Show.
These factors go above and beyond any relationship that ESPN has with a league or conference, perhaps only outside the Longhorn Network and the University of Texas. ESPN may have relationships with the other conferences in college football, but nowhere near to this extent where they own a network and promote Finebaum on the league website.
The wind always blows hardest at the top of the mountain. If these skeptical questions of ESPN’s ability to balance journalism and business with the SEC are too cumbersome for them, then ESPN should be more than happy to trade places with Fox Sports. Although many of these same questions can and should be asked of that network, Fox’s 51% ownership of the Big Ten Network doesn’t draw near the same attention as the SEC-ESPN relationship because Fox is largely an afterthought in college football. If ESPN wants to cede their monopoly to get rid of these pesky allegations of bias, so be it.
It’s funny how ESPN only seems to admit to having a massive amount of money and power and influence when it’s convenient to boast about it.
Chris Fowler decided on Saturday’s CollegeGameday broadcast to go on a rant professing this bias was nonexistent, and 82% of their viewers who voted online believing it to be true are “stupid and uninformed.” That’s right folks, ESPN basically just told you all that you are stupid if you are not ESPN-following sheeple from the southeastern U.S. Take a moment to digest the irony of that one.
A member of our ExposedArmy gave us this little nugget of info about that GameDay broadcast by the way. Imagine that. As Fowler was yelling at us that there was no bias, his broadcast was over 1/3 dedicated solely to the “greatness” and “depth” of the almighty SEC. Hey Fowler… I hope you can get some good medical care for that Foot-In-Mouth disease of yours…
Fowler’s antics have brought truth seekers out in droves this week. For once, our little blog site isn’t looking so paranoid and crazy after all. The very things we have been professing about ESPN and the lamestream media, and exposing about the SEC, are starting to be reported by others who dare to break out of their hypnotic ESPN-induced SEC trance. In fact, one fed up media blogger had this to say about Fowler’s ignorant rant:
If anyone’s uninformed in this case, it’s Fowler. Regardless of how “impartial” he claims ESPN is, the network does have a vested interest in the SEC’s success. If he’d read Bart’s article last week, he would have seen how Bo Pelini’s comments about the unholy alliance between the SEC and ESPN were 100 percent accurate, and why it might not even matter in the end.
More importantly, Mr. Fowler fails to recognize that most college football fans do think that the four-letter network is biased in favor of the SEC. In fact, an ESPN poll conducted after Pelini’s comments, indicated that 81.6 percent of the respondents thought the network was biased in favor of the SEC.
That number would be even higher if the poll were conducted today after Brent Musburger’s “Somebody says we’ve got SEC bias, deal with it they’re the best.”
Much like a neutered dog, he simply doesn’t get it. Bias perceived is bias achieved. As long as viewers continue to see it that way, the network has a problem. Remember, the first rule in running a successful business is that the customer is always right.
What sickens me most about his comments is that they’re extremely unprofessional. Even the greatest journalist in history will receive his/her share of criticism over time. When that happens, it’s on the individual author to respond with facts to support his or her opinion. Merely saying that people who feel differently are stupid and uninformed does not fall into this category. While that type of behavior is acceptable for a three-year old who didn’t get a second scoop of ice cream, it’s simply not okay for a professional broadcaster, whose job is to support his opinion with facts and evidence.
Folks, we’ve been preaching about this for a year and a half now. Numerous blog articles showing facts, stats, and evidence that the SEC is overrated and that ESPN, mainstream media, and the NCAA are aiding the hype machine. Anyone with common sense knows that great football is played all over the U.S., and the greatness of SEC teams is subjective based on preseason poll overratings that allowed teams to leapfrog each other throughout the season into the top ten until it’s saturated with these teams. And ESPN only helps with their constant pumping of their financial interests, as noted here:
Why is this a conversation special to college football and the ESPN/SEC relationship? As we’ve stated numerous times before, FBS college football is unique in that it is the only sport whose champion is decided mostly off the field. This year, it will be decided by a committee picking four teams who get to play in the playoff. In other sports, every team gets an opportunity to compete for a title on the field. Not so in big-time college football. As you can see in this week’s polls, one-loss Arizona and one-loss Alabama are not created equal. In any other sport, Arizona would have an opportunity to prove themselves and win a title on the field in a tournament or expanded playoff. In college football, they have to depend on a group of people declaring their worthiness.
In that reality, perception and narrative have supreme importance. This is where ESPN’s influence and coverage of the sport takes on extra meaning. If ESPN trumpets the horn of the SEC West week after week and ignores the Pac 12 South, it has a real and tangible impact. If ESPN over-covers the NFC East or AL East, it has no actual impact on outcomes in the sport.
A good number of these SEC Fanboy nitwits do not seem to understand why we think the college football playoff committee is biased. This has nothing to do with their affiliations to programs they graduated from. We have often poked fun at the fact that the chair of the committee is the athletic director for Arkansas. But deep down we know this really has nothing at all to do with how these teams are going to be selected. It has to do with one thing and one thing only. The almighty dollar. You see, ESPN is pumping up the SEC night and day, 24/7, 7 days a week. They do this because they know that success from the SEC is going to bring them more profit in their investment because it increases the demand in their precious SEC network. In turn, the college football playoff committee knows that teams that have a greater amount of coverage in the media are going to draw more of attention and more interest in the games, hence the college football playoff becomes a much more lucrative venture for, you guessed it, the NCAA. Like Bruce Willis’ character lieut. John McClane exclaimed when he realized the truth in “Die Hard”… This whole thing is about a goddamn heist??
Yes, sir, it is. And ESPN, the SEC and the NCAA are all the ones raking it in, getting rich off you stupid sheeple.
Of all the media sources finally on board with our 18 month mission to expose ESPN and the overrating of the SEC, the biggest has to be this week’s source- Rolling Stone Magazine. Anyone familiar with history knows Rolling Stone doesn’t just cover music. They also go after some of the biggest stories and scandals that mainstream media fears to touch. This week they released a scathing report on the SEC Bias that exists within ESPN and how it most certainly WILL impact the work of the College Football Playoff Committee:
Despite the advent this year of a playoff, the polls matter, perhaps as much as ever. The Playoff Selection Committee’s rankings are formulated by a membership whose decisions will undoubtedly be based to some degree on polls determined by lazy voters who are influenced by media coverage of the sport – coverage that is dominated by ESPN. Could a two-loss SEC team make the playoff?
Last week on The Experts, ESPN U’s roundtable of college football commentators, the question was posed, “Could a two-loss SEC team make the playoff?” Mike Bellotti’s circular defense of his “yes” answer had nothing to do with X’s, O’s or anything remotely resembling a reasoned case for inclusion. In a response that evoked Nigel Tufnel’s rationalization of amplifiers that go up to 11, Bellotti simply said, “They have four teams in the top five.” Teams that ESPN, through its determined campaigning, has helped place there…
Where No. 3 Ole Miss’ loss on Saturday might ordinarily represent a setback to such a cause, ESPN has created such an incestuous bubble of hype that there can be no arguing when these teams lose. “Alabama lost, but it was to Ole Miss…Ole Miss lost, but it was to LSU…LSU lost, but it was to Auburn… Auburn lost, but it was to Mississippi State.”…
Fowler further acknowledged the controversy during GameDay on Saturday, weirdly breaking the fourth wall to declare “I get defensive when stupid, uninformed stuff gets repeated again and again, and people all over the world think that somehow we have a stake in having three teams from [the SEC] get in [the playoff].”
Let’s forget that ESPN has built a $50 billion sportszilla by repeating stupid, uninformed stuff again and again – it does have a stake in placing as many teams in the playoff as possible. Fowler admitted as much during the same 70-second screed. Of the current power imbalance in college football that favors the SEC he said, as if to refute ESPN’s aforementioned stake, “That’s great for the SEC…That’s great for the SEC Network…” But the SEC Network is ESPN. Even defenses of the network end up making the case against it.
We really would encourage everyone to read the Rolling Stone article referenced above in its entirety. We can’t lie, our entire SEC Exposed staff felt pretty good about this when we saw it released. For over 18 months we have had one mission… to expose the fraud that was ruining college football. We aren’t delusional. We are well aware that some of the best teams in the nation happen to be in the SEC conference. But NOT all of the best teams in the nation are in the SEC, and NOT all of the SEC is best in the nation. They are overrated, and they are being overrated for a purpose. SEC Homers will never believe us, and frankly we don’t care. We just wanted this problem to become acknowledged publicly because, quite frankly, we believe it is destroying college football. And now people are paying attention. Bob Stoops is no longer standing alone preaching to the masses. He is now joined by Bo Pellini and Jimbo Fisher. And before long every non-SEC coach in college football may join every non-SEC fan in college football and demand an end to ESPN’s perceived tyranny over a sport that all of us love. Thank you Rolling Stone Magazine for having more balls than the New York Times, USA Today, and the Washington Post combined to help us get this truth out there!
College GameDay is in Morgantown for the Big 12 showdown between TCU and West Virginia. Once again we urge fans of both teams attending to let ESPN know how you feel about their SEC bias!
Enjoy the games college football fans!