Monday, September 26, 2005

Another thought on Gameday

Not ready to go all out corporate conspiracy theorist yet, but the more I think about it, the more it seems they really focus on the Big Ten. The ACC, SEC, Big XII and Pac 10 seem to get a normal amount of coverage. But the Big 10 seems to dominate coverage, mostly because of Big Ten teams in big games early, and the fact that the constant Notre Dame coverage has overlapped with their Big Ten opponents. Every week seems to have three or four segments on the Big Ten, plus the promotions of the noon games on ESPN and ESPN2. Half the talking heads who sit at the main table are Big Ten guys. Perhaps the producers know they have huge ratings in the Midwest and they're just giving the people what they want. Perhaps they know promotion of the teams their parent company shows 4 or 5 games is, well, financially advantageous.

In any event, they talk about the Big Ten a lot. And all those words spilled on the Big Ten take away from any coverage of the smaller conferences at all. The Big East has barely had one word said on its behalf, and while it isn't as good a conference as before, it's still a BCS conference and still covers some major media markets. The MWC deserves much more coverage, as it should have a really good race with maybe 4 teams fighting for the title. Conference USA has some really talented players in it and there are plenty of human interest stories. While none of the mid-major conferences really have a shot at a BCS invitation this year, there are still a lot of fans of those teams watching and conference crowns still mean a lot.

Perhaps the weeknight games that showcase the best of the mid-majors give no reason to cover them on Saturday. But I think the smaller conferences deserve some more coverage, and the Big Ten fluffing has probably gone too far.