Friday, January 06, 2006

Illustration of ABC and ESPN's Conference Preferences

According to an analysis done by the Wall Street Journal and helpfully linked and summarized by Falblogs, Oregon is apparently the king when it comes to boosting bowl ratings. This is a fairly interesting way to measure national support. It did not escape my notice that ABC's Big Ten darlings, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, were numbers three, six, and eight in the rankings, higher than any other SEC team. Meanwhile, Georgia, LSU, Arkansas, and Tennessee were all in the nether regions of the rankings, groping around unsuccessfully for viewers. Anyway, I have to think that there's some noise in the machine here, since the next Oregon or Washington t-shirt I see strolling down Peachtree Street will be the first. The most likely flaw in the reasoning is that the sample size is relatively low, so one or two minor bowl games in which the Ducks or Huskies outpaced their predecessors (or maybe they were just fortunate in being drawn against teams with big TV markets) could skew the results. Still, the rankings did confirm my sense that the reason why Gameday and the John Saunders trio give so much love to the Big Ten relative to the SEC is the fact that they're playing to their biggest audience. (This, of course, doesn't make the bias any easier to take, but it does provide an explanation.)


Sean said...

It’s obvious that people are tuning in to see what new depths Nike can take college football apparel to.

Michael said...

Were BYU's old unis by Nike? If so, then I'd be interested to see what their bowl ratings were.

I think that Oregon is a partner with Nike in taking their uniforms into the Rollerball arena. That's a program that's simply desperate for attention.

Caelus said...

Remind me to wear my Washington Husky shirt rather than my Michigan Wolverine shirt it/when we get to meet each other in downtown Atlanta.

I definitely agree that Oregon unis are the ugliest in NCAA history. Great fans in Eugene though, as I experienced when I went there to watch them play my Michigan Wolverines in 2002(?).

Michael said...

I've been bitter towards Oregon ever since that 2003 game. I don't know why, but it just really annoyed me. Maybe it was the fact that the Ducks promptly collapsed after the win, which made it the worst kind of defeat, a Michigan State-style "we're getting up for the big-name program and then we're going to tank the rest of the season" special.