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Proving Media Bias Using Bowl Picks?

+15 HS
I'm Ron Burgundy's picture
October 11, 2019 at 11:27am


Everyone's favorite hot button issue in college football - is the media biased?  If so, how can you really prove that?  I think often times, members of the media are in denial or just unaware that a bias has crept into their thought process.  It becomes universally accepted and is a form of group think.

The "Dennis Dodd slid into my DMs" thread got me thinking on this, and I had an idea.  And this is where I need some help, because I'm having trouble compiling the data.  But what if someone was able to compile the actual bowl results of our two favorite conferences, the B1G and the SEC, and then compare that against the picks of people like Dennis Dodd, Mark Schlabach or any other ESPN columnist, Pat Forde, Clay Travis.  Getting the actual results is quite easy.  I think in our modern CFP age it makes sense to start at 2014, getting 5 years of data.

So here is what actually has happened in the last 5 years:

2018 - 5-4
2017 - 7-1
2016 - 3-7
2015 - 5-5
2014 - 6-5

Total - 26-22 (.542)
CFP/NY6 - 9-6 (.600)

2018 - 6-6
2017 - 4-5
2016 - 6-7
2015 - 9-2
2014 - 7-5

Total - 32-25 (.561)
CFP/NY6 - 9-9 (.500)

Now the difficult part, finding the media's bowl picks over that same time span.  My premise quickly falls apart if some of the names mentioned above don't actually post picks each year, but I feel like most of them do. I've found spotty data here and there, but not enough to put anything together.

If you see where I'm going with this, I have an expectation that across the board (and especially at favorite whipping boy networks ESPN and CBS) they picked the SEC to win at a higher rate than they actually did.  And subsequently picked the B1G to win at a lower rate than they did.

Now, I get it, I merely have a theory here versus the facts.  But that is the first point of the thread.  To see if anyone has any internet archive powers to track down some these years old bowl picks.

But what if the results show that the media picked the SEC to win 65-70% of their bowl matchups?  And the B1G to win 40-45%?  When the actual results were 56% and 54% respectively.  I think that clearly demonstrates that members of the college football media think the SEC is better than what it actually is.  And they also think the B1G is worse than what it is.

Any merit to this endeavor?  I will pre-emptively counter the resident media apologists on this site by saying this is not about the bowl results themselves, and which conference is better in real life.  We all understand bowl games can have varied levels of interest for the teams involved, mismatches, etc. Often referred to as "meaningless" by fans and media.  This is about proving with actual data, that the media has an inflated view of the SEC and a deflated view of the B1G.  It'd be hard to argue against if the numbers are anywhere near the estimates I put above.

Thank you for reading this long and uninformative forum post based merely on conjecture at this point.

This is a forum post from a site member. It does not represent the views of Eleven Warriors unless otherwise noted.

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