The East Coast Bias

There has long been an assumption held by those of us on the Best Coast that sports media has a favoritism for eastern and central teams (whether conscious or not). This largely affects college teams and the polls. Whether it’s because they don’t have time to watch late night West Coast games or they truly believe that there is something lacking out west, we won’t know. What we can reasonably assume is that something is amiss.

In terms of the polls, it can be deduced that there is some bias too. While the Pac-12 is represented by five teams, their ranks are generally unimpressive. UCLA might be the one that has the most room to complain given they sit outside the Top 15 with their only losses to now #17 Utah and now #4 Oregon. Meanwhile, Florida State and Alabama have not beaten anyone of substance. Alabama’s only win against a currently ranked opponent is #23 West Virginia. the Selection Committee chairman, Jeff Long, even admitted Alabama’s ranking has been due to the eye test. Florida State has only squeaked by their ranked opponents this year, and two of the three have spent most of the season outside of the Top 25 (Louisville and Clemson).

Those of you who scoff at the idea may say, “Aren’t you forgetting that Mariota is one of the frontrunners for the Heisman this year?” That’s true, and he began the season as favorite. Last year, though, Mariota had an amazing year with 40 total touchdowns, over 4000 yards, and only four turnovers and the man wasn’t even invited to the Heisman ceremony in New York. Not only that, he wasn’t even in the top ten for voting (Kadeem Carey was, but placed 10th).

This isn’t the most compelling argument, but I’m trying to keep this one short and sweet. The fact is that the West Coast fans will think their teams are given a tougher measuring stick than those who have reasonable game times. I’m convinced that it exists based on what I’ve seen over the years, but you may feel differently.

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