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The East Coast Bias

Depending on your point of view it is easy to rationalize for or against an East Coast Bias (ECB).  Some people see it as a slant towards east coast teams while others see it as a lack of interest in anything west of the Mississippi. It is viewed in many ways, analysts who may have played or coached in conferences other than the Pac-10, TV contracts with eastern-based conferences and time zone.

Nestor over at Bruins Nation sees the ECB as the way the 4-letter network hires its analysts. On the basketball side he has a fair point. Dick Vitale, Digger Phelps and Jay Bilas all lean towards the east coast. Yes, ESPN does have Steve Lavin but his credibility within BN is non-existent at best. He does have Pac-10 experience, though not as a winner. Outside of UCLA and Washington recently there really hasn't been a consistent basketball presence within the Pac-10. Yes there have been flashes of brilliance at times but nothing of substance.

On the football side it is a little more of the flavor of the month.  Obviously USC has been the horse they rode until the Rose Bowl. Now it looks like Notre Dame will get the special treatment. Now part of this is the Pac-10's fault. They have always gone to the beat of their own drum as was discussed here and here.

So where does this leave us?  

Well, for many years Pac-10 FB was USC a little UCLA and everyone else. The SEC, Big East, Big 10 and the old Big 8 were always the teams we saw on TV growing up. With USC and UCLA starting "late" games on the coast, the airwaves were filled with games with teams from the other conferences. I remember when New Years Day was CFB morning, noon and night so you saw all the great games. The Rose Bowl was always USC or UCLA and either tOSU or Michigan. The Orange Bowl always seemed to be OU and Nebraska and the Sugar Bowl was always the one with those southern schools.

Remember when you saw these all on the same day and when they meant something!

For years the conferences that I mentioned above always seemed to play the tougher games. The old Pac-8, then Pac-10 just didn't seem to be as competitive. Case in point; Last year I was at the Swamp for the UF vs. Tenn. game. Of course I wore my USC gear, against the advice of those who we were with, and I heard the constant trash talking of people saying that the "Pac-10 wasn't a real conference". That's the mindset of a lot of people who don't follow the Pac-10.  Of course the Pac-10 has really turned it on over the past few years but old habits die-hard.

TV contracts also hurt the Pac-10 because they don't have a contract with ESPN. Try as I might but I couldn't find the story that I heard about discussing why the Pac-10 didn't sign with ESPN for Football. If the Pac-10 doesn't get on the big boys circuit instead of having a majority of their games on regional telecasts. They will have a hard time getting the exposure that will dispel the thought process that currently plagues the Pac-10 That's where the Time Zone issue hurts them. ESPN covers their games nationally. Fox Sports West is just that, West.  If the Pac-10 could get on with ESPN the would have greater exposure to some of their non marquee games thus letting the rest of country see just how far the Pac-10 has come.

Kyle's posts on Dawg Sports here and here outlines his reasons against the ECB, which are somewhat in line with mine. There is an East Coast Bias, but it is more out of ignorance and convenience.