The last two weeks of data for College GameDay On The Clock has shown a decided advantage for SEC coverage on the show, which has struck a chord in the current debate about ESPN’s SEC ties.
Last Saturday, College GameDay headed to Big Ten country, East Lansing, Michigan, for #14 Ohio State vs #8 Michigan State. The day featured six matchups between Top 25 teams: two in the Big 12, two in the Pac-12, one in the Big Ten, and one in the SEC–Alabama vs. LSU–while Ole Miss and Mississippi State took on teams with a combined two paragraphs on Wikipedia, and Auburn faced unranked Texas A&M as three touchdown favorites. Would the five other top 25 matchups outside the SEC be enough to equalize coverage on GameDay and see one of those conferences pass the league?
The SEC still had the advantage this week, though at a greatly reduced clip than they have the last two weeks.
SEC – 24:08
Big 12 – 20:45
Big 10 – 19:08
*Pac 12 – 17:39
ACC – 12:35
*Independents – 6:05
CUSA – 0:20
WAC – 0:10
* Includes Arizona State-Notre Dame non-conference matchup
Over the last three weeks, the SEC has received significantly more coverage over the other conferences (shown as a percentage of airtime):
Over 40% of College GameDay airtime the last 3 weeks has been dedicated to the SEC. The other 4 power conferences have received 52% combined.
In the past three weeks, there have been 13 games between ranked teams. The SEC has featured a total of three ranked matchups, yet commanded 41% of the airtime. In comparison, the Pac-12 has had six such matchups and generated nearly three times less airtime and sits behind the Big 10 and Big 12.
Ohio State-Michigan State at the host site did receive the most airtime of any single matchup this week (17:51), while LSU-Alabama, with a cumulative total of 15:55, received only slightly less airtime than the pair of Pac-12 Top 25 matchups (16:05). This past week’s Top 10 matchup between Arizona State and Notre Dame got 11:35 of coverage (which included a player feature on Arizona State’s DJ Foster). The #5 vs. #17 Oregon-Utah game received 4:30 of coverage.
With four Top 15 teams each in action Saturday, the Big 12 also received less cumulative coverage than the SEC. The #6 TCU vs. #7 Kansas game generated 14:20 of airtime and the game between #12 Baylor and #15 Oklahoma received 6:25.
This week, GameDay returns to an SEC location for the 6th time in 8 weeks for #1 Mississippi State vs #4 Alabama. While playoff rankings have not yet come out for this week, the SEC looks to have two matchups between ranked opponents, while the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 will likely each have one.