There have been quite a few cases of ESPN (and other outlets) identifying the wrong people or teams on graphics, and this is perhaps particularly bad when it comes to mixing up a college team with one of their in-state rivals ahead of a high-profile game. ESPN did that in 2016, subbing in the Michigan State Spartans for the Michigan Wolverines on a SportsCenter graphic ahead of the Ohio State-Michigan game, and they did it again this year, subbing in the Oklahoma Sooners (who already played in the Alamo Bowl) for the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a Fiesta Bowl preview graphic Friday. And, unsurprisingly, that drew some criticism:
Getting this little thing correct takes next to no effort. https://t.co/qfKddyyWw3
— Cade Webb (@cadewebb) December 31, 2021
Didn’t think I’d need to clarify this – Oklahoma is not actually playing in the Fiesta Bowl.
— Christopher Oven (@Chris_Oven) December 31, 2021
Everyone makes mistakes, including us, but subbing out a school for an in-state rival is a bad one. Especially on a promo graphic for a bowl you’re airing. That’s some Maxwell Smart-level work.