Lack Of Exposure, Not Regional Bias, Costs The Cardinal
Stanford will not be part of the College Football Playoff and sensational running back/all-around player Christian McCaffrey likely won’t win the Heisman Trophy.
A large part of the blame for this belongs to the Pac-12 Conference.
While coaches, fans, and even West Coast media point their fingers at a “regional bias,” they should instead be storming to the Pac-12 offices and demanding change. The reason is a lack of TV exposure due to the conference’s apparent lack of understanding TV exposure.
Pac-12 Network & Playing Oppositie Big Ten & ACC Championship
For starters, it puts some of its marquee team and games on a network – the Pac-12 Network – that many in Pac-12 territory don’t even get on their cable packages. It’s only on TimeWarner and a premium package at that, which means that many fans in Los Angeles can’t watch USC or UCLA games.
If fans in L.A., can’t see Pac-12 games, how the heck is the national media (and playoff committee members) supposed to see Pac-12 games?
Then – needing all the national eyeballs it can muster – it schedules its conference championship game directly opposite not one but two other conference championship games.
Both of those games were to determine playoff teams. Which do you think the national media was watching? Mainly the Big Ten where Michigan State edged Iowa on a touchdown with less than a minute remaining in the game.
Certainly, anyone watching those two teams slug it out in boring fashion would have been a lot more impressed with Stanford, which may have moved the needle a bit for the playoff committee members.
And there was also Clemson, in a dogfight with North Carolina in a game that ended with some controversy when the Tar Heels were ruled offsides after successfully recovering an on-sides kick.
So few media members (and most importantly, playoff committee members) were paying close attention to Stanford beating USC 41-22. And they certainly didn’t see McCaffrey being absolutely unstoppable in running, catching and even throwing for yards and touchdowns on his way to 461 all-purpose yards.
Earlier in the day, Heisman front-runner Derek Henry of Alabama wore down and bruised Florida’s stout defense for 189 yards. The Crimson Tide won 29-15.
And oh, the entire nation saw that one because it was the only conference championship game on at the time.
The Pac-12 needs to take a lesson from the SEC on TV and national media exposure.