Sunday, October 21, 2007

Biased Reporting

I saw some reporting yesterday that would make Fox News blush, but I'm not talking about the election. Last night, on ESPN's college football wrap-up, one of the commentators said something about USC being scary, now that it's getting healthy. By itself, that would be an innocuous comment, but combined with some of the commentary on ESPN's College Gameday, and we see reporting that could have a real effect on the final college polls.

On the morning show, ESPN's college football experts talked about the "injury bug affecting the PAC 10, especially Oregon." I have no idea how many injuries any PAC-10 teams have, especially Oregon, but there's a not-so-subtle message behind the comment -- in a season in which several one loss teams are likely to be vying for a spot in the BCS championship game, some PAC 10 teams, especially Oregon, have a legitimate excuse for their one loss. Still, by itself, the segment wouldn't have been particularly objectionable.

However, earlier in the show, Lee Corso called LSU's vaunted defense "a fraud." He gave some statistics to back his assertion, but he didn't say anything, not a single thing, about injuries. Chris Fowler listed the names of LSU defenders that need to play harder and included Marlon Favorite. Of course, he left out Charles Alexander --Charles Alexander is out for the season. That's why Favorite is starting instead of splitting time. There was also a glaring omission from the discussion of the Kentucky game:
At least five LSU players were injured in the Tigers' 43-37, triple-overtime loss at Kentucky on Saturday. Practice is usually closed to the media on Monday, but Miles chose to close it Tuesday and Wednesday.

Among the injured are cornerback Chevis Jackson, center Brett Helms, defensive end Kirston Pittman, running back Jacob Hester and safety Craig Steltz.

Of course, last night's Auburn game was Early Doucet's first game, and Matt Flynn's first healthy game, since the season opener. I guess injuries are an excuse for Pacific Coast teams but not Gulf Coast teams.

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