Nebraska coach Bo Pelini called into question the relationship between ESPN and the SEC, from which the new SEC Network is a collaborative effort. While Pelini didn't directly allege any bias on the part of the network in favor of college football's most successful conference, his implication was clear.
"I don't think that kind of relationship is good for college football. That's just my opinion," Pelini said at his Monday news conference. "Anytime you have a relationship with somebody, you have a partnership, you are supposed to be neutral. It's pretty hard to stay neutral in that situation."
Pelini's comments implied ESPN's coverage could have the power to influence the College Football Playoff selection committee, which will decide at the end of the season which four teams will qualify for the inaugural playoff. That is likely to involve splitting hairs between a number of one-loss candidates, and Nebraska (6-1) could eventually be one of them. The comments followed a question about the strength of the SEC West, which is home to three of College Football 24/7's top five teams in the nation.
"They play good football, and I know there is some good football played in some other conferences, too," Pelini said. "It's hard to say because you just don't see, unfortunately, in this day and age, a lot of crossovers. So you don't get a lot to make that decision on, to be able to compare and contrast. You have to go off what the media says to a certain extent and what some people say."
SEC West leaders Mississippi State and Ole Miss remain unbeaten, and Auburn, Alabama and SEC East leader Georgia all have one loss.