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Calls of SEC bias on the rise
SEC Bias Football Heal WEB
Auburn offensive linesman Avery Young (56) carries the championship trophy defeating Missouri 59-42 in the Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta in this In this Dec. 7, 2013, file photo. Its fans were gloating about being the first conference to place four of the top five teams in the AP Top 25. Those who have had it up to here with the all the SEC love had a different take: #SECBias. - photo by Associated Press

SEC Bias?
    With research by STATS, The Associated Press looked at how teams rise and fall in the AP Top 25 after winning and losing conference games this season and over the past five seasons to try see if Southeastern Conference teams are gaining more and being punished less than when teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 play conference games.

The findings.

(Note: All unranked teams are considered to be in 26th place before moving into the rankings and when falling out.)

Average rise in poll spots of ranked teams after beating a conference opponent from 2009-2013
ACC — +2.0
Big Ten — +1.9
Big 12 — +1.8
Pac-12 — +1.6
Southeastern — +1.5

*through games of Oct. 18
Big 12 — +3.1
SEC — +2.8
Pac-12 — +2.3
Big Ten — +1.7
ACC — +0.4

Average drop in poll spots of ranked power-five teams after losing to a conference opponent from 2009-2013
Pac-12 — -5.3
Southeastern — -5.5
Big 12 — -6.0
Big Ten — -6.0
ACC — -6.6

*through games of Oct. 18
ACC — -4.3
Big Ten — -5.5
Big 12 — -7.0
Pac-12 — -7.5
SEC — -7.5

    Duck fans in Oregon and Buckeye backers in Ohio are united. Seminoles in the Florida panhandle and Sooners in the Oklahoma panhandle are rallying around a common cause.
    As the Southeastern Conference was trending last weekend after becoming the first league to hold four of the top five spots in the AP Top 25, fans of other conferences had an angry response: #SECBias.
    The conference that won seven of the last eight BCS championships has many fans exasperated with media coverage they feel has created an unbeatable-SEC narrative. The fear is it will lead to the first College Football Playoff being overrun by one conference.
    "AP hard at work to make sure first playoff has 4 SEC teams. #SECbias," posted to Twitter by @jAwhatley2.
    The AP Top 25 panel consists of 60 media members from all over the country. Voters are mostly chosen by state, with the number of voters from each state determined by the number of FBS teams there. Texas has the most voters with four. California, Ohio and Florida each have three.
    Regional favoritism doesn't seem to be an issue. All Ohio voters have at least three SEC teams in the top five. Two of them have four. California voters all have at least three SEC teams in the top five, including one with four.
    Jerry Palm of, who spent years analyzing the college football polls while breaking down the Bowl Championship Series standings, said he hasn't noticed an SEC bias.
    "Right now the name programs are in the SEC because they've been on a really good roll the last 10 years," he said Monday. "Preseason is where I see the bias. By the time you get to the middle part of the season, most of that stuff has worked itself out."
    Another common complaint is SEC teams get an extra boost in the rankings when they beat other SEC teams and don't fall as far when they lose in the conference.
    Mississippi State rose to No. 1 by beating three top-10 SEC teams. One of those teams, LSU, is now ranked 24th.
    Another is Texas A&M, which shot up the rankings after an opening-night romp at South Carolina, but is now unranked and on a three-game losing streak.
    The Aggies were beaten soundly by the Bulldogs and Ole Miss before losing 59-0 to Alabama on Saturday. The victory nudged the Crimson Tide up to No. 4.
    "I know how to become a top-five team," former UCLA coach and Pac-12 analyst Rick Neuheisel said. "Just play Texas A&M."