If you want to see proof with your own eyes, go to the Register right now (4:18am Central): there are three articles about Iowa losing to Wisconsin, with 365, 658, and 707 words (total=1730). There is one article on Iowa State upsetting Texas, with 640 words. There is one article on UNI curbstomping Eastern Illinois, with 461 words. There is one article on Drake obliterating a 2-5 Davidson team, with 668 words.
Iowa's poor-performance home loss gets 300% more coverage than Iowa State's high-performance upset road win. Even Drake's curbstomping of a middle school B-squad gets more coverage. Except for blowout losses by Drake and UNI instead of blowout wins, there is no way a sports Sunday could be more primed for massive coverage of the Cyclones.
Would anyone still like to argue that there is no bias?
I won't try to argue about overall bias, nor the actual story lengths. But for this example, people forget that newspapers have to actually plan coverage based on what they can staff and the impact of an event (or at least the most likely impact of it) ... and readership, of course.
1. Drake was playing at home. Probably going to staff that one in DMR's backyard.
2. UNI was at home (so it was probably staffed however UNI home games typically are) and the article may've been longer because UNI is now in first place in its conference.
3. ISU was at Texas, following two huge blowouts. How much are they willing to bank on that one, sending add'l staffing in Austin?
4. Iowa was at home vs. Wisconsin — two conference contenders who were also in the top 15 of BCS. Even if ISU-Iowa fan split were 50-50 in the state, that's a high-impact game no matter which team wins.
If they had known that ISU would upset Texas and Iowa would lose, then maybe they'd have planned differently.
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Iowa State vs. George Mason (Diamond Head Classic)