This is a regular feature breaking down, minute-by-minute, the content that appears on ESPN's 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter throughout the week.
Total time: 440 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 336.5
TIME DEVOTED TO INDIVIDUAL SPORTS
NFL: 118.5 minutes (35.2%) (last week: 34.5%)
MLB: 112 (33.3%) (last week: 32%)
College football: 45.25 (13.5%) (last week: 4.8%)
SportsCenter staples*: 35 (10.4%) (last week: 12.6%)
NASCAR: 9.75 (2.9%) (last week: 1.4%)
Other sports: 7.5 (2.2%) (last week: 1.9%)
NBA: 7 (2.1%) (last week: 4%)
Golf: 1.5 (0.5%) (last week: 7.7%)
NHL: 0 (0%) (last week: 1%)
College basketball: 0 (0%) (last week: 0%)
*-Includes things like the "Top 10," "Encore," "What 2 Watch 4," etc.
MOST-COVERED TEAMS BY SPORT
St. Louis Cardinals (MLB): 32.5 (9.7%)
New York Jets (NFL): 24.75 (7.4%)
South Carolina Gamecocks (college football): 10.5 (3.1%)
New York Knicks (NBA): 3.25 (1%)
MOST-MENTIONED SPORTS FIGURES
Rather than break down the amount of time a specific athlete or figure was covered, we counted how frequently names were mentioned in the transcripts from the week. The 15 most-mentioned sports people for Oct. 5-11.
Mark Sanchez: 36
Alex Rodriguez: 35
Raul Ibanez: 29
Tom Brady: 23
Tim Tebow: 22
Jayson Werth: 22
Andrew Luck: 21
Geno Smith: 21
"Infield Fly Rule:" 18
Coco Crisp: 18
Derek Jeter: 17
Prince Fielder: 16
Arian Foster: 16
Peyton Manning: 16
Buck Showalter: 15
CUMULATIVE STATISTICS: Jan. 7-Oct. 11
Total time: 17,964.5 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 13,517.25
NBA: 2,694.25 minutes (19.9%)
MLB: 2,626.25 (19.4%)
NFL: 2,539.75 (18.8%)
SportsCenter staples: 1,862 (13.8%)
Other: 1,643.75 (12.2%)
College basketball: 1058.5 (7.8%)
College football: 639 (4.7%)
NHL: 453.75 (3.4%)
Stuart Scott dumbed down the Jets discourse: The Jets were on Monday Night Football last week, meaning I'm really sorry if you happened to catch SportsCenter afterwards, which exists to be a glorified postgame show. Since the Jets played a respectable-if-unspectacular game by their standards against the then-undefeated Texans, you might have expected a fairly even split of team-specific discussion. Well, the Jets led the Texans in airtime by a 2-to-1 ratio, and nearly all of that Jets coverage was negative. Somehow, hanging tough with the best team in the NFL doesn't constitute a tough loss for the Jets, but rather a sign the team needs to bring in Tim Tebow, and that Mark Sanchez is the root of the team's problems. Just ignore those holes and injuries at all the other positions.
The night culminated with Stuart Scott setting up what had to be the show's worst discussion topic of the year. Here's how he tried to get Steve Young and Trent Dilfer to sum up Mark Sanchez's season:
Stuart Scott: "If you were to do a Broadway show on Mark Sanchez as a Jet QB this year, what kind of play would it be?"
Steve Young: "What?"
Scott: "I'm going there man, he's a Broadway guy."
Young: "Bring Arian Foster back. He can answer that one."
Poor Steve could barely contain his contempt. He's too good for that crew.
Most of the "Knicks season preview" was about a guy who's not on the Knicks: Jeremy Lin has gone to Houston—you might remember, it happened a few months ago and was discussed and debated and dissected endlessly. But ESPN spent lots of time making those Lin highlight montages, so they're going to be put to good use. There was a 3.25 minute segment previewing the Knicks season, and half of it was spent showing Lin highlights. The other half consisted of interviews with several Knicks players, largely about life without Jeremy Lin. You can sense the disappointment oozing through your coaxial cables that Linsanity—at least in a large Northeastern city—is a thing of the past. There's still hope! If the Knicks struggle the first few weeks of the season, be prepared for a season's worth of second-guessing the decision to let him go.