Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is The Coaches' Top 25 Poll Dead?

Great post by Matt Hinton synthesizing the discussion around Spurrier's all-SEC ballot and its impact on the Coaches' Top 25 poll ballots, which we all know are corrupt to the core -- either filled out by coaches with nothing but massive conflicts-of-interest that obliterate any credibility they may have... or simply not filled out by coaches at all, but rather by assistant SIDs.

Because the Coaches' poll is part of the BCS formula, it is important. (That's why maintaining its transparency was so important.)

But let's not let the media -- who are tap-dancing on the Coaches' poll grave -- off so easily.

The AP Top 25 is nearly as corrupt as the coaches' version, wracked by regional (certainly school-specific) biases; a lack of transparency; a lack of accountability; and at least one other thing that we kill the coaches for but rarely see pointed out about the AP voters: If they are doing their day job of following their specific team on a Saturday -- watching the game, getting quotes, filing their story, etc -- how do they possibly consume enough football to make an educated vote?

(There is another consideration: No matter what the "BCS" stands for, an AP national title still means something important. Just ask USC if they think they were "national champs" in 2003. And you get the sense that AP voters would like nothing more than to have an excuse to exercise their importance by splitting the title at the earliest available opportunity.)

That's one reason I am such a huge fan of the BlogPoll, of which I am a voting member: (1) While the roster of participants is large, there is some semblance of criteria by administrator Brian Cook (whose own rep is unimpeachable); (2) there is complete transparency -- not only can you see what a voter did on their ballot, but most voters encourage their readers to make an argument for changing the ballot; (3) I would argue that most BlogPollsters consume more college football on a Saturday than their AP counterparts.

Is it a BlogPoll fail that they/we ended up with Florida as our national champ, rather than Utah? If we, as a group, had sincerely picked the Utes, that would have been incredible. But as we all fill out our ballots with some semblance of integrity, it simply didn't register to "game" it by voting for Utah.

That was a couple of AP pollsters' jobs, apparently.

-- D.S.

1 comment:

Go Tigers! said...

In the scheme of things does a preseason all conference ballot mean anything? I am not saying SIDs don't vote for their coaches in the Coaches Poll, but a preseason all conference team is worthless.