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COMMENTARY : Coaches aren’t calling right plays for poll


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Interesting article on the coaches poll...


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COMMENTARY : Coaches aren’t calling right plays for poll

BY JOHN LINDSAY SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It’s time for college football to get rid of the coaches’ poll.

The idea of coaches voting each week seemed like a good one 25 years ago when USA Today hatched it. See, the coaches could show those know-it-all writers and broadcasters in The Associated Press poll exactly how the “experts†ranked teams.

Of course, the world was simpler in 1982. Nobody really questioned how coaches who were coaching games on Saturdays would see the other teams playing or have any idea if Southern California was really better than Alabama.

It worked OK for a while. Then three times from 1990-1997, the coaches’ poll split from the AP in awarding national titles. It was no coincidence that the three schools the coaches picked (Georgia Tech over Colorado in 1990, Washington over Miami in 1991 and Nebraska over Michigan in 1997 ) were led by old-school, veteran coaches (Bobby Ross, Don James and Tom Osborne ) known to be popular among their fellow brethren.

And it got worse in the new millennium. The coaches eagerly bought in to the Bowl Championship Series cartel, which helped produce nonleague champions Nebraska and Oklahoma in national title games in 2001 and 2003 respectively. AP voters thumbed their noses at the coaches and BCS and awarded USC as No. 1 in 2003 over BCS champ LSU.

Then Texas Coach Mack Brown really showed us how ugly things could get. In 2004, Brown allegedly lobbied his fellow coaches to vote Texas higher in the final poll so that the Longhorns could edge California and get into a BCS bowl. Kansas Coach Mark Mangino hinted of the subterfuge when Texas edged Kansas in a late-season game that featured a couple of horrendous calls in Texas’ favor.

And who can forget last year, when the coaches played a key role in getting Florida into the BCS title game over Michigan. Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel abstained from voting because in essence he’d be helping select whom the top-ranked Buckeyes would play for the championship.

However, believe it or not, we’d have put up with it all. Then came the last straw. The coaching Neanderthals refused to allow Appalachian State, a Football Championship Subdivision school, to be considered for their poll. Appalachian State has its own poll, the coaches said.

We say it’s another case of the coaches protecting their own. Why give Appalachian State some votes when some other good-old boy’s school needs them. A look at this week’s coaches’ poll shows how whacked out the system is.

Teams 21-24 (Oregon, Hawaii, South Carolina and Tennessee ) seem all right. But why Georgia at No. 25 ? After Saturday’s loss at home to South Carolina, the Bulldogs are 5-5 in their past 10 games since last year. This is one of the best 25 teams in the land ?

And how about the others receiving votes ? Auburn (1-1 ) got more votes than South Florida (2-0 ), despite the Bulls’ victory at Auburn on Saturday night. After getting throttled 51-13 at Oklahoma, Miami got three votes. How is that possible ? With victories over powerhouses Villanova and Florida International, Maryland got two votes. What ?

Meanwhile in the AP poll, Appalachian State got 19 votes, good enough for 33 rd place. You can make a strong case that the five schools below them (Cincinnati, Florida State, Iowa, Kansas and Purdue ) would have a hard time beating Appalachian State.

And if the big boys put Appalachian State in their place, so what ? What’s wrong with giving a plucky Football Championship Subdivision school a little credit in a weekly popularity contest ?

It’s long been an open secret that most coaches have a hard time filling out their ballots. Some have been known to simply hand their ballots off to the sports information director.

We all know the role that polls play in the BCS is a blight on college football. But when coaches can’t even find it in themselves to give a pat on the back to a little guy, that’s enough.

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I agree with the article's sentiment, but:

However, believe it or not, we’d have put up with it all. Then came the last straw. The coaching Neanderthals refused to allow Appalachian State, a Football Championship Subdivision school, to be considered for their poll. Appalachian State has its own poll, the coaches said.

That by no means is a shortcoming of the coaches' poll. It's correct. They do have their own poll. Would you include a high-achieving AAA baseball club among the MLB standings?

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After all the media scrutiny, I think the coach's poll will get it right next week. We should be in the polls. I know the AP will have us in the top 25.

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Appalachian State should not be on the polls for more than one week.  How can you take away votes from teams that play a full I-A schedule and are challenged week after week? It was a great win but the media needs to move on.

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Appalachian State should not be on the polls for more than one week.  How can you take away votes from teams that play a full I-A schedule and are challenged week after week? It was a great win but the media needs to move on.

Don Toro is really on the mark here. Giving a Div 1-AA school votes is a great 'feel good" idea, until you realize that it might take away votes from deserving schools who have no playoff at all. Why does this matter? had USF been ranked at @25 this week, maybe they are ranked today. If they are already ranked...and play WVU in two weeks and win..then voters will say "well..they were ranked already..beat a top 5 school..they definitely deserve to jump into the high teens.". But in the current situation, being unranked...if we win against WVU the same voter may say "well they weren't even ranked before the game....so maybe I'll get them into the poll at #19 or #20 for now." I don't think it's exagerating to say it can be a swing of almost 10 places. And for up and coming fan bases like ours...perception is HUGE for the momentum of the program.

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More importantly... I don't know how anyone could vote for App State after the way Oregon made Michigan look.

So, Big Blue loses to I-AA school and it's big news... but then they lose to the Ducks, and it's obvious to many that Michigan just isn't that good, so maybe App State's win wasn't really that big.

I think a few voters -- including a rumor that one who put App State at #13 -- were "beer goggling" on this one.

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IMO, the hating on App. State is beneath us.  BTW, USF and App. State have played the same number of Div. !A teams to this point . . . 1.

Our ire should be directed against the good-ol-boy coaches that dismiss the big east as inferior and dismiss USF out of their own ignorance of our program.

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i think something huge will happen one day and at that time the whole system will be redone and we will have a playoff system

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I joked about it on Saturday saying Appy State's win wasn't that big after what Oregon did to UM.  But its true.  It absolutely takes something away from Appy State's performance.  If I had a vote, I'd vote Appy State in for that week, but the following week after Oregon destroyed Michigan, I'd take them off.  Thats just me.

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