Last week it was revealed that one football coach from the SEC did not vote for Tim Tebow for the conference’s preseason All-SEC team. After a few days of much-too-intense investigating, it was determined that South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier was the one who did not vote for Tebow. As you might imagine, Gator Nation tore Spurrier apart.
This story is much larger than a ridiculous, meaningless preseason team. Who even cares about the All-SEC preseason team? The problem is that Spurrier did not even place the vote himself. Spurrier admitted that South Carolina Director of Football Operations Jamie Speronis actually completed the All-SEC ballot for him.
In response to the media uproar, Spurrier requested that the conference retroactively change his vote for preseason All-SEC quarterback to Tebow.
That’s fine, but here is the problem: college coaches around the country do the exact same thing in regards to the weekly USA TODAY Coaches’ Poll.
The Coaches’ Poll is made up of about sixty coaches. Each week these coaches vote for their top 25 teams. The lists are combined to create the Coaches’ Poll, which is one of the components in the BCS rankings. Many coaches do not fill out these polls, the same way that Spurrier did not create his own SEC preseason team.
The fact that college coaches are expected to create Top 25 lists is silly. The fact that these lists are actually used to decide who plays for the national championship is simply asinine. However, this is the way the system currently works. Knowing that, the least these coaches could do is take it seriously. Again, preseason All-Conference ballots are nonsense, but they are a reminder that coaches routinely ask assistant coaches and other school personnel to complete regular season Top 25 ballots for them.
All we, the fans want is to know that the BCS system is being used correctly. Having someone from the athletic department complete Top 25 rankings is inappropriate.
Again, the system is foolish, but it would be nice if it were actually followed. The past few seasons every coach’s individual final Top 25 rankings have been public knowledge. Granted, it was only the final week, but it was still a way for the public to feel like the final results were legitimate. Beginning next season, this will no longer be the case. The individual final rankings will no longer be released.
Does this sound like a move an upstanding organization would make? Of course not. It’s the type of thing a group with something to hide would do. Some coaches, like Spurrier himself, are against this. Spurrier said he was surprised that the final vote will no longer be made public and thought it was a bad idea.
During a press conference last week, Spurrier said he takes his Top 25 rankings more seriously than the preseason ones. But does he really? Do any coaches?
The Coaches’ Poll accounts for 33% of the BCS standings. That is a huge percentage. The fact that the NCAA thinks it’s a good idea for coaches to have a major poll is crazy. For starters, these coaches don’t watch every team play. They also have a vested interest in helping the teams from their own conference. After all, if your opponents are highly ranked, then beating them is worth more.
Anything less than a playoff is a terrible way to decide a champion, but the current system is getting worse, not better. It’s difficult to blame the coaches, because they have bigger issues to deal with, like coaching their own teams, for one. The real culprits here are the NCAA and big time athletic directors. These are the individuals who stand in the way of progress and prefer to stick with business as usual.
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