Don’t bash Harris poll just yet | NevadaAppeal.com

Don’t bash Harris poll just yet

Sometimes television commentators pop off and say the stupidest thing.

Take Craig James for instance. James was part of the Pony Express backfield at SMU with Eric Dickerson.

James is a studio host for college football at ABC, and he fired a shot at the new Harris Interactive Poll, which replaced the Associated Press as a component in deciding the national football championship, calling it a “joke.”

How can you call something a joke before it starts?

James’ big complaint is that too many smaller conferences are having a say in the voting. The AP poll was loaded with voters east of the Mississippi and that made for a definite East Coast bias.

I took offense for two reasons. One is that he labeled everybody and everything with those words, and second, he doesn’t think that small conference media people know what they are doing.

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Craig, let something get off the ground before you pan it. I can’t believe somebody as smart and experienced as you would say something so idiotic.

His counterpart, Aaron Taylor, whom I covered when he played at De La Salle High School, took a more politically correct approach.

Taylor praised the poll for waiting until a team has played a few games before the weekly voting begins. That means you can throw out the preseason magazine stories, which could sway voters, and concentrate what happens on the field.

I can’t speak for the 94 nonmedia members of the new poll, and 114 voters is a huge number, but I personally know some of the new voting members; know them well enough they will take the voting process seriously.

It’s not about geography, Craig. It’s about watching football in person or on television and making informed decisions. Voters need to let the results on the field do the talking and not have any preconceived notions. It is so simple, yet so hard for some people around the country to do.

That last remark was aimed at people that screwed Auburn out of a chance to play for the national title. People got Oklahoma instead, and the title game was a joke.

SENSE OR NONSENSE?

I listened with amusement when ESPN Radio talked about Barry Bonds returning this week after three knee surgeries and tons of talk about alleged steroid use.

Would Bonds think about coming back if the Giants hadn’t put together a recent six-game win streak to pull back into the division race? I have to say no. I think he’s been too selfish during his career to care that much about the team.

Bonds said he wants to return because he’s a member of the Giants, and he loves the game. Bonds probably could have helped the Giants before this, at least as a pinch-hitter. Just his presence in the dugout could have changed some things during the course of a game; influenced some managerial decisions on the other side of the field.

This is hard for me to say given that I’m a big Giants fan. Stay on the sidelines Barry. You’ve stayed away from the team for huge chunks of this season when you could have been there supporting them. The team has come this far, let’s see what it can do the rest of the way.

Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281