Ready to be a part of BCS poll
August 23, 2005
Like many other college football fans across the country, I used to get steamed and question voters in the various college football polls.
You know the old saying “Put up or Shut Up?” Well that time has arrived, at least for me.
I was approached by members of the Harris Poll, asking me if I was interested in being a voting member for its new poll. The Harris poll is replacing the Associated Press poll in helping determine the national champion in college football.
I was overjoyed at the opportunity. It’s a big honor not only for me as a journalist, but for the Nevada Appeal as well. And, if you take a look at the voting members, the Harris Poll is off to a good start. When you have guys like Boomer Esiason and Terry Bradshaw voting, you get instant name recognition.
The poll did get a jolt earlier this week when ESPN announced it would not let any of its analysts vote. That knocked off four people, including Lou Holtz.
Another plus to the Harris Poll is that it won’t start until late September, which will be the third or fourth week of the season. Panelists will get a chance to see teams play a few games and won’t have any preconceived notions about any of the teams before the season starts. They will be able to let the results speak for themselves.
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Another smart move by the Harris people is that the last poll of the season will be a transparent poll, meaning any fan that wants to see how any or all panelists voted will be able to do so. The coaches’ final poll also will be transparent. Also, at least where it concerns the media, no conference has more than two voters. That balances things out a bit.
Boise State’s Dan Hawkins votes in the coaches’ poll. He used to share his weekly vote with the Idaho Statesman, the paper that covers his team each week. Hawkins recently stopped the practice because of the irate phone calls and e-mails he would get.
I don’t know whether panelists will be able to publish their votes or not. I am certainly not afraid of doing so. Heck, it’s only one vote out of 114 and only one person’s opinion. One thing is certain, I’ll certainly be paying even closer attention to teams this season, especially when I’m not at a Nevada game, and I’m sure I’ll be wearing my remote out flicking back and forth between the plethora of games offered each week, not to mention taping games when I’m not home.
I still would like to see Division 1-A institute a playoff system like the lower divisions use, and I’m sure you could still do it within the structure of a new playoff system.
Let’s make it a four-week postseason. Take the top 16 teams and play a single-elimination tournament. That would be the fairest way.
Even with a post-season tournament you could still have a poll. The tournament might even make it easier for panelists to cast their votes when it gets to crunch time.
The only thing I ask of fellow panelists is to put geography aside and let the results on the field dictate how you vote.
Darrell Moody can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281
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