Legends poll should be added to BCS

 

I’ve got some advice for our friends at the BCS. In 2010 you will begin a new four-year contract with ESPN. If you’re going to keep the same format and selection process, and the contract says you will, how about an upgrade of the human polls that currently make up two-thirds of your formula?

Currently you have 59 coaches voting in the USA Today Coaches poll. We don’t have enough space, not even on the internet, for me to point out all of the inconsistencies in that poll. The coaches will readily admit that they don’t see very much college football other than their own team and their opponent each week.  Their poll reflects that. The ballots are also secret until the very last one. Secrecy should not be a part of the BCS process.

The Harris Interactive Poll voters are an interesting collection of former players, administrators and current media. There have been some interesting votes there are well.

The Associated Press media poll, the granddaddy of all polls, is the most credible of the group but decided, rightfully so, that it needed to get out of the BCS business to maintain that credibility.

 

Let’s face it. After USC finished No. 1 in both human polls in 2003 but did not get into the BCS championship, the powers that be changed the formula so that two thirds of it would rely on the human polls. The reality is that the two teams  at the top of the human polls at the end of the season are pretty much going to be the two teams who play for the national championship. The computer polls, which account for only one third of the formula, would have to be wildly different to change that outcome.

So if the human polls are going to mean that much, why not try to make them the best they can be? Why not call on people who know the game of football better than anybody? Why not get people who actually have time to watch a lot of football every week?

I present to you the Legends Poll. The poll is made up of 17 of the best former coaches in the country. The list includes Vince Dooley, Pat Dye, R.C. Slocum, Terry Donahue,  John Robinson, John Cooper, and R.C. Slocum, just to name a few.

 

Each coach is assigned a couple of teams to follow closely and they receive DVDs of many games from around the country. After studying the video, the coaches meet on a conference call to discuss those teams in great detail. Then collectively they file their ballots and release their poll. All ballots are public. The results are posted each week by our friends at The Sporting News.

http://www.sportingnews.com/college-football/article/2009-11-15/legends-poll-who-comes-after-big-3

 

I had the opportunity to listen in on the conference call this week. Trust me when I tell you that these guys know their stuff.

“It’s an interesting process and a very thorough process,” said Dooley, the Hall of Fame coach from Georgia. “A coach looks at video with a careful eye. By the time we finish our discussion, we feel like we’ve given all the teams a very honest assessment.”

The Legends poll began several years ago under the title of the Master Coaches Survey. Andy Curtin, who is the administrator of the poll, has been lobbying the BCS to include the poll in its formula.

“These coaches know the game better than anybody and they have the time and the skill to really dig deep and analyze these teams,” said Curtin. “We’ve been very clear. We believe they should be a part of the BCS process.”

 

As the BCS moves forward into the next four-year cycle, I’m suggesting this is something the conference commissioners should consider.  What would be wrong with adding a fourth element to the formula? Collectively, these men have 369 years of head coaching experience. Wouldn’t it make sense to take advantage of that experience?  It seems to me that it is an untapped resource that would help the credibility of a process that still remains the subject of much debate and scorn among college football fans.

 

Please follow me on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/MrCFB

283 comments Add your comment

jacketbacker

November 17th, 2009
8:55 am

need a playoff…..until then, this is indeed a MYTHICAL national championship excercise….

C tha 1

November 17th, 2009
8:55 am

A playoff is the only true way to determine a National Champion…simple.

Tony,
On a separate subject there was a blog that posed the question of who were the greatest all time top five college and/or high school head football coaches in the state of Georgia. Of course Vince Dooley was number one with Erk Russel being a close second. I believe Mark Richt actually squeeked in at number 5 or so, but with the recent success of Paul Johnson at GT combined with his past success at GA Southern, do you believe he should be included in such a loaded discussion of Greatest Head Football Coach in the State of GA? Technically he has the credentials with the multiple National Championships to his resume’ and building GT into a respectable program. Your thoughts? Oh yeah, I’m a UGA grad c/o 07.

Bama Aaron

November 17th, 2009
8:56 am

Let’s see….remove the coaches poll, which is basically coaches assistants and/or admistrators who rarely watch other teams and probably have their own agenda. And replace it with the Legends poll….a small group of old timers who probably still hold old grudges from their playing days and/or coaching days… frankly I don’t see how this makes the system better?
Until we have a playoff it doesn’t matter which poll you use they’re all going to be flawed.

Lance

November 17th, 2009
8:59 am

What are all the Techmites going to say when they get beat by one of the worst UGA teams of the past decade at home? Do you think they will even admit it happened? I said at the beginning of the year UGA would lose 4 games and Tech would not be one of them — it will happen.
PS– CPJ will also bolt for another school within 3 years as Tech always has been and always will be nothing more than a stopping point in a coaches resume. They all want to move to much bigger and better opportunities.

im4bama

November 17th, 2009
9:00 am

I’d be all for the Legends getting a say. They obviously know what they are doing, because they ranked the top 10 exactly like I would. I know this will sound biased to you fella’s, but Bama should be #1 and Georgia Tech should be ranked ahead of Boise State and Pitt should be at 10.

j-dawg

November 17th, 2009
9:01 am

The BCS is a mess until it gets to the championship game. The final result however seems to be correct. Does anyone feel in the last 10 years that there was a team better or (more deserving) to be at the top than the team that actually won it all. Seriously – look at this. And don’t say UGA over LSU in 07. You don’t win your conference you don’t go. Boise St. should never be considered until they play at least a mediocre schedule. Auburn in 04′ makes the most serious case and their sacrafice made sure that no undefeated SEC team would ever be left out again but I still don’t see them getting by USC who destroyed OU in that championship game that year. So who? All this bitching but the formula works when deciding the final outcome. A playoff will ruin college football. It will ruin the regular season.

spectator

November 17th, 2009
9:01 am

The AP poll (sportwriters and broadcasters vote) is the LEAST reliable of all. These are people who know little or nothing about the game and vote for teams they have never seen.

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
9:02 am

Pre-season polls reflect where the teams stood at the end of the previous season combined with conjecture regarding coaching changes and new recruits. No programmer is yet skilled enough to write a program that includes human intuition — hence the computer rankings are inevitably flawed.

All of you guys proposing playoff schemes seem to think that you are geniuses who have just invented the concept. Playoffs are just as flawed as are polls. The only people calling for playoffs are the ones whose teams aren’t ranked as high in the polls as they would prefer. if you are truly opposed to polling, then your playoff system must include every team that wins enough games to qualify — there can be no judgment call based upon the quality of the games played. USC over OSU would be exactly equal to Vandy over MSU. You can’t say that the “top sixteen” in the polls should get an invitation to the tournament if the poll is an opinion poll. A true, non-opinion based playoff would not be feasible for 120 teams. If it were instituted, then the best team in the nation could drop a single game and be left out in the cold. It happens in the NFL.

If you don’t like the way that CFB chooses a champion, then take Coach Johnson’s advice and stop buying tickets, stop buying merchandise and stop watching the games on TV. Otherwise, just shut up and cheer for your favorite team.

I'm just saying ...

November 17th, 2009
9:04 am

the BCS seemed like a great solution in the beginning b/c it appeared to have figured out the arbitrary decision of who #1 was after the four big bowls we’d all become accustomed to.

When you look back now at the way it was BEFORE the current BCS (crooked) system you see just how crazy it was back then. Well, it’s even crazier now, except it’s obvioiusly flawed, if not (arguably) fixed. With the HUGE contract signed this year between the SEC and the BCS, ESPN, ABC, SEC TV, etc, coupled with the questionable officiating in games involving FL, AL, LSU (GA game unsportsmanlike penalty) it’s easy to speculate the crookedness in the BCS. They’ve got all their “eggs” in the SEC basket, and you better damn believe they [BCS] are going to have an SEC team in the title game.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
9:05 am

Steve the conf champ in the sec came long before the bcs was invented. It’s funny that the scenario you gave is exactly what we need but add 3 more games to it and you have a friggin playoff.

im4bama

November 17th, 2009
9:06 am

Still, a plus one game, is all that is needed to get everything right. No more than four teams are actually deserving to claim they chance for the prize. Soft conferences and schedules negate the right for claim.

Dave from GT

November 17th, 2009
9:06 am

Weren’t these the guys who said that CPJ’s offense would never work against even a second rate SEC team like UGA?

Besides, any poll with VD would end up biased against GT !

GT76

November 17th, 2009
9:08 am

+1 playoff is the answer. If not,

no polls till end of September/early October and must be public

replace coaches with legends, increase legends to 20-25 with equal spread around the country.

jumbeauxtiger

November 17th, 2009
9:11 am

The Coaches Poll is not credible and should not be used. Many of the coaches have someone in the athletic department such as SIDs submit their ballot. I would have more faith in the Legends.

This is the year the Plus One model is needed. Not all of the current unbeatens would get in but at least it would be more equitable. That said though what would be the chance of the Florida-Alabama loser being ranked 4th under this scenario and squeezing out one of the other teams? In this situation the NC game could actually be a replay of the SECCG. I still would prefer this system over what we have now. I don’t like an 8 team playoff as I just think there is a dropoff when you expand it that much. Then it becomes like the NFL where a 9-7 club can make it to the Super Bowl.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

rowdy von wompington

November 17th, 2009
9:12 am

the BCS doesn’t care about credibility. The BCS only cares about money.

rowdy von wompington

November 17th, 2009
9:13 am

and there should be no pre-season rankings

Dan

November 17th, 2009
9:14 am

Tony, it’s hard to take a poll seriously when they have Penn St (who had beaten up on a bunch of girl scout troops) ranked #12 and Notre Dame still receiving votes…

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
9:14 am

Georgia and Georgia Tech currently have a playoff system in place for the State Championship.

If Georgia wins that playoff game, then I suspect that all of the Tech fans will be on this blog the very next day saying: “Yes indeed, Georgia is a better team than is Tech this year — they proved it on the field of play.”

Because, you know, none of the previous games count for anything once the mystically determinative Playoff Game has occurred.

No brainer

November 17th, 2009
9:14 am

A playoff system is the only answer. What are the big boys so afraid of huh?

GT fan....

November 17th, 2009
9:18 am

Lance, get your head out of your arse!

Okay, so you say PJ is going to be so good at GT that he’s going to leave in a few more seasons, but yet one GA’s worst teams is going beat his team this season. Nice logic….

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
9:20 am

No brainer,

It’s obvious. The “big boys” are afraid that those little nerds with their pocket protectors are gonna go all Ninja on them and rip their beating hearts right out of their chests.

I happens all the time in the movies…

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
9:21 am

It happens…

Tide4u2c

November 17th, 2009
9:21 am

I do think the BCS system needs to be tweaked but I am against a playoff.I really believe a playoff would ruin college football and ruin and change the way the regular season is played.A plus 1 type system could work but anything more than that and college football is ruined IMO.I am not against change either I can look at college basketball and realize a playoff would not change who wins the NC it is the big named schools not the little named teams that might make it in but lose.So why change and ruin college football to get the same result?Florida was the best team last year and Utah would’nt have beat them.I thought a playoff would crown a real champ team? Well it would still be the big named schools meanwhile college football is ruined.

Randy Marsh

November 17th, 2009
9:25 am

A simple playoff would be the 6 major conference champions plus 2 at-large teams for an 8 team regional playoff. Games would be at pre-determined stadium. Rd 1-ACC champ vs. Big East champ, SEC vs. east at-large (TCU), Big 12 champ vs. Big 10 champ, Pac-10 champ vs. west at-large (Boise st). Who wouldn’t want to watch that? And shorten the season back to 10 or 11 games to play the first 2 rounds before Xmas and have the championship game after new year’s. Do we really need 12 games to see GA play TN Tech and FL play Charleston Southern? I know, it’ll never happen!!!

JB

November 17th, 2009
9:26 am

OFF SUBJECT, BUT…………………………………………………………. Just read on Rivals Georgia page that the number one DB in the country from Florida, a kid named Joyner, was at the Ga/AU game, loved it and LOVES coach Martinez…..UH OH…………………..Yes, I’ll take a new DC over signing this kid. Any Amen’s ?

Let's Go

November 17th, 2009
9:27 am

A Playoff is not going to happen and all the whining in the world will not change a thing. Think about how the BCS was started and then give me one reason why they would want to change anything about it.

4 conferences get together and decide to come up with a plan to rake in millions of dollars by selling this “so called” national championship game every year to the highest bidder. The kicker is we don’t have to share the money with any other conference but to be on the safe side let’s get Norte Dame to go in with us and you know what within 2 years the stuffy old Big 10 will come on board and bring the PAC 10 with them. The plan worked like magic until a couple of politicians cried foul and then the powers that be amended the rules to sometimes let other teams participate but just to be on the safe side we will made really hard, add another game, and ask for more money. Worked like magic again and we got more money because FOX got involved and out bid everyone else and even though they lost money on the deal the price was set and all that followed would have to pay.

See, as long as there is millions to be made it’s not going to change and anyone that thinks they will change it because the fans want it or “it’s the right thing to do” is living in a dream world. Even if congress got involved, and I hope that never happens, they would just revert back to the old way of doing business and let the bowls start out bidding each other for the best game.

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
9:27 am

A plus 1 playoff game would be fine by me. I don’t think that ANY system would bring an end to controversy. If I had my druthers, then any proposed system would be finalized on New Year’s Day. At the rate we’re going, CFB will soon be a year round affair and the “season” will never end.

R

November 17th, 2009
9:27 am

I agree that there needs to be a change, the current system is a joke. Ans as much as I respect the opinions of the coaches in the Legends Poll, there are still a few things that I question. For example, they currently have an 8-2 OK State at 13, nine places ahead of an 8-2 Houston team who beat them pretty handily. They also have Oregon (8-2) at 11 while Stanford (7-3) is at 15. It seams to me that in teams that are that close statistically, the advantage should go to the winner of the head-to-head matchup. Obviously there are other factors to consider as well as exceptions to this rule (i.e. a 3-7 team getting lucky and upsetting an 8-2 team). My point is, this poll has the same problems as any other poll, that people are voting instead of letting the on-field results determine the standings. As much as the presidents, commissioners and ADs are against the idea, there HAS to be a playoff. Every other sport, collegiate or professional, determines their champion by a playoff. Save the voting for competitions, not sports. This is, after all, football, not figure skating.

calvin

November 17th, 2009
9:28 am

Yeah, Vince Dooley at the top of the list. How nice.
Ever hear of Bobby Ross? Bill Curry?

m

November 17th, 2009
9:30 am

You all have to realize that Tony is a sec homer-gomer and is for the status quo because it insures a sec team is in the BS-bcs every year.

The sec is the weakest it has EVER been this year…but these sec homer-gomers still try to claim greatness that is OBVIOUSLY not there.

If we had a true 16 team playoff this year…there would not be a sec team in the finals. They are just not that good. It is just that floriduh and albammer are not quite as bad as the rest of the very bad sec.

The ACC beat the sec 6 out of 10 last year and will beat them 4 out of 7 this year. LIke I said…the sec is weak weak weak.

TECH is 2-0 in the sec and will be 3-0 after next weeks annual stomping of the dawgs.

Ask yourself this….who is the only team to beat 9-1 Pittsburgh…that’s right an ACC team (NC State).

Who is the only non-conference team to beat the red hot Stanford team…that’s right an ACC team (Wake Forest).

The ACC is much stronger top to bottom than the sec. And the results ON THE FIELD show it.

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
9:31 am

Bill Curry?

That’s funny — I don’t care WHO you are!

;-)

Miles

November 17th, 2009
9:32 am

The Legends Poll? Oh, ok. Mr. Barnhart, you’re under arrest for public intoxication.

TommyGator

November 17th, 2009
9:32 am

Tony,

This is a real step down for you. Why go from a pool of 59 to a pool of 17? This smacks of ulterior motive!

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
9:34 am

Let’s just let m pick the NC. At least we wouldn’t have to wait so long to learn who gets the trophy. We could go ahead and award it on Labor Day.

EW

November 17th, 2009
9:34 am

Tony, I like the idea. Don’t know if it will gain any traction. I may be one of the few, but I think the BCS does a pretty good job of getting it right. It may not be a perfect system, but I don’ think there is one out there. I like the earlier post about how the BCS shakes out in the end, even if the path to get there is rocky. And I personally like the debate the BCS generates, what else would we have to talk about? For all the naysayers and critics, last I can remember, regardless of the system there is one formula for success: Win your games and the rest takes care of itself.

Tide4u2c

November 17th, 2009
9:35 am

Let’s Go,

So what! College football is what it is.Your probem is with where the mony is going which is a whole other issue that has nothing to do with improving college football.Money is going to be involved no matter what.So you take away money from somebody and then give it to somebody else but you have’nt chaanged anything because college football is ruined by a playoff and somebody else gets the money.And you have’nt solved anything.

Otto

November 17th, 2009
9:36 am

Changing the human polls would be fine, I doubt you would see much change in the rankings.

A playoff will ruin college football as it has basketball. Who watches Basketball until the Sweet 16 or later?

A plus one will only cause more problems see Tony’s articles during the spring.

The BCS has it correct more times than not and far more often than the bowl system before it.

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
9:36 am

Stop making sense EW.

This is supposed to be a football blog…

SadDawg

November 17th, 2009
9:37 am

Amen. Amen.Amen.Amen., etc

Otto

November 17th, 2009
9:39 am

m, Who beat NC State? An SEC team.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
9:40 am

Randy what happens then if a team is say #4 in the country but not a conf winner. I disagree about the conf winner. Sometimes the conf winner is crap. WHy is it so damn difficult. Just do like div1aa. 16 freaking teams. And those that say it takes away from the reg season are idiots. BS. Think about the games that are played the last few weeks where a team is trying to get into the 13-16 spot that is just on the outside. Or a team that has a big game to end the season and is currently 15th. Or a team that is 7th and worried about losing home field. Give me a break. This would be 200000X more exciting than these stupid bowls and having to wait 40 days before the team even plays again./

McDawg

November 17th, 2009
9:42 am

as a legend in my own mind i would welcome the change

-if Texas loses Big 12-gotta go with TCU

EW

November 17th, 2009
9:44 am

m, annual stomping of the dogs huh? Yes you are 2-0 against the SEC’s Miss State and Vandy. Congrats, your world domination trophy awaits. I appreciate your passion for the ACC, but at least be realistic. You’re excited about an NC State team beating a Pitt team that needed an overturned call to hold off Notre Dame. And how has the rest of NC State’s season gone?? How about Wake (a team the jackets needed OT to beating Stanford? Now THERE’s something to brag about. You like to blast USC for being a media darling but you brag about your ACC beating a team that takes them to task when it’s to your benefit.

EW

November 17th, 2009
9:46 am

Coach O, my apologies. I will have m ghostwrite future entries to ensure nonsensical BS.

Frank

November 17th, 2009
9:46 am

Otto
are you insane? the first round of the tourney is the best day for basketball. and btw, sc barely beat a bottom nc state team.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
9:49 am

The only reason why the nfl can get boring at the seasons end IS BECAUSE there are no rankings. So a team can lock up a first round bye with 2-3 games left. That wouldn’t be the case with coll football. And teams would think twice about scheduling 3 cupcakes like bama, fla and texas did this year. There would be more of an emphasis on strength of schedule.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
9:50 am

Otto
What makes the ncaa tourney so much fun? Doing the bracket. And you’d be able to do the same thing with coll football. 16 team playoff would make this sport much more exciting. The way it is now with these meaningless bowls and then having to wait 40+ days for your team to play SUCKS.

Tide4u2c

November 17th, 2009
9:51 am

Thomas,

As things stand now you can’t lose which means you have to bring your A game every week and by winning people see how legit the team is based on who they are playing and beating.With a playoff you could slack after you knew you were in the playoff, you could just play back-ups to prevent unjury.Example: Alabama could play back-ups in the Iron bowl against Auburn if we had a playoff.The teams that are ranked lower trying to get into the playoff you brought up would’nt stand a chance against the teams in the top 3 or so who have’nt lost especally if they play in a tough conference.A playoff would effect the regular season and ruin college football and not change who wins the NC.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
9:52 am

Ew
How about the debate where your team winds up in the final 16? How about trying to get the 8th spot for the first round and home field? How about trying to get seeded. Yeah that would be sooo boring. Not.

Old Dawg

November 17th, 2009
9:56 am

Tony, this is a great concept. Hope it happens!