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.

 

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283 comments Add your comment

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
9:56 am

tide
BS. That’s why you have seedings. And home field. And no way would bama slack off against auburn and vice versa. That game would still have huge importance. You’ve given a poor reason not to have it. I’ve given about 10 good reasons for it. And if bama were to “slack off” they risk being dropped to #9 and not having home field first round. Hardly a reason to “slack off”. You are trying to compare this to the NFL and it’s apples to oranges. CF has rankings. Not division winners.

Huh?!

November 17th, 2009
9:58 am

The AP poll might be the most credible poll to journalists, but that’s about where its credibility ends. Talk about bias. What a bunch of self serving garbage from hyprocrites who don’t know, and probably never played, the game.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
10:00 am

And how does a team like tcu, who many think could beat bama stand a chance? They’ve done everything asked of them so far. And they won’t get the chance if Texas wins. How fair is that? And sorry but you would have upsets in the first round. Just look at the ncaa bball tourney and how often a 1-2 seed loses in the sweet 16. Saying a 13-16 seed can’t beat a 1-4 is bs. Heck it happens in the reg season. You people against this are what is wrong with college football. The way it is now SUCKS. the bowl season is BORING. And look at the last few title games. they’ve been boring as hell. The 40 day layoff is one reason.

Doo dah- Doo dah

November 17th, 2009
10:00 am

I would like to see more emphasis in the weekly polls on strength of schedule. The teams that end up playing Charleston and Troy and directional state U need to be substantially penalized for not scheduling tougher opponents. Similarly playing tough out of conference foes should bring a premium. But then the only reasonable solution at year end is to have a playoff to decide the NC.

Doo dah- Doo dah

November 17th, 2009
10:02 am

PS Why in the world would I care what Vince Dooley or Pat Dye think about their one or two teams??? There are already far too many opinions out there with no credibility.

j-dawg

November 17th, 2009
10:02 am

thomas, here’s the problem – first off these kids are not NFL players and in no way can play the amount games in a season that would include a 16 team playoff. 2nd this is not div 1aa. Every major conference team needs at least 6 home games. Like it or not this is a business also. So now you have to cut your playoff scenario in half – lets say now 8 teams. OK still to many games imo. Also you know there is going to be just as much debate about who gets those last playoff spots as the NC right now. Most importantly like it or not it does hurt the regular season AND THATS WHAT MAKES THIS SPORT GREAT. You take away that and you destroy the history and mystique of the game where every week matters and the undefeated season is the ultimate goal. This is not the NFL.

G Force

November 17th, 2009
10:03 am

Let the best team be decided on the field, not in some fantasy land inside a writer’s or coaches (or legend’s ?) head. It’s time to bring in a plus 1 or some other playoff format.

GT GRAD

November 17th, 2009
10:03 am

Take most of the unfair bias out of the process. Use the computer polls average for 2/3 and the biased personal polls (Harris & Legends combination) for 1/6 and then use a schedule strength component for the remaining 1/6!! If you do not include the strength of schedule component, then any & all wins against teams who finish outside of the Top 100 do not count as wins and are not incuded in the process (apply this requirement to the computer & personal polls).

Use this improved selection process to determine the Top 8 teams. Use 4 of the 5 BCS bowls for the first round of the BCS 8 team playoff. Two teams selected by the BCS commitee (or #9 & #10 if you want to be fair) play in the consolation #5 BCS game. Two weeks later play two games using the 4 surviving teams from the top 8. Two weeks later (weekend before the Superbowl) we finally have a true National Championship game!!

Two teams play 2 extra games and two teams play 4 extra games. The BCS games are more interesting and the 3 additional playoff games are absolutely HUGE!!!! Create a rule that requires no practices for 7 days after the first & second round playoff games to allow players/stundents time for classroom activities.

Come on guys (BCS & NCAA), this is really NOT very difficult………..just do it!

Dave from GT

November 17th, 2009
10:03 am

I think that any poll should start with GT at number 1, and end with GT at number 1. As long as that happens, I don’t care about the rest.

Let's Go

November 17th, 2009
10:05 am

“With 16 teams you could have a non conference winner win the national championship”

If there was a 16 team playoff that is true but the first thing to go would be the ACC, SEC, & Big 12 playoff games. Why would a conference screw around with losing a team from the top 12 or in the SEC’s case this year you could have the top 2 teams and then not have them play until the National Championship game. Why would you chance a Texas team losing to Kstate or Nebraska and dropping 4 or 5 spots before the playoffs start? So if there was a playoff these 12 teams conferences would no longer need divisions.

Honest Abe

November 17th, 2009
10:11 am

Today’s entry from Tony is worth about as much as a Confederate dollar. That and some pocket change will get you a cup of coffee.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
10:12 am

Yes j dawg there is so much of a difference between Ga southern and S fla or Uga. You’re making lame excuses. And you can have your 6 home games and reduce the schedule to 11 games..gee that’s what it was 15 years ago.
You are right. This is not the nfl. We rank the teams. As I said before, you lose you risk dropping out or losing home field. This would not “ruin” college football. It would make it much more exciting. The excuses you make are what some bs bowl executive would make.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
10:16 am

I laugh at these idiots who say this is not the nfl. Look at college basketball. These kids play 2-3 games per week for 5 months. The CF season lasts 3-4 months. Then some kids play 4 games in 4 days in their conf tourneys. Just more excuses that don’t hold water. A playoff would be the best thing and those against it are the tired old ohio st, bama, fla texas usc jerkoffs who only get there because of the pollsters. tcu is the best team i;ve seen and many agree yet they will get no chance to prove it. yeah that’s fair.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
10:26 am

Who cares if a conf winner won the nat champ. Do wild card teams win the super bowl? Yes and do people whine? No. Do high seeds make the nba finals? yep. Do wild cards win baseball? Yep. Every sport has this. It’s all about how good you are at the END of the season. A playoff proves without a doubt who the best team is at the END of the season. It would make the preseason polls less important, which they should be anyway. Cause half the teams in the top 10 are gone by week 5 anyway. The pros for a playoff far outweigh any cons. And those that think the rivalry games wouldn’t mean as much, huh? You think Uga this year wouldn’t want to knock out tech or sc or fsu wouldn’t want to knock down or out clemson or fla. give me a collective break.

Huh?!

November 17th, 2009
10:29 am

This may not be the NFL, but it’s also not gymnastics and figure skating. Stop making it a subjectively scored beauty pageant. The players and teams should have a chance to decide the champion on the field.

Tech Fan Since 1950

November 17th, 2009
10:33 am

We do not need another poll. The BCS needs to be torn up into little pieces. What we need is a playoff!

gatorrashad

November 17th, 2009
10:34 am

Tony, when do you suppose this poll be released..if we are talking in season polls…much of this is done by 12pm est the day after Sat. games…how would a collection of old has been coaches..many of whom are half senile would watch a few dozen games and tapes of games to vote…..and why should the BCS be interested in adding a new poll when the one they have is working fine….didnt you get the memo.

Chris

November 17th, 2009
10:35 am

I’ve always enjoyed the bowls, but there is a big problem with how our NC is decided. Number one, ESPN has a bigtime agenda. They just purchased the TV rights for the SEC last year. BIG MONEY. So who do you think ESPN is going to want in the big game. Who does ESPN show every week. They are going to influence the voters as much as they can. IT’S TIME FOR A PLAYOFF PEOPLE!!!!!!!

Chester Lucks

November 17th, 2009
10:37 am

You could easily have an 8 team playoff over the first three weeks in January and determine a true National Champion. Consider the following bowl games: Rose, Holiday, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, and Sugar bowls (chosen for geographic purposes — some homer may want to change the chick-fil-a for the holiday). Take the top 8 teams and seed them. 4 games would be played on New Years day, 2 games the week after, and the National Championship the week after that (basically mid-January). The six bowls would host the the first 6 games in a pre-determined, but permanent order — lets say that holiday,orange, cotton, and fiesta bowls hosted the quarterfinals, the rose and sugar the finals, and a 7th location (chosen much like the super bowl locations) to host the finals. The 8 teams would be comprised of 6 conference champions plus two at large teams.

The regular season would be shortened to 11 games. Most teams would play 11 games plus maybe one post season (bowl) game. About 8 other teams would play an additional game — their conference championship — a game 12. Of those teams up to 4 would play a second post season game (a game 13) and only up to 2 would play a game 14. The season would actually only be extended by one (playing weekend) and for only two teams. The financial reward would be clearly worth it and all of these games would land huge TV audiences (as well as be sell-outs).

Financially this would work out better for the 6 major conferences, would eliminate much of the poll jockeying and games played by pollsters and conference officials, and yield a true NC.

GT

November 17th, 2009
10:37 am

Lord now we are facilitating the drunk with a new alcohol. It is not bad enough that we refuse to do the obvious and get rid of all this bias and money grabbing crowd we have controlling the game, no we want to invite more to the party. We want more hanger oners to dictate to the real participates. I was not impressed with the way Dooley left Georgia, his ego was his compass, not his brain. These ex coaches number one are ex for a reason, but number two are trained bull s ers. They sound much better than they really are. Bill Curry who left Tech because it would never be a national power is a prime example. Tech today is a national power, Curry use that to try to hide his own greed of coaching at Alabama. It is a human disease we are fighting here Tony and I am beginning to think it is contagious because you are showing some of the symptoms. One being the bright lights cause temporary stupidity, at least I hope it is temporary.

j-dawg

November 17th, 2009
10:38 am

ok reduce the schedule to 11 games and have a playoff. Here’s what happens. Teams like TCU, Boise St and Utah do well because they play nobody. They’re fresh and they upset a 1 2 or 3 seed and now we get a weak championship game. CFB realizes this and teams start playing softer schedules in the regular season just in order to make sure they are 1) in the top 16 and 2) fresh for the playoffs. Now we have ruined the regular season. CFB is just like basketball. The reason basketball works is bc the sport is not as physical so they play 30 some odd games a season. Don’t dismiss the regular season in CFB. That is the real playoff anyway.

Navigator

November 17th, 2009
10:38 am

Coaches were in conferences and still have ties, so you really think they are going to vote without bias. Barnhart, you’ve got to be kidding!!! There are no unbiased polls, but if you get enough of them you tend to get the averaging affect. Coaches are coaches, period, and there bias is there yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Had it not been for the coaches poll, that cheating Big 8 conference would have gotten Colorado a unanimous championship. Remember twice they got five downs to win close games: once by not counting the 4th down and the second by a mystery penalty, and yes Colorado did lose, and yes Colorado should have lost to Nebraska, they lobbied for (8-3) Notre Dame because they didn’t want to play Tech. Add up all of the biases of National Writers, and you think the coaches do worse?

C. Tampa Ironworse

November 17th, 2009
10:42 am

Comic Book Guy says “Dumbest Idea Ever”…

bhamwreck

November 17th, 2009
10:45 am

Pat Dye? Really? Tony – this is not one of your better moments of column writing. We need a playoff – get the AP back into the mix and take the top 8 teams. period.

Otto

November 17th, 2009
10:47 am

Thomas, NCAA tourney ratings have been falling. Basketball does not get the press it did in the mid 90s.

A plus 1 will only cause more debate search TOny’s articles this spring for the teams that would not make the cut such as Utah last year.

An 8 team playoff would include the 6 BCS champs and 2 at large bids which will more times than not go to mid majors and ND. BORING. It kills any reason for matchups like Bama and VT or tOSU and USC.

I’ll take the flawed system we have it now and watch Cincy play Pitt hoping for a Pitt upset just to further clear up the debate. The BCS has been pure magic making games such as WVU/Pitt late in the season must see TV and the upset sending LSU to the Title game.

egeagle

November 17th, 2009
10:48 am

As a Georgia Southern fan, I know that all six of our NC’s are legitimate and earned on the field. We won as an independent and later as a conference champion. Nothing sounds lamer than Bama folks spouting off about 12 titles of which half at least are bogus, or even Tech folks and their four.
As for legendary coaches, probably your only flaw in your book about Southern football was omitting Erk from the legends list while including 1-AA coaches like Eddie Robinson and Roy Kidd. Ironically, PJ is the coach carrying on Erk’s legacy.
Tech, that long layoff between regular season and bowl game will be your biggest disadvantage. Playoffs would be great for you because your O thrives on timing at game speed.

G8R H8R

November 17th, 2009
10:49 am

Just don’t let Lou Holtz into the Legends Poll. He will only vote for ND, Arkansas and South Carolina.

j-dawg

November 17th, 2009
10:56 am

right on, otto!

Otto

November 17th, 2009
10:57 am

A playoff such as the FCS one Ga Southern plays in will not happen in Bowl Division football.

The BCS needed the BCS conf. and bowls to agree to auto bids for their champs for it to happen. The politics have not changed. A Top 8 or 16 playoff will not happen anytime in the next 20 years.

If an 8 team playoff does happen it will include BCS conf champs and 2 at large bids.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
11:00 am

j dawg
tcu has played more top 25 teams this year than fla bama and texas. Stop making excuses. Fresh. LOL. You get 2 weeks between the end of the season doofus.

j-dawg

November 17th, 2009
11:02 am

There will be problems with a legends poll, tony. You know that. What we need is a human poll that comes from a completely unbiased source. And that my friend is impossible. So…. leave it how it is for now. It’s still the most entertaining sport out there. Go dawgs!

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
11:03 am

Otto
yeah those games involving pitt and wv and cincy where they were trying to get into the top 16 or keep their ranking would be so boring…right.

sorry but the ncaa tourney last year was the highest rated all time. you’re wrong.

i am not for a 8 team unless it’s the top 8 teams in the country and that would be the stepping stone for the 16.

j-dawg

November 17th, 2009
11:03 am

Thomas you’ve obviously never played tackle football, buddy.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
11:05 am

i’ve played rugby and football j dawg. you’re obviously a brainwashed middle aged loser.

Otto

November 17th, 2009
11:14 am

Thomas,

Ratings have been on the decline.

http://tvbythenumbers.com/2008/04/15/ncaa-mens-basketball-tv-ratings-1975-2007/2844

Only a few hardcore fans care if another team moves up in the brackets.

When was the last a NCAA basketball TV contract made National headlines and continued news stories?

JamC

November 17th, 2009
11:16 am

One word: PLAYOFFS.

j-dawg

November 17th, 2009
11:18 am

Then you should know the toll it puts on these student-athletes. You’d be suprised of my age too. It’s not just stubborn old folks stuck in there ways not wanting a playoff. It’s people who don’t want to destroy the integrity of this great game. You think a playoff is going to solve everything. Its just going to throw a lot more gasoline on the fire. The BCS will iron out the kinks eventually. I don’t see too much wrong with it now. You want to change drastically change something that’s really not broken. Basically, you just want to bitch.

JamC

November 17th, 2009
11:18 am

Just for the record, it will be Tech 52, Georgia 31. Tech will go to the Orange Bowl, Georgia to the Toilet Bowl. Things are right with the world.

P-Man

November 17th, 2009
11:25 am

The only true way is to create 8, 16-team super conferences, split into 2, 8-team divisions. Every team plays the 7 teams in their division, plus 3 OUT OF CONFERENCE games, so that there can be NO rematches in conference championship games. The conference title games become, in essence, the first round of a 16 team playoff. Every team, at least theoretically, has a chance to win a national championship.

Nachos

November 17th, 2009
11:25 am

I just farted out loud

ratherBgambling

November 17th, 2009
11:27 am

Legends poll is irrelevant without Ray Goff’s vote

Huh?!

November 17th, 2009
11:29 am

j-dawg thinks a playoff will hurt because “…teams start playing softer schedules in the regular season.” Isn’t that the case already? Teams are already manipulating their schedule to weasle their way into the top 2.

Muck Fike Adams

November 17th, 2009
11:32 am

If the rest of these legends are as scewed as Lou Holtz is slurred, then you can take your legends and pound sand. Is Holtz involved? If he is, then ND is gonna be in the BCS every year. Of course, that wouldn’t really change much from the current BCS. If ND is bowl eligable then they have 50/50 chance of being in a BCS bowl. Hey Lou, say “Sufferin’ succotash!”

Doo dah- Doo dah

November 17th, 2009
11:33 am

This is the kind of idea that comes out of having 24 hour sports on tv and a daily column requirement. Gotta come up with some new idea-ergo- legends’ poll to replace existing polls.
A playoff is totally possible if everyone buys in. Too many vested interests right now for that to happen. It makes no sense for the SEC or any conference to get two BCS games when we have undefeated teams that will not get a BCS game. Saying the SEC or any conference is better than all others does not make it so. If the powers that be will not have a “solve it on the field ” solution; then those smaller conference undefeated champions have more right to a BCS game than does a one loss runner up such as the SEC.

Doo dah- Doo dah

November 17th, 2009
11:35 am

I second Ray Goff

Muck Fike Adams

November 17th, 2009
11:37 am

JamC – PLAYOFFS! PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS?! Are you kidding me, PLAYOFFS?! PLAYOFFS?

I don’t think JimM would approve. By the way, the “M” stands for Mora. Figured you might not know since you’re a Tech fan and don’t know anything about football or sports or girls. Did you see the shuttle launch?! Incredible! I hope Tech’s foam blocks help up this time.

Muck Fike Adams

November 17th, 2009
11:39 am

correction – “held up” not “help up”

Elliot Ness

November 17th, 2009
11:40 am

m agains proves that it knows nothing about football, at least it has quit saying that Tech would be UCONN in the ACC championship game. What a Goober Pyle it is. m also talks about 1/2 records to try and prove his points. Pitt is not in first place in thier conference, Stanford is not first in their conference, Vandy and Miss State are the bottom of the SEC, and your best team squeaked by both of them. By the way genuis annual means recurring annually, after you have done that a few times you may call it that. Right now it is a fluke.

Otto

November 17th, 2009
11:41 am

P-Man,

Your system would give every team a chance and for the most part end debate. I will ignore the part about debate creating interest.

New division will result in rvalaries being ended or put on rotation. Traditional rivals is a very large part of cfb and very marketable. Auburn and UGA was put on prime time and yet both teams are mediocre. Why? Everyone in the Southeast knows the game can go either way, and both teams will pay to the end. Further the country knows this is a matchup between rivals and will be more likely to watch.

The big 12 did not keep matchup with their merger. The biggest matchup was OU and Nebraska. The game was played last week and was one of the best games of the year IMO. I watched it becuase it is a special matchup and it lived up to it. If the Big12 kept that game on the schedule they may not be in a situation where the Big10 and the SEC are getting paid more in their TV contracts.

http://barkingcarnival.com/2009/09/29/why-the-big-12-tv-contracts-stink/

A flawed system will generate more money by function and money is what drives College Football.

Otto

November 17th, 2009
11:43 am

*OU Nebraska was the biggest matchup to be moved from a yearly matchup to being put on rotation.