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

Delbert D.

November 17th, 2009
8:01 pm

There’s an idea. Get the coaches really involved. Golf tournament to settle it. Oops…Charlie Weis might not make it past the 2nd hole….

skitzo

November 17th, 2009
8:06 pm

Joe Bob – Every other sport has the format I like. Being able to play yourself (team) into the championship game. That is, if you win every game you play (regular season, playoffs if they existed)you are in the championship game. Right now even the BCS teams aren’t guaranteed a chance to play in the championship game even if they win every game by a large margin. An undefeated SEC, Big 12, and Pac 10/Big 10 team and one of them is out.

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
8:06 pm

skitzo,

You’re saying that 7-3 Troy should be in the mix over the loser of the Alabama vs. Florida SEC playoff game because they are leading in their conference?

Whatever…

Elliot Ness

November 17th, 2009
8:07 pm

Who is this m character?

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
8:08 pm

I think he’s the alter-ego of Coach Johnson.

Jake

November 17th, 2009
8:13 pm

Dawgs, winn in an upset over GT.

Elliot Ness

November 17th, 2009
8:14 pm

Yeah, Sctizo, let’s do like basketball and have great teams sit at home so that we can get “champions” from “FBS” conferences in a playoff. It comes down like this, CMU or LSU, Rutgers or Temple or Ok State, Houston, or Alabama? It doesn’t play out easily, so how about the 8 winners of whatever bowls?

skitzo

November 17th, 2009
8:25 pm

Coach 0 – yes, why shouldn’t Troy have a shot at getting to the national championship? Look, I’m not saying my suggested format is the perfect solution. I just think that at the beginning of the season each team should know that if they win the games on their schedule that they will have a chance to play for the national championship. Under the current format about half of the schools have no shot, and will never get a shot, at playing in the national championship game. There is absolutely no way that Troy will ever play in the national championship game under the BCS.

Joe Bob Thibodaux

November 17th, 2009
8:29 pm

Coach O, I probably believed LSU was number 9 last week until they played Louisiana Tech.
Granted: LA TECH played their heart out and LSU didn’t shut them down until late in the game.
This coming week, Ole Miss, and suddenly, I’m not so sure about my Tigers. They are beat up–
but who ain’t? Anyway, if LSU manages to beat Ole Miss, I think they are worthy of being no. 9,
until the next game with Arkansas. By then, I would be happy no matter where they are ranked if
they play well. I basically think the present system has flaws, but it approximates getting it right.

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
8:31 pm

@skitzo: “There is absolutely no way that Troy will ever play in the national championship game under the BCS.”

They said the same thing about the University of Alabama when they were up and coming — and they didn’t even have a “BCS” back then.

If a single loss was a reasonable measure of a football team’s quality, then there wouldn’t even be such a concept as an ‘upset’. Any team can lose one game on a given day. You can easily fail to win your conference by losing one game. Your system sucks just as much as any other.

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
8:33 pm

I agree Joe Bob. The current system is not perfect — neither are any of the alternatives.

Gen Neyland

November 17th, 2009
8:33 pm

We could only use ‘Legends’ that actually ran ethical programs throughout their careers. Narrows it down a bit, huh..?

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
8:36 pm

If you seek ethical purity General, then it’s probably best to just quit playing the game.

;-)

Answer = Playoff

November 17th, 2009
8:49 pm

the name says it all

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
8:55 pm

“I wanna do-over” might be a better name? Not every answer is a correct answer.

G8TR

November 17th, 2009
9:54 pm

The AP poll is the most credible? Spoken like a true media sheep, Tony. Sports writers are the worst of the worst when it comes to group-think. They follow each others’ logic and report the same trends as each other from week to week. Any group that once seriously chose BYU as the nation’s best team (1984) , and awarded their No. 1 spot to USC over LSU — in a move designed only to thumb the BCS and not reward the championship game winner — is about as credible as Lane Kiffin’s character assessment skills.

6 feet under

November 18th, 2009
12:27 am

The Legends poll:: might as well dig up Bobby Dodd and Bear Bryant, prop them up in a chair and douse them with smelling salts. But hey, at least they’d be more interesting than Lou Holtz.

Its an interesting idea Tony, but ultimately would just add more human bias to the situation. Plus, there would be too much politics and behind-the-scenes lobbying to establish just who is a “Legend” and who is not.

Saint Nick

November 18th, 2009
7:10 am

First of all, Texas is gonna get blasted by whoever comes from the SEC. The big 12 was a JOKE last year and is worst this year. TT got blownout by Ole Miss last year, the SEC’s 4th place team. Okiehoma got beat by FLA, and Texas beat a team by 3 points that lost to SEC teams in consecutive years by 14+ points each year. SO, don’t come with the LITTLE 12 crap!!!!

Saint Nick

November 18th, 2009
7:13 am

I guess when need the “Legends Poll” to back and award “NEW” national champions for the past 100 years!!!!!! I guess that would be “unbiased” too…… Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!! ROLLS TIDES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saint Nick

November 18th, 2009
7:18 am

Listen People,

Don’t argue with M,
He is an idiot!!!!
You cannot argue with an idiot, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience!!!!

Saint Nick

November 18th, 2009
7:20 am

6 feet under,

You would have to include Rockney because you would have to have the ND presence!!!

Hey Dogtards

November 18th, 2009
8:44 am

That is a joke. Look at how high the SEC “legends” voted LSU. Heck, Dye voted Ole Miss in the top 20. The only thing legendary is their SEC bias. Or Tony’s double chin when he yawns.

Matt Deavers

November 18th, 2009
9:11 am

Tony, excellent article. An argument I’ve been making since the coaches got together and started this poll a few years ago. I think each one of them runs an occasional blog on their site … they started that way at least. It’s very interesting to get the insight of the old ball coaches on the state of the game today.

One interesting thing is that you’d assume a bunch of coaches who made their names at the traditional powers of college football would continually promote those powerhouse conferences and keep the mid-major conference teams down, but that’s not the case at all. The truth is almost each one of them got where they are by building programs at many levels, and they understand that the talent level and level of competition is not so vastly different that say a TCU couldn’t beat a Texas, Alabama, or Florida 5-6 times out of 10. Their poll provides the most balanced view into where teams truly stand.

Trade School Junkie

November 18th, 2009
10:28 am

I guess next, they’ll add a “Swimsuit Competition” to this charade called the BCS.

Changing the “packaging” or “methodology”
on this fradulent CARTEL called the BCS,
doesnt change the simple fact:

THE BCS IS A FRAUDULENT…CARTEL.

READ:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel

Trade School Junkie

November 18th, 2009
10:30 am

And, for Tony to continue to endorse this fraud called the BCS……..tells you ALL you ever need to know about another
sports fraud……Tony Barnhart, himself

Coach O

November 18th, 2009
12:04 pm

Trade School Junkie,

If your Beez hadn’t gotten blown away by the Hurricanes, then you might have a slightly different attitude right now. Most of the ranting about the BCS comes from the losers that “the system” leaves out in the cold.

There can only be one Champion, no matter which system is used. If there were no BCS, your team still wouldn’t be in First Place. The first step toward that goal is winning all of your games. Still, that alone won’t get you there. It ain’t easy — it ain’t supposed to be.

Mike

November 18th, 2009
2:45 pm

The BCS is far from perfect but it beats the heck out of the old system. As far as a playoff I for one am against it. I like for the games to mean something all season. Look what has happened to NCAA basketball. The games mean nothing until march.

TLH Gator

November 18th, 2009
3:34 pm

Mike – regular season games do mean something…until you lose one game, especially if it is late in the season, then your team is out, unless it gets help. At least with a 16 team playoff, a team can lose early or late and its body of work for the entire season could qualify it for the playoff. Although not likely, a playoff could encourage more attractive non-conference games sweetened by the offer of television $. A fallacy of the current system is highlighted by my Gators who avoid a rival, Miami, and play three cupcake non-conference games per year.

Coach O

November 18th, 2009
5:18 pm

TLH Gator,

I don’t see your point regarding a playoff encouraging more attractive OOC games? How would a playoff motivate such a change?

TLH Gator

November 19th, 2009
10:25 am

Coach – because a loss does not hurt a team’s chances at making the playoffs like it does in the curren system. Similar to the basketball tournament, a two loss team with one “quality” loss could get in the playoff over a team with two or even one bad loss(es).

Rob

November 19th, 2009
12:01 pm

Bamboozled, I have two words for you as to what’s preventing a playoff system: BIG TEN. Let’s be honest, if the national championship was decided by a playoff the Big Ten would be lucky to get past the first two rounds.

Coach O

November 19th, 2009
8:26 pm

Seems you’re advocating a “playoff” system based on opinion polls.

What’s the point?

[...] no decision is made, then just follow the Legends Poll?!?!? BCS should review it before making a [...]