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

Nachos

November 17th, 2009
7:38 am

tony's a homer

November 17th, 2009
7:40 am

Want to bet the legends poll had uga ahead of lsu in 2007.

Gold Whitey

November 17th, 2009
7:51 am

What would happen is that all these former coaches would start being interviewed by the media for their choices and being guests on college gameday and then all the sudden they are voting with the same bias everyone else is. The bias that says USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma, and the entire SEC are the best regardless of what they’ve done that year or who they have played.

Big time?? Not

November 17th, 2009
7:54 am

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

bigdawg01

November 17th, 2009
7:54 am

Slow Day, huh. ZZZZZZZ. BCS is not going to change, too much $$$$$ involved.

Bamboozled

November 17th, 2009
7:54 am

I’ve got a better idea, you know that thing called a “playoff”, yeah the one that 1-AA, Div II & III use to determine their NC…That seems to be a easy fix. We have a bunch of college Presidents and conf commish’s who do not see the light.

jablonski

November 17th, 2009
7:55 am

4 tickets, 4 cokes, 4 hot dogs and a mugging!!!!

BCS

November 17th, 2009
8:02 am

Congratulations to GA TECH: current Georgia State Champion, North Carolina State Champion, and Virginia State Champion.

Burdell

November 17th, 2009
8:03 am

Tech at #6 in the Legends Poll…I like it already! But they are still people…and people sometimes have agendas. Let’s decide it on the field…Plus 3 playoff.

GO JACKETS!!

Nativebird

November 17th, 2009
8:04 am

You’ll never lose the appearance of bias in your new Legends poll either. Bottome line, regardless of the integrity each of these greats have earned, they DID in fact coach for a school, a conference, a region of the country…and like all of us, they DO have bias, (just like reporters).

As much as everyone wants to get around the preverbial elephant in the room…this excersize and ALL excersizes with these polls only illustrate ONE thing, A PLAYOFF system is THE only way to truly find a National Champion of the year.

Burdell

November 17th, 2009
8:05 am

Big Time?? Not…don’t worry Mark Fox will get a few conference wins this year…you’ll start selling some tickets without the promotions.

SimpleDawg

November 17th, 2009
8:05 am

The legends would probably do better than what we have going currently.

What do we do with the 6 undefeated teams we’re likely to have this year?

I’m thinking that TCU and Cincy could hang with Florida, Bama, and Texas….Boise State, not so much. But if 2 more teams were added to the mix – maybe GIT & another 1 loss team – then we could have a nice little 8 team tourney to decide it on the field. We could still use the bowls to playoff the teams, actually making some of them much more relevant than they are in the present format, and still use the majority of the bowls for the other highly rated teams not in the Championship Series.

It could work, but no one will go for it.

R.C. Slocum

November 17th, 2009
8:07 am

I’m mentioned twice in the list of coaches because I get 2 votes.

Eric

November 17th, 2009
8:07 am

Polls should be decided by computers, not humans with human emotions, human biases and human errors. Okay, if you insist, include the Legends Poll as half of the equation.

Morning News And Views | MrSEC.com

November 17th, 2009
8:07 am

[...] who’s hot and who’s not in the SEC.5.  Tony Barnhart of The AJC believes it’s time to add a new human poll to the [...]

Eastside Jacket

November 17th, 2009
8:08 am

R.C. Slocum gets two votes? Sounds biased already.

jambee

November 17th, 2009
8:11 am

All polls are biased. A true champion cannot be determined by a poll.

Tree top

November 17th, 2009
8:13 am

Stupid idea. You think these old men, many who are near death, would be good voters? You think they have nothing going on Saturdays. They have family trips. Reunions. Grandkids come over. They don’t sit around watching football all week. Here’s what you do tony. You pay a 20-30 year old..there’s plenty of them unemployed, who sits around watching football all weekend long. And he makes $250 a day to vote. Cause he knows who’s playing the best who’s the best more than some grandad who left the game quarter century ago.

Mr. Phoenix

November 17th, 2009
8:14 am

$1.00 B/B tickets, free tee shirt, drunk 18 yr. old throwing up on your back.

Eastside Jacket

November 17th, 2009
8:15 am

My quick rundown of The Legends voters shows 4 of the 17 (24%) with SEC ties, one of the 17 (6%) with ACC ties.

Imagine that.

LegendsShouldSimplyRetire

November 17th, 2009
8:16 am

Has anyone looked at how the Legends voters have voted each week this year? Shoot just last week one of these supposed legends had GT ranked 14th! How could anyone justify that??? Most vote the conferences from which they spent the majority of their career much higher than the teams warrant. One had LSU ranked 4th last week!!! When a member of the press votes with such distortion it generally is an outlier due to the number of voters. So unless the “legends” poll adds about another 50 coaches the poll is useless and should only be used when you are in some serious desparation in a restroom without toilet paper.

Kerr

November 17th, 2009
8:18 am

Polls should be used to determine ranking but not who wins a championship. A playoff should have been brought 20 years ago. I went to Ga southern. We had playoffs. Yet my friends who went to Uga and tech didn’t. How stupid is that? Enough with the shenanigans. The fans need to start a campaign to let these pricks know we are tired of the bcs and the way college football determines a champion. We are the only major team sport that doesn’t have a playoff. Lets start a campaign where we don’t go to the bowl games. Stop watching the bowl games. Just say nah, get a playoff. We do that and these jerkoffs will change their ways. We have the control. They don’t.

ZamBonE

November 17th, 2009
8:19 am

The Coaches Poll is the first thing that needs to be removed from the bcs. The coaches are too busy coaching their team and watching film on their opponents to watch and rank teams they don’t play. The coaches will always vote higher for the teams that they face or are in conference with because they are the only teams they see every year and it improves their strength of schedule which makes their team look better than they may be. Any coach that spends time watching any footballs games other than their own or their next opponent should not be coaching at the collegiate or professional level. The coaches poll has major flaws and needs to have ZERO influence on bcs rankings.

Go Jackets

Eric

November 17th, 2009
8:19 am

I like to smoke penis ;)

m

November 17th, 2009
8:19 am

Tony…just another one of your stupid ideas.

The BCbcs is so flawed that it cannot be fixed. The contracts need to be voided and we need a 16 team playoff immediately. GET OPINIONS OUT OF FOOTBALL. ON THE FIELD RESULSTS ONLY!!!

If we had a 16 team playoff this year…it would be the most exciting sporting event in history. And NO ONE could predict how it would turn out.

Also, did you find it interesting that when Coach Mullen was invterviewed after the Alabama game, he was asked who he thought the best teams were since the had played 4 of the Top 15 teams? He said that he Alabama was the best team they had played and Georgia Tech was the second best team they had played (remember they played floriduh too.)

Get rid of the BSbcs and the human polls altogether…NOW.

D

November 17th, 2009
8:21 am

Here’s an idea……8 teams 3 weekends then we have a real NC.

Tom

November 17th, 2009
8:21 am

$5 basketball tickets. Free Tshirt!! Free apple pie with ticket stub!!
Drunk guy passes out in Five guys burger bathroom two weeks in a row!!

This is the university of jawja.

Jay

November 17th, 2009
8:24 am

How about just keeping the 4 main bowl for an eight team playoff. Then you only have 3 more games after those are played. And they are played between christmas and new years. Very simple.

SadDawg

November 17th, 2009
8:29 am

Tony, it makes so much sense that the BCS will NEVER do it!!

Ron Mexico

November 17th, 2009
8:35 am

Legends poll (assuming RC Slocum only votes once) being added to the BCS formula is a step in the right direction, but any poll with only 17 members is inherently flawed. But it’s gotta be better than the Harris poll. What we need is a TRUE Harris poll, where anyone named Harris gets a vote. That would provide the diversity and volume to get a true ranking.

Concerned

November 17th, 2009
8:35 am

4 of 17 from the SEC, and 1 of 17 from the ACC…If it is called the Legends Poll, how did the ACC get 1 football coach qualified?

Eureka!

November 17th, 2009
8:36 am

I’ve got it!

BCS, under a pay-for-view format produced by Vince McMahon, expands to inlcude:

- current BCS components

- the “Legends”

- a new element – the “thugs”
(consisting of current and former playas, such as the Vick brothers, Pacman, T.O., the Tennessee 3, Me-Angel-O, etc.)

Begin publicity about the time the NBA season starts (to ride with the thug atmosphere of that outfit) and have trash talking prior to each weekly BCS poll release, building up to…

BCS pairings, which should occur in an open ring with a free for all King of the Ring type of thing, maybe a cage match.

Then, the bowls are re-named..

Cotton Bowl? The “New AT&T Texas Death Match”

Sugar Bowl? “Katrina Bailout Bowl”

BCS Championship Broadcast Team? Ric “Nature Boy” Flair, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, a couple of others. The teams can be “managed” by trash talkers like Deon Sanders. The opposing teams steal each other’s women at halftime, etc.

Since the BCS, and college football, is all about money now, we may as well have a little fun – turn it all over to the master mind behind the WWE.

chazzo

November 17th, 2009
8:36 am

The only legitimate and decisive way is a playoff system. Beyond that, sure thow in the Legends poll.

RxDawg

November 17th, 2009
8:37 am

While were at it….there should be an 8 team playoff at the end of the season.

Gen Neyland

November 17th, 2009
8:38 am

Bias is still bias and will always be bias. Are we to ass-u-me they’ll follow the teams, watch DVD’s etc without taking a paycheck for their time and effort..? Money and votes. The American way.

Legends poll NOT

November 17th, 2009
8:38 am

as if Vince Dooley would ever vote for GT in any poll, no he would not, a biased selection before your evern out of the gate

SadDawg

November 17th, 2009
8:39 am

m, I’d like to see some kind of playoff also, but do you really think a playoff will make everybody happy? It would be as controversial as what we have now. Can you imagine the outrage of the 4 or 5 teams that get left out of the playoff, whether it includes 4, 8. or 16 teams? Just can’t make everbody happy all of the time…

Legends poll NOT

November 17th, 2009
8:39 am

give CPJ a playoff, and give it to him now! Let’s all petition the NCAA or BCS

SEC powerhouse NOT

November 17th, 2009
8:42 am

bad idea, you SEC coaches and writers already have your minds made up on who is the superior team, you look down at the ACC and would vote that way, same with the Big Ten coaches etc….need to implement a playoff system …

Coach O

November 17th, 2009
8:42 am

Poll the odds-makers in Vegas. At least that would please all of the gambling addicts who mistakenly think that they’re football fans.

Some unknown

November 17th, 2009
8:44 am

Why do people make this more complicated than it has to be. The ap poll is all that is needed. Do an 16 team playoff that begins two weeks after the conf champs. The 8 bowls are the 4 bcs, cap one, chik fila, sun and cotton. Then it’s 8 teams left, then 4 and then your champ. The teams that don;t make the 8 bowls play in lesser tier bowls that start early dec and are on during off days. It’s not that hard.

StraightJacket

November 17th, 2009
8:45 am

Tony, the polls STILL have too much “relative thinking” in them based on where a team STARTED the season in the polls. I suggest that teams like Stanford are under-rated (because they were unranked at the start) and teams like OSU, USC, Oregon and others are OVER-rated because of where they started the season.

I’ll buy your idea ….. IF …. they have a pre-season poll for fun and giggles, and THEN … DON’T VOTE AGAIN UNTIL after the 3rd week of October.

Of course, this is only the SECOND best option.

The BEST option is an 8 Team Playoff.

-SJ

bamafan

November 17th, 2009
8:46 am

And how does the Legends poll differ from the Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll, both of which you (TONY) criticized?

Craig

November 17th, 2009
8:46 am

Sad dawg
16 team playoff there would be no one complaining like there is today. Even an 8 team playoff would work as no team currently ranked 9th or higher has any chance or any reason to think they are the best in the country. Use two polls to determine. AP and computer.

Thomas

November 17th, 2009
8:50 am

I hope GT plays tcu. Then when we win, it will be us and bama as the two best teams. Just too bad we can’t play one more to see who the Champ is. Even Miss St coach said GT was the second best team he played.

Tide Rising

November 17th, 2009
8:50 am

Good idea Tony. But I would still always like to see a third of the formula to be an unbiased computer that ranks teams based on strength of schedule, quality of wins and losses, conference strength, etc.

GatorMatt

November 17th, 2009
8:51 am

Sounds like a great idea, Tony! It’s a shame there’s no person/entity that the fans can lobby to get something like this at least considered.

BankerDawg

November 17th, 2009
8:51 am

Well said, StraightJacket.

The main “problem” is that of preseason polls that are based largely on old data from the previous season. No meaningful poll should be released until October, as you stated.

I don’t see what the Legends poll would add to the process. If we think the current polls are biased, I cannot imagine what these old gents would contribute in the area of objectivity:

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.

I would guess these guys would be even more biased….they’ve got preconceived notions that go back several hundred years combined!!

No thanks.

Give me a later poll and a playoff, thank you very much.

GOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS! SIC ‘EM!

Steve

November 17th, 2009
8:52 am

Tony,

I was just thinking about the BCS this morning along with the other changes college football has seen since I was a kid back in the 1970’s. The BCS isn’t perfect, but what would we be saying if we still had the old system of 1979 in place? Florida would be 11-0 along with Alabama, TCU, Texas, Cincinnatti and Boise St. Alabama and Florida would NOT face each other in an SEC Championship game (that game didn’t exist in 1979) and one of those two teams would be locked into the Sugar Bowl. The other team would go to the Cotton or possibly the Orange Bowl. TCU and Texas most likely would have played one another in the old Southwest Conference, but the winner would be locked into a Cotton Bowl trip. Who knows where Cincy and Boise St. would have ended up, but my bet is that it wouldn’t be against Texas, Florida or Alabama. So what you have is not only an unclear national picture, but even the SEC title is in question. My guess is that the Cotton Bowl winner would have been #1 in the AP poll and the Sugar Bowl winner would have been #1 in the old UPI poll. Thank god we don’t have that old system in place today. At least the BCS clears up a few of these questions on the field with conference championship games and computer rankings that consider things like strength of schedule. Is it perfect, heck no!

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