Tech and the Associated Press poll

Georgia Tech debuted at No. 15 in the college football poll on Saturday.

Coach Paul Johnson has very strong feelings about the preseason polls. He said at the team’s media day three Saturdays ago that if it were up to him the polls wouldn’t come out until after the third week of the season.

He theorized that if a team starts outside the top 10 and loses a game, it’s unnecessarily difficult to make it all the way back to Nos. 1 or 2 by season’s end. He said that’s one of the reasons he doesn’t vote in the coaches’ poll.

I asked him afterward if he thought a team that started around 15 and went undefeated could make it to the title game. He couldn’t see why not, but it’s along way to go.

Personally, I think the coaches’ poll is a bizarre concept to begin with. It’s the equivalent of potentially having best friends or enemies comprise your jury, so to speak. Throw in the oft-made arguments about time spent researching other teams to place them accordingly, ethical issues, etc. But, as I’ve often said: what the heck do I know?

But, as always, what do you think? Do you put more vote in the coaches’ poll or media poll (I don’t vote in that)? And why? Other than a playoff, what recommendations would you make if you had a chance to redo the rankings system in college football?

55 comments Add your comment

AlabamaRamblinwreck

August 23rd, 2009
9:39 pm

Both AP and coaches’ polls are stupid this time of year. I agree wholeheartedly with CPJ that after some games have been played would be a better time to publish the first poll. Since the coaches do not have time to adequately research or watch the other teams, I really think that poll is the dumbest one of all. At least the sports writers are watching multiple teams play on Saturdays. Although the computers leave much to be desired also, they are much more designed to determine the rankings without bias.

What college football needs is a playoff system that ultimately leads to a Nat’l Championship game. Nothing else will ever come closer to determining a champion.

Go Jackets!!

PFL

August 23rd, 2009
9:49 pm

Agree with CPJ. Only polls that start after third week should be used in the BCS calculation. Other polls are free to start earlier as there will always be demand from fans to see where “the experts” think they rank preseason, they just shouldn’t impact on a teams fate.

Ed-Covington

August 23rd, 2009
10:00 pm

Totally agree that the polls come out too early, first should come out after September, when most everyone has played at least three games. However, polls sell newspapers and appeal to TV and blog audiences; and there is no way anyone can really stop anybody from conducting a poll. The only way would be for the coaches AND sportswriters to all boycott the polls. Anyone see any reasonable chance of that happening?

Stumpknocker

August 23rd, 2009
10:10 pm

I agree with Ala RamblinWreck. A playoff system is the only way to determine a true NC. Stats based on wins/losses, O and D performances compiled by computer and presented no earlier than mid-season should be the only poll allowed.

toh3llwithgeorgia

August 23rd, 2009
10:20 pm

Hell yeah Paul Johnson, I back that 100 percent.

THWG

August 23rd, 2009
10:59 pm

I am as guilty as anybody when it comes to checking out the polls. I have read every preseason prognostication and ranking that I could find. Yes they are worthless and probably hurt teams more than they help them by riling up egos. I think it would be a fine idea not to have any rankings until the season is well underway, but I really do enjoy seeing what “experts” have to say about the Jackets.

This will be an outstanding season, and I believe that Coach Johnson will keep the players’ egos in check, but for a team that is not used to great success these rankings could be a kiss of death. If Tech stays undefeated through VT, Vandy scares me more than anyone else.

Ed-Covington

August 23rd, 2009
11:09 pm

Playoff? A playoff allowed the NYGiants to beat the 17-0 Patriots 2 years ago and claim the NFL title, though obviously the record-setting New England team was the best team throughout the season. A playoff system allowed Arkansas in the College World Series this year. Cal-State Fullerton won the CWS a few years ago even though their record at one tim was 23-17 and four other teams emtered the CWS with less than 8 losses. I am a Tech fan, but a few years ago they played UConn for the NCAA baskeball title (and after beating UConn during the season) with a 9-9 ACC record. If they had beaten UConn, would they have been the best team in the country or just the #1 team? Georgetown beat the 1985 Villanova team 3 times during the regular season, yet lost once to them in the final game, so Villanova became the #1 team. Same thing with the Jimmy V. NCState team that beat Houston; they lost to NC 3 times that season. Wasn’t NC obviously the better team?
Same thing happened to the Braves V Marlins: Braves ended the regular season 7 games in front of the Marlins playing the exact schedule, but the Marlins got in the postseason as a wild card. Then Eric Gregg’s arbitrary strike zone allowed Florida to win a 3 game series, and they went on to win the WS.
Just think if all of those Okla & Texas & etc. fans that screamed for a playoff system last year had watched UTAH win it!
It could almost be argued that a playoff system is no or less more arbitrary than polls to determine the actual “best” team. They render the regular season meaningless.

Ed-Covington

August 23rd, 2009
11:45 pm

Should read: “is no more or less arbitrary”; sorry, it’s late.

Jae

August 24th, 2009
12:02 am

Teams and fans should ignore rankings…it should come down to personal expectations. My expectations (as a fan) are ACC championship and double digit wins. Your expectations could be the same as mine, or maybe higher, and the team’s could be too. In either case, rankings are irrelevant…unless your expectation is to be ranked, in which case, why are you hoping someone else says your team is good? Wouldn’t you rather your team just be good?

Hope for a good season, great effort, and no injuries. The rankings and everything else will take care of themselves.

Hey Dogtards

August 24th, 2009
12:07 am

“It could almost be argued that a playoff system is no or less more arbitrary than polls to determine the actual “best” team. They render the regular season meaningless.”

No offense Ed, but your rationale is pretty flawed. The more the championship/rankings are determined by on field play and the less they are determined by opinion (particularly the opinions of people who don’t currently play the sport and haven’t watched each team play), the more arbitrary is the system. Right now, there is basically a two team playoff. Expanding it to four or eight teams only makes it more likely that the top two teams actually have a chance at winning the title (for example, Texas or Utah last year).

Moreover, you list some examples of what you think are national championship upsets, but you ignore the obvious. If the teams you list truly are/were the better team, they should be able to win when it really counts. They could not.

The biggest flaw in your argument is that a playoff would render the regular season meaningless. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a playoff would make games MORE important, in the same way that the major league baseball wildcard has. For example, in a typical season there are only four or five teams that are truly competing for a national championship slot. Expanding to an eight team playoff would keep more teams hopes alive – thus the last 2-3 games of the regular season that usually determine bowl pecking order would now determine who gets the chance to win the national championship. For example, even though it was clear a no loss Utah or Boise State, a one loss Penn St. or Texas Tech, or two loss uga, Ohio State, OK St., or Missouri would not play for a national championship by at least week 13 (if not earlier for other teams), they would still all be playing for three (THREE!) playoff spots with three weeks to go. If that wouldn’t make the season more exciting or meaningful, I don’t know what would.

Could you imagine this year if #8/9 Georgia was playing #8/9 Georgia Tech for a spot to go to the national championship playoff?

Hey Dogtards

August 24th, 2009
12:20 am

PS – nobody has mentioned that the coaches poll generally isn’t voted on by coaches, but instead by staffers who run the rankings by a coach before they are submitted. In light of their full schedule with coaching and recruiting, coaches barely spend any time on these rankings and even if the coach has seen every team play it’s doubtful a significant amount of thought goes into them, even though they determine, in part, the national champion.

A better system would be an eight team playoff that includes the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 tournament winners, along with the regular season champs from the Big 10 and Pac 10. The remaining three slots would be filled by any teams in the top 10 that aren’t in those conferences (see Notre Dame, Big East, Utah, Boise State, TCU, etc.) and, to the extent there were any slots left, remaining spots would be filled by the highest remaining ranked teams. Teams would be seeded afterwards based on record. The last five conferences to have teams win national championships would maintain an automatic bid to the playoff for their conference champions. Here it would be SEC(Florida, 2008), Big 12 (Texas, 2005), Pac 10 (USC, 2004), Big 10 (Ohio St., 2002), and ACC (Miami (goes by current membership), 2001).

So, last year the playoff would look like this.

1) Oklahoma
2) Florida
3) Texas
4) USC
5) Utah
6) Penn St.
7) Boise St.
8) Virginia Tech

First round VT @ Oklahoma, Boise St. @ Florida, Penn St. @ Texas, and Utah @ USC

joe Hamilton

August 24th, 2009
12:49 am

Me like Tacos.

LOL

August 24th, 2009
1:57 am

(((((((12-33)))))))hahahahahahhaha

Spike

August 24th, 2009
7:00 am

Nerds gone wild.

THWG

August 24th, 2009
7:47 am

I like the idea of a four team playoff; anymore and the regular season would lose too much importance.

Tech will be 7-5 again

August 24th, 2009
7:55 am

Johnson should be very happy with his #15 ranking. If rankings didn’t come out until the 3rd week tech would be out of the top 25… Your D sucks, fumbles will be a problem, and tech will lose at least 5 games.

JAdams

August 24th, 2009
8:02 am

I think the poll situation is complicated. As a fan i like to have an idea of how are team is precived nationally but at the same time ranking teams before they play a game can create an advantage or disadvantage. Ranked to high like UGA every year can set up a major let down and not being ranked in the begining can dimotivate fans from coming out and actually hurt a program. I say keep it the way it is and add a playoff.

Ralph

August 24th, 2009
8:45 am

Pre-season polls give a leg up to the traditional powerhouses. Nobody can catch them with a similar record and strength of schedule as the poll edge will keep them on top. Of course this is unfair, but that’s the way the media wants it – those powerhouses have bigger audiences that attract higher advertising rates. As in most things, “follow the money”.

AA

August 24th, 2009
8:49 am

Jadams-
First of all, I have no idea where your going with this. You used the word dimotivate. What does that mean? The only thing I could get from this was a playoff system. Next time do us all a favor and make a point.
Back to football. One problem I’ve always seen in the polls is how some teams drop after a loss much more than others. Teams like USC, Ohio St, Notre Dame and UGA can lose a game and only drop a spot or two. Then other teams lose a game and could fall 8-12 spots. Notre Dame hasn’t done jack the past few years and all of a sudden they’re ranked #13. Come on. Charlie Weis sucks. With the recruits he has up there, he should be winning 11-12 games a year.
But he’s not.

superDawg

August 24th, 2009
8:59 am

Ralph I agree with you however these power teams usually rise back toward the top any way.Strength of schedule is the key.

JAdams

August 24th, 2009
8:59 am

AA if your going to dog me out dont copy my sayings. I dont get on here and say “there’s a new Sheriff in town”. Notre dame does suck but what does that have to do with anything. The teams you listed for not falling far in the polls are useually alot better than the teams that fall far. If a unbeaten Oklahoma looses to a unbeaten Texas they shouldnt fall far. If a Unbeaten South Caroilina looses to Vandy they should never be heard of. you know nothing about football.

JAdams

August 24th, 2009
9:22 am

AA why didnt you say theres a new sheriff in town? If your gonna dog me dont plagurize my sayings. you know nothing about football. Notre dame does suck but what does that have to do with anything

Doug Roberson

August 24th, 2009
9:22 am

Ralph, I think you may be confusing media with corporate TV types. (It’s one of those things that drives me crazy. Like when sports radio guys, or TV commentators, refer to the media. They are a member of the media!)

superDawg

August 24th, 2009
10:14 am

If tech would fill their stadium every saturday and show some kind of support for their program maybe they would get more respect.As it stands tech is nothing but a bunch of fair weather bandwagoneers that spew their crap when they win a big game.If you don’t get the picture look at the SEC,almost every team will sell out on gameday win or lose.NUFF SAID!

Not Disappointed

August 24th, 2009
10:25 am

Good Point Doug Roberson, Radio Sports and TV people too are the media.

Keep the current system and add a playoff is a start, but the better choice (In my humble opinion) is to play three weeks before they have a poll. Forget our egos and play the game. One of the reason I like College Football so much is because it’s not Professional, but it’s starting to be. Hey, what do I know?????????

JAdams you make sense as well.

Ramblin Wreck!

Hey Dogtards

August 24th, 2009
10:25 am

Hey not so super pup

“If tech would fill their stadium every saturday and show some kind of support for their program maybe they would get more respect.”

Yes, because clearly how many tickets you sell determines just how good your football team is. See Michigan (Rank 1; 108,571 per game) Tennessee (4; 101,448), and Auburn (10; 86,915) last year. Based on their attendance figures, those teams clearly deserved more respect last year.

“If you don’t get the picture look at the SEC,almost every team will sell out on gameday win or lose.”

Probably because there isn’t much else to do in Gainesville, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Knoxville, Athens (well, at least Athens has a respectable downtown area), or South Carolina.

Not Disappointed

August 24th, 2009
10:28 am

superDawg do you feel better now? You speak from knowing the make up of Tech Grads and alumni. We live all of the country. Not just in Atlanta or the state. We can use some improvement in attendance but thank you for your little out burst. What a cookie? Go Jackets!

collegeballfan

August 24th, 2009
10:29 am

Doug, Ralph is correct. And media includes ABC, CBS, ESPN, etc, etc ,etc. All are media. And they love having a horse race. That is why the 2 teams in the BCS championship game will be one of the top five
in the opening AP poll.

Chris

August 24th, 2009
10:50 am

Starting the poll 3 weeks in wounds like a goog idea, but it would still favor some teams over others. Some team’s first games will be a cake-walk and some teams first games could be their most difficult. A team could get plastered in its first game and win the rest, but would start extra low if the poll started three weeks in.

1Jacket7

August 24th, 2009
11:07 am

Early Polls sell magazines and newspapers. It also gives the media something to talk about on TV and Cable. So, the solution is to give a projected poll in place of a preseason poll. This would give everyone something to talk and write about. Now, The next poll wouldn’t come out until Oct 1st. This would give all of the pollsters time to evaluate the talent and truly give a better and more accurate ranking of all teams and where they should rank. A number 1 could now be 10 a 10 could now be a number 1. Then there should be one poll. A combination of the Coaches poll, AP poll and Computer Poll, like the BCS poll that determines the rankings every week. At the end of the season 16 teams will be selected representing All twelve Div-1 champions, and the four highest ranked teams that are not conference champions. Eight Bowl Games will be selected to host the Elite Eight Bowl Championship Series. Match up the teams on a Regional Basis to help with Ticket sales. Now, Eight Bowl Games will be played to determine the Final 4. Those teams will play in the BCS Bowls. Again hosting teams that are located closest to the Bowl Venue. The Final Two Play in the BCS Championship Game on any day between, Jan 1st through 8th. All of the teams that finish the top 25 after the season that aren’t in the 16 selected get invited to the other bowl games plus the remaining teams that were not ranked and finish with a 7 win or better year. This I feel will give a true National Champion, It is great for TV. The bowls still win maybe more so because of this format.

macrotech

August 24th, 2009
11:52 am

Spike, which is worse…. nerds gone wild or a ‘ingnant’, bacci chewin, mud boggin, wife beatin’, slurpee suckin’, rebel flaggin’, no toothed, spit stained, underachievin’, trailer parkin, ‘make ya squeal like a pig’ redneck? (Just playin along with the stereotype thang you’re enjoying)

Tech will be 7-5 again, how is it possible for Tech to lose 5 games by week 3?

superDawg, it’s REALLY sad that the only thing that you can pull out of your hind parts regarding Tech is their stadium capacity…..earning ‘respect’ as you continue to sing is winning National Trophies….when are the mutts going to get THEIR respect?! The luster from 1980 has LONG worn off! Watched a segment on the SEC this morning on espn and the crotch sniffers weren’t even mentioned…..where was the respect?….and the pups fill their stadium every week!

At least, in a playoff system the champs will be determined on the field!!! GO TECH!!!

Cuttysark

August 24th, 2009
11:56 am

The early pre-season polls are intended to generate more interest in the game. They succeed on that level. The problem is that if you are not ranked within the top 10, it is almost impossible to move up unless one of those teams ahead of you loose at least 2 games. This is where the flaw becomes obvious and the media bias takes over. For example, Notre Dame will be hard pressed to fall too far in the polls since they receive lots of love from the media. USC is the same. After their Oregon State loss last year, they only fell 5 or 6 spots, and were still in the BCS Championship discussion the entire year.

Go to isportsweb.com for a preview of the Georgia Tech Football season, and an article on Coach Paul Johnson. Go Jackets!

superDawg

August 24th, 2009
11:58 am

Make all the excuses you want,the bandwagon wants you.coupon,gimmick team of ATL.FREE HOT DOG.

superDawg

August 24th, 2009
12:04 pm

MACRO UNDISPUTED IS A WORD THAT DEFINES NATIONAL CHAMPIONS AND tech DOES NOT MEET THAT STATUS.IF YOU LOOK UP NATIONAL FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS YOU WILL FIND THAT UGA HAS JUST AS MANY.

superdawg loves the Free Gaint Hot Dogs and I wonder why?

August 24th, 2009
12:06 pm

come on super pup and get a Gaint Free Hot One! “You know you want it!” I want tell….

Jimbo

August 24th, 2009
12:35 pm

superDawg: You strike me as someone who has trouble with the concept of nasal respiration.

macrotech

August 24th, 2009
12:41 pm

super, since we’re on a first name basis now; EVEN if we considered all the championships listed….uga falls short by one….without looking, i believe Tech has 6 and uga has 5 (something like that). BUT, regarding the NCAA, Tech has 4 and uga has one (maybe two)….sorry, you can’t see that 1990, while shared….STILL gets counted by the governing body of college football! Don’t worry, you pups are still filling up that stadium! At least you have THAT going for you!

macrotech

August 24th, 2009
12:48 pm

Just looked it up…Tech, according to ncaa has 3 and uga has one….i figured I’d save you the effort.

Tech will be 7-5 again

August 24th, 2009
12:55 pm

Macrotech,
You are not respected and neither is your team. Respect is earned. Tech hasn’t finished a season in the top 10 this century. How many times has UGA done it? Thought so.

Jimbo

August 24th, 2009
1:41 pm

I always love it when people throw out, “in this century.” Try “in this decade”, you exaggerating idiot.

superDawg

August 24th, 2009
2:52 pm

mac I don’t know which site your own but your info.is incomplete keep searching.If you can’t find it get back to me ro.

macrotech

August 24th, 2009
3:33 pm

Tech will be 7-5 again, AGAIN…. when did uga win the National Championship? All these top 10’s and NOTHING to show for it…. I don’t need the respect from you….you’re the idiot that thinks Tech will be 7-5 this year! By they way, we’ve finished in the top 10 several times in the past hundred years!

superDawg, go to ncaa.com…..click on football….it’s so easy that EVEN a superDawg can do it! For the record, I have no idea what ‘ro’ stands for…complimentory I’m sure!

Tech will be 7-5 again

August 24th, 2009
4:15 pm

Macropanzie,
UGA has a couple of conference titles to show for the top 10 final rankings and we have something else tech doesn’t… National respect. Win something this CENTURY and maybe someone off tech’s campus will respect you… Or at least the team you cheer for.

Hey Dogtards

August 24th, 2009
4:44 pm

“Win something this CENTURY and maybe someone off tech’s campus will respect you… Or at least the team you cheer for.”

I guess you must be born after 1990, because you don’t remember Tech winning a national championship. Pretty awesome you guys have won the sec twice since 1982. That’s only one more conference championship than GT has national championships during that time.

Translates out to 2 conference championships in 26 seasons. GT won 5 sec championships in its last 26 seasons in the SEC.

Dawghater

August 24th, 2009
4:46 pm

Super “Dumb” Dawg – every checked to see the enrollment size of UGA and GT. UGA’s student base alone could fill 62% or more of the seats in that rat hole you play in! Our entire student base would fill up 17% of our seats. I know math is not anyone’s strength in Athens but if you combined the enrollment size added with the alumni (those who get a so-called degree or piece of paper from UGA) to that at GT your arguement about filling the stadium at GT is lame at best. Then throw in those who show up in Athens to see a game that couldn’t even spell “college” vs attend one, then you simply don’t know what showing respect even is.

One last comment wimpy dawg. Who has the most and the most recent National Championships in Division I Football in this state. It’s not the lowly puppy dawgs. And Preseason #1 rankings don’t count. GET IT!

THWG

August 24th, 2009
4:53 pm

UGA has a lot of regional respect, not so much nationally, they still garner more respect than Tech; if you talk to people outside of the South UGA are considered a “pretty good” team, though not part of college football’s elite.

Nate

August 24th, 2009
5:11 pm

7-5 for Tech. I don’t know what your smoking man, but even with an injury to Nesbitt and Dwyer we could win 8 games. Realistically, I see Tech with a 9-10 win season again. The Georgia game should be a close competition. So if you think we are losing 5 games, who do you see that to? Probably UGA since we all know you’re a Dawgs fan, but who else Vandy, Miss St.? I don’t think so. I pray that you are on the boards when we win that eighth game and UGA is still struggling to find a QB.

Dawghater

August 24th, 2009
5:13 pm

Hey “THWG” how much respect are you getting from the Gators nowadays? After a 09 Preseason #1 that crashed and burned, not sure your respect is as high as you think it is!

superDawg

August 24th, 2009
5:15 pm

dawghater it must be really hard being a tekie coming out once every 8 years to be smacked back in your hole.SIC-EM DAWGS!

superDawg

August 24th, 2009
5:20 pm

dawghater my math is fine tech should have built a smaller stadium.