It is no secret that Nick Saban ranked the Oklahoma State Cowboys below the Stanford Cardinals in the last edition of the US News Coaches' Poll of 2011.
The reason why it is no secret is because it can't be—all votes have to be made public in the last week of the season. Let's say Nick Saban wasn't being ethical, and did rank them below because of a biased Alabama interest.
Do you blame him? He doesn't get paid to rank teams, he gets paid by the University of Alabama to win National Championships.
It is hard to argue that this system of biased coaches ranking football teams makes any sense, especially if those coaches are involved in a national contention with the other teams that they are ranking in these polls.
But besides the possibility of biased votes, you have the possibility of negligent voting. Do coaches have the time to watch other football teams closely while they concentrate on their own football operations? If these polls served the same purpose as the NCAA Basketball Polls, maybe it wouldn't be that bad. But since these polls are the equivalent of a full-fledged playoff system, margin of error must be minimal.
There is only one place on the Earth that I know margin of errors are as minimal as they can be: Las Vegas, NV. Here, the book keepers must get the right odds in order to make financial sense. It might be simple gambling for the customers, but for the sports book industry this is science.
You can bet that these companies do not lose on making profit. Now imagine Las Vegas ranking college teams. Wait—they already do rank them. This past December there was a big fuss about why Alabama was ranked above Oklahoma State.
The Las Vegas odds had the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide set at about even. It wasn't until the last minute that Alabama became a favorite of 1.5 points against LSU at the Superdome. Las Vegas would have had both of those teams there, with the edge to the Crimson Tide. Experts state that Oklahoma State would have been a double digit underdog against LSU.
Funny that biases disappear when big purses are involved with these teams. Las Vegas does not wear any team colors, unless their colors are a shade of green. Mark Emmert: Let Las Vegas determine the National Champion, not Tuscaloosa, Stillwater or Baton Rouge.