College Football Playoff: The Time Has Come to Dump the Coaches' Poll
It seems that a selection committee is going to be used to determine the field for the college football four-team playoff, which is something many folks are rejoicing about.
While the committee has yet to be assembled and the criteria for inclusion into the postseason have yet to be written, the move to a committee is a positive thing—provided it is executed well.
As Tony Barnhart of CBS Sports mentioned in his interview with Tim Brando, the current "selection committee" of the Coaches' Poll and Harris Poll is what's being replaced. That old system just didn't sit well with fans, and it was shrouded in secrecy and uncertainty with respect to how rankings were decided.
While the Harris Poll has its flaws, including criteria to be a voter and transparency, the more egregious of the two polls has always been the Coaches' Poll.
Through 1997, when the coaches were merely picking a team they designated as the best to be champion, there was not much of an issue. However, with the onset of the BCS, the poll became more of a problem, as they began playing a role in deciding who got to play for the title.
While it sounds similar in theory, it is largely different in practice. Picking who gets the right to play for a championship is a big responsibility when teams are going to be left out of contention.
The Coaches' Poll, as a part of the BCS formula, is flawed in a multitude of fashions. There is the obvious bias that comes with being asked to vote for yourself, your friends or your conference's teams in honest fashion.
Everyone looks out for number one, and it's impossible to eliminate the inherent bias for what you want to happen, especially when your paycheck and your school's portion is tied directly to the results of the final numbers.
What should happen to the Coaches' Poll in 2014
That's the most obvious flaw, but it is not the worst. No, the main reason that the Coaches' Poll must be dumped is because, unlike the Harris, which could be fixed with some real effort, the Coaches' Poll is absolutely unable to be fixed.
Regardless of the measures taken, there are just not enough hours in a day to make the Coaches' Poll a legitimate player in determining where teams fall in the grand scheme of college football.
Coaches have real jobs. Real, busy jobs. They don't have time to watch hours upon hours of college football games to determine which team is better. While their background in evaluating film makes them a valuable voice, the time constraints of their primary profession do not allow them to actually utilize this skill.
For that reason, it is time for the Coaches' Poll to go. Let the AP handle the dressed-up rankings and preseason talk.
With a selection committee coming, the Coaches' Poll truly has no place in the world of college football. Not when so much is on the line and so many tough decisions have to be made.
The poll had a great run, and during its heyday it was useful in crowning a champion. Now that the sport is picking who will play for said title, the poll has outlived its usefulness.
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