CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reported late Wednesday that the Coaches' Poll was here to stay, as college football moves into the next postseason era. Grant Teaff, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, and his gang have decided they could not leave well enough alone.
Whether you like the playoff or you don't, this is a bad move for the game.
We talked about it at Your Best 11 in June of last year. We talked about it again in August after the Lane Kiffin fiasco. Then we hit on Grant Teaff's rebuttal to the Kiffin fiasco, again reminding folks why the Coaches' Poll does not work. Once again, it was brought up in August, when Chip Kelly made the clear point about why the Coaches' Poll is not to be trusted.
In other words, if you've followed along, we have been over this, folks.
The Coaches' Poll involves a bunch of guys who can't watch games, who let their sports information directors vote in their place and who have big-time biases. The poll, more than any other, is flawed to its core.
Yet, Teaff and the AFCA are proud to let us know that it shall persist as the game attempts to move forward. More from the CBS Sports report:
“The poll has a lot of roles than just a part of the selection process,” Teaff said. “That's just been since 1998 [it's been] part of the selection process. Part of the role of the poll that's been good for college football is the early rankings—even though, interestingly enough, the BCS has asked us not to release it until later in the year.
“[A preseason poll] creates buzz, what the coaches think. The board's strong opinion was that the poll will go on.”
On the plus side, Teaff is, at least in theory, not angling for his poll to be included in the selection process. However, the executive director does hit on the idea that "creating buzz" is reason enough for the coaches, despite their issues, to be in the polling business.
As if that buzz could not be generated by the Associated Press Preseason Poll. Or perhaps the plethora of preseason magazines that produce their polls. Or the websites that create their own list. College football, America's second-favorite sport, needs the Coaches' Poll to create preseason buzz the way the NFL needs one guy's power rankings to generate excitement.
When preseason buzz is your sell, it's time to push back from the table. Especially as the sport heads into a world where a selection committee needs maximum clarity, the Coaches' Poll does not need to cloud the water.
The AFCA does a lot of good work. In the world of college football, there is certainly a place for it and its big education-and-safety agenda. The sport needs the education and the safety push from the coaches' side.
What college football does not need is the Coaches' Poll. Yet that is exactly what we are getting as it moves into a new phase in 2014. You lose the BCS, but thanks to the Coaches' Poll, there will be buzz.
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