Once again, it appears that the Division 1 FBS coaches just don’t seem to get it.
No, I’m not talking about the silly little sparring that has been going on in the Southeastern Conference since Tennessee hired Lane Kiffin. (Although you have to admit that SEC commissioner Mike Slive verbally smacking down the coaches and athletic directors regarding the silly little taunts was amusing to read.)
Instead, I am referring to the decision that the American Football Coaches Association rendered yesterday to keep the final USA Today coaches poll ballot from being publicly revealed.
So, while the BCS has tried to recently become transparent with regards to their selection, the coaches have taken a step in the opposite direction.
Secrecy is the preferred method of most college head coaches. Heaven forbid anyone truly know anything regarding how the program is run.
But this comment by Grant Teaff, AFCA executive director, really takes the cake:
“Why do you think they have voting booths,” Teaff told the Tulsa World. “Why do you think they have curtains around voting booths? Experts believe that's the truest way of getting the purest vote. That's what coaches are after.”
The purest vote?
Are you kidding me?
Usually when one enters a voting booth, you are actually doing something of truly impactful value like selecting a president, congressional representatives, state and local leaders, etc.
You aren’t trying to arbitrarily decide on which two teams from power conferences get to play for a crystal football and a claim as the mythical national champion.
No one is probably asking for the coaches to make every single ballot public; quite frankly, I don’t really care which coach has which team number one on September 18th.
However, when the calendar pages flip to November and December and January, then you’re damn right it matters. If you want me, as a fan, to be invested and care about this sport, then you need to make things as transparent as possible.
Look, we know that coaches have inherent biases; as much as they may want us to believe the opposite, these guys are human beings. Look at the voting patterns in last season’s final poll. Some of the positioning of teams is quite curious, indeed.
But you know what? At least we have the opportunity to question these decisions instead of inventing fictional straw men to rail against if our team gets the proverbial shaft.
Sadly, the coaches instead have voted for secrecy.