Why Coaches Should Coach and Media Should Vote

John MossSenior Analyst IOctober 12, 2008

After yet another amazing Saturday of upsets in the college football world, the new batch of rankings came out on Sunday.  The Associated Press poll, the first to be released Sunday morning, looks like this:

1. Texas (39) 1599
2. Alabama (26) 1582
3. Penn State 1492
4. Oklahoma 1306
5. Florida 1284
6. USC 1247
7. Texas Tech 1210
8. Oklahoma State 1184
9. BYU 1131
10. Georgia 1081

Next up was the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, the one of the two that is actually used in the uber-confusing BCS system.  The Coaches Poll looks like this:

1. Texas (44) 1505
2. Alabama (14) 1452
3. Penn State (3) 1416
4. USC 1198
5. Texas Tech 1195
6. Oklahoma 1147
7. Florida 1145
8. BYU 1143
9. Georgia 1010
10. Oklahoma State 958

The top and bottom three of each poll's top ten is not the problem.  As of today, no one can argue that Texas, Alabama, and Penn State are not three of the best teams in the country.

On the same hand, Oklahoma State, Georgia, and BYU deserve to be in the top ten...but not necessarily the top half of the top ten, yet.

The problem is numbers four through seven.  Sadly, the more accurate AP poll is not factored into the BCS picture, so we are left with this from the Coaches:


4. USC (4-1)
So, a loss to an unranked Oregon State team that is 3-3 on the season justifies ranking the Trojans ahead of undefeated Texas Tech, an Oklahoma team whose only loss came to a Texas team ranked fifth at the time, and a Florida team that easily handled fourth-ranked LSU?  Give me a break. 


5. Texas Tech (6-0)
This is tricky.  The undefeated start is nice, as are the obscene numbers the offense is posting every time out.  Dig a little deeper, however, and the shine begins to wear off.

Eastern Washington, Nevada, SMU, UMASS, Kansas State, and Nebraska, the six teams Tech has beaten so far this season.  Not one of them is anywhere near being ranked.

Saturday's struggle with Nebraska in Lubbock should have sent warning flags up for voters... instead, they land ahead of Oklahoma and Florida, and into the top five.


6. Oklahoma (5-1)
Does this make sense to you?  I mean, really?  The number one team in the country plays one of the best games in recent memory against another top five team, losing by 10 points after leading throughout the first three quarters.

The game showed just how evenly matched the Longhorns and Sooners are this year.  And yet, after watching that game, the Coaches believe Texas is FIVE spots better than Oklahoma? 


7. Florida (5-1)
The Gators bounce back from an upset loss at home to a good Ole Miss team to dismantle an Arkansas team that beat No. 20 Auburn Saturday, then turn around and rock No. 4 LSU by 30 points this past weekend... and find themselves looking up at six other teams above them?

The most outrageous part is that the coaches themselves hardly vote.  But honestly, why should they?  It's not as if they have all this free time to sit down and watch games every Saturday. 

While the media is not perfect, it is a part of their job to watch as many games as possible each week.  They report on the games.  Usually, they have no agenda in voting one team above another. 

And yet, the BCS uses the Coaches poll instead of the AP poll in helping determine who should play for the National Championship.

Thank goodness it's only October, leaving plenty of time for more upsets and the chance for the coaches poll to finally get it right.

**Here is the Harris Poll's top ten, which along with the Coaches Poll makes up two-thirds of the BCS rankings.**
1. Texas
2. Alabama
3. Penn State
4. Oklahoma
5. USC
6. Florida
7. Texas Tech
8. BYU
9. Georgia
10. Oklahoma State


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