Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SEVENTEEN WORDS That Describe the Best College Football Poll Methodology
(Or Why the Master Coaches Poll is the BEST?)

Here is a simple quiz for college football fans. Described below are five current polling methods to select college football’s Top 25 teams. Select the method that makes the most sense. Or, if you don’t like common sense, pick the one method that could produce the very best result in determining which two teams will be the best in college football by December 3, 2006 and get to play for the national championship.

Method (A) An overworked guy (80-90 hours per week on his regular job) must find time to study 25-35 teams each week to come up with the Top 25. He is overall qualified, but is really only familiar with the teams he faces while performing his regular job. Oftentimes, he out sources his vote to others due to his time constraints.

Method (B) Six Geek Squad graduates plug unfathomable formulae into mega computers and come up with six completely different results.

Method (C) A horde of guys watch 2-3 games on TV every Saturday and vote for a Top 25 on Sunday. Some of these guys played football, some coached football, some wrote about football, and others actually have seen a football. However, some of these guys have Saturday jobs that prevent them from seeing college football games. Oh well.

Method (D) Three score or so scribes get to cover one game on Saturday, interview players and coaches after the game, write up their story before deadline, then race home to catch the 4th quarter of a Pac 10 game in the Pacific Time Zone. Some of these guys are so woozy from watching Arizona battling Oregon State at 1 AM on Sunday, they end up accidentally resubmitting last week’s ballot without noticing it.

Method (E) Seventeen retired (that means no day job to get in the way) college football coaches with winning credentials ( Eleven are in College Football Hall of Fame) actually watch 18-20 games on DVDs each week and then discuss team performances vis-à-vis each other on a weekly conference call. Because of their connections, they can glean information from many of the overworked guys mentioned in Method (A) which makes them extremely knowledgeable every week. Quality opinions are formed and the resulting aggregate vote takes into consideration the more than 3,000 games these coaches won before they retired.

If you picked Method (E), you are correct. As for the 17 words that describe the best college football poll methodology, here they are in a quote from Master Coach John Robinson, “We see all the Top 25 games and we discuss the performances among our coaches every week” (Emphasis added).

Hall of Fame coach Bo Schembechler makes two points in favor of the Master Coaches Poll. “There are two very important things. One, we have DVDs furnished to us each week, and we get a chance to see all the top teams play. Two, we have 17 coaches from all over the country and we communicate with each other on a weekly basis about the games and how teams are playing. Taking those two things into account, no one is more knowledgeable to vote on a poll than us (the Master Coaches)” (Emphasis added).

Plain and simple. This Master Coaches Poll just makes too much sense.

Maybe the BCS administrators should heed Coach Schembechler’s words and make the Master Coaches Poll part of the official selection process for the BCS championship game in the 2007 season.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The MCS is by far the best way to rank college football teams. All the other systems and polls are flawed. Keep up the good work.

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