HOOVER, Ala. -- The coaches poll just died here Friday morning.
There was no news release. You won't read about it anywhere but here. But it's done, kaput, over with, after more than 50 years.
|So, who (probably) brought the coaches poll down? This guy. (AP)|
It has to be over now, doesn't it? One of the most beloved figures in the sport just stripped it of any remaining value.
South Carolina's Steve Spurrier admitted Friday at the SEC media days that he was the one who didn't vote for Tim Tebow on the all-SEC team. What's that got to do with the coaches poll? In apologizing for leaving Tebow off his ballot, Spurrier admitted that he hadn't filled out his all-SEC ballot for his last 17 seasons.
Anonymously, of course. The SEC doesn't reveal the vote totals, who voted for whom or if the coaches actually voted.
"I've never filled one out," Spurrier said, "but I usually look at it."
This came from a guy with a coaches poll vote. This from a guy who has been adamant about his fellow coaches disclosing their final ballots in that poll. You can't do one thing and say the other.
"I don't know why we vote," Spurrier said of the SEC ballot. "I guess we vote 'cause college football is still without a playoff system. I really believe most coaches do not know a whole lot about the other teams."
That's certainly not a ringing endorsement of football coaches' knowledge of football. The reality is most coaches are so consumed with their jobs and their teams they don't have the time or the will to make the proper commitment. They call it a bunker and most coaches are so singularly focused that they reside in one from July through February.
That would be somewhat tolerable if it were just a poll. In essence, the coaches manage their own bank. They largely control a system that decides the BCS bowl teams and the money that goes with it.
That's not what the BCS commissioners want to hear. From the information I'm getting, they're ready to drop the coaches poll if the American Football Coaches Association changes its stance and begins hiding final ballots again in 2010.
The coaches already are on notice. I wrote earlier this week that they were asked to delay implementation of the change to 2010 so the BCS could consider whether it wanted the coaches poll to be a part of the process.
Friday revealed more about the coaches' voting habits -- or lack thereof. Spurrier's non-participation in a simple preseason ballot led to a controversy this week that might not be over yet. The man who is Florida football ended up having to apologize to the school's greatest player.
LSU coach Les Miles said he fills out his all-SEC ballot "in conjunction with" the SID over the phone. Tennessee's Lane Kiffin "had some of the guys around the office help me."
I want to believe that these guys take their coaches poll ballots more seriously. I can't. Joe Paterno used to let his SID fill out his ballot. Missouri's Gary Pinkel ranked the nation's only undefeated team (Utah) No. 15 last season. Spurrier himself used to give a sympathy vote in the preseason to Duke, the school that gave him his first head-coaching job.
It's over, boys, and you have to know it. The BCS has had enough crap slung at it without more shenanigans from the coaches. It's time to get rid of the poll.
The BCS has shown ability to re-tool on the fly. The Harris poll was assembled during the offseason after the AP poll dropped out following the 2004 season.
The coaches will back down on the secrecy issue. They have to. The BCS gives the poll some shred of credibility, not the other way around. Then it's up to the BCS commissioners to say it doesn't matter. The coaches poll is way beyond repair.
Friday proved it.