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AFCA: Coaches poll will continue into the playoff era

PHOENIX -- The America Football Coaches Association will continue to produce a coaches poll into the playoff era.

The AFCA's board of trustees formally adopted that preference Wednesday during a meeting here surrounding the Fiesta Bowl Summit.

"Our coaches definitely want it to go on," said Grant Teaff, AFCA executive director.

There was some feeling that, with the advent of the playoff era in 2014, coaches would no longer want to participate because of the poll's decreased relevance after the end of the BCS. The poll will have been used as part of the BCS formula from 1998 through the 2013 season. Beginning in 2014, an as-yet-unnamed selection committee will pick teams for the six bowls in the new postseason.

Since 1998, the winner of the BCS title has gotten the coaches poll final automatic No. 1 vote. It has not been determined, Teaff said, if the crystal football will continue to be presented to the national championship game winner.

"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."

Teaff added that he believes the coaches poll will have an influence on the playoff selection committee.

"No question about it," Teaff said. "This is what our coaches feel, that the poll, even though it may not be a part of the selection process, it will let not only the world know but individuals on the selection committee know how the coaches feel, what their thinking is."

The voting coaches will continue to reveal their final ballots in the playoff era, Teaff said. United Press International began the coaches poll in 1950. USA Today has had a relationship with the poll since 1991.


Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.
 
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