Mon Jul 27 04:05pm EDT
The breathless coverage of the Tebowgate voting saga last week was a mildly funny, frivolous story of very little consequence except to poke fun at the media's over-the-top Tebow obsession in general. Or at least, that's what I thought it was. But over the weekend, pundits all over the country -- from the New York Times to Dennis Dodd to a newspaper in North Carolina to Steve Spurrier's accidental All-SEC snub, drawing a straight line from the Ball Coach's apparent indifference toward his all-conference ballot to the utter futility of all varieties of coaches' polls, especially that wretched anachronism they use in the BCS:
Frankly, who cares who is the preseason All-SEC quarterback? But there is a vote that does count: the coaches poll, which provides one-third of the components to determine the national-title game participants.
Enough of this nonsense. Time to tell college football coaches their voices have lost all credibility. Time to tell college football coaches no one cares what they think. Time to toss the coaches poll into the Caspian Sea.
Sportswriters have been having a field day with the coaches' poll all offseason, mainly for having the gall to return to secret ballots, per tradition, after four years of making the final vote of the regular season public; the fact that the poll won't be secret this year, after all, is a victory for negative press.
But if, as Dodd suggests, "the coaches poll just died Friday morning," it's spent many, many years on its deathbed. Coaches have notoriously handed off ballots to underlings and sports information directors for years; they're the most self-interested parties in the process, and their voting patterns are demonstrably biased in favor of their own teams and other teams on their schedule. It allows its final vote to be hijacked by its partnership with the BCS, regardless of what the coaches may actually think, such a foul state of affairs that even the hacks in the AP poll felt compelled to pull out of the system five years ago. Spurrier himself famously undermined the integrity of the poll by casting a ludicrous vote for Duke every year, and said last week, "I don't know why we vote ... I really believe most coaches do not know a whole lot about the other teams," which is what many observers (i.e. yours truly) have maintained for years. If only now the poll has been robbed of its precious "credibility" by Spurrier's carelessness on a completely unrelated ballot, it was a mercy killing.
Naturally, we can all expect Dodd, Forde and the rest of the undertakers escorting the coaches' poll to its grave to ignore its weekly proclamations and its role in determining the candidates for the mythical championship game this fall. Dead polls cast no votes, right?