I think I’m going to be OK with the 15-person panel who will be choosing the four teams participating in the NCAA playoff next season. Thankfully, it removes the coaches from being involved. Looking at this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll, this sham can’t continue.
Coaches simply aren’t knowledgeable enough about college football to be voting. I could be wrong. It could be that coaches aren’t neutral enough, since there is clear bias in the voting. If there is a third option, I’d like to explore it, but college coaches are either too uninformed or biased in their opinions to be taken seriously.
You may say that it doesn’t matter. You would be wrong. The Coaches Poll doesn’t just set the final two teams up to face each other in the current system; it can also determine the outcome of “regular” season games.
Before Oregon’s loss in Tucson, Oregon would have hosted Arizona State in the conference championship game — not because of anything that has been accomplished on the field. ASU would have traveled to face Oregon because of the BCS. In order to increase the chances of teams advancing to the national championship, conferences changed their tie-breaking procedure. Right now, BCS rank is right below head-to-head. Conferences consider the BCS as important, but clearly coaches do not.
UCF beat Louisville and has only one loss. Louisville lost to UCF at home. Obviously, you’re thinking UCF must have lost to a supremely inferior opponent and deserves the “discredit” that goes with the loss. Nope. UCF’s loss came at home against South Carolina, a top 15 team. The Coaches Poll says Louisville is better than UCF. How is that logical if the coaches are truly paying attention to the season?
Then there’s the bias that circulates through the coaching ranks. There must be a clear jealousy of Todd Graham. Explain how Arizona State is ranked 18th behind Louisville and Fresno State. Look at Louisville’s and Fresno State’s schedules. Where is the stretch of games with Wisconsin, Stanford, USC and Notre Dame? ASU is 9-2 with one of the losses to a top-10 Stanford team on the road.
Wisconsin is even ranked four spots ahead of ASU. It’s clear the coaches didn’t like the way that game ended. Neither did I. I hated seeing that Wisconsin was poorly coached and didn’t know how to manage the clock well at the end of the game. I want kids to lose the game on the field, not coaches that bring a team on the road where they’re unprepared to handle game situations. Instead of blaming Wisconsin for getting beat by ASU for a vast majority of the game, the coaches blame the officials; so they refuse to accept who the winner was.
The coaches aren’t anti-ASU. They are anti-Todd Graham. They are anti-raising the bar and being expected to produce results in Year 2 of a program. They hate seeing someone get from Rice to a major conference championship game so fast.
When the 15-person panel was announced, some former coaches were screaming at the inclusion of Condoleeza Rice. Don’t waste your breath. She’s much more deserving of being on the panel than the coaches that are now voting in the Coaches Poll.