Agendas? We don’t need no stinkin’ agendas!

Yesterday’s New York Times article on Florida’s BCS title game win had a sidebar (click on “Looking Ahead to Next Season”) showing the Chablis-sippin’, Birkenstock-wearin’ (probably a beret, too, when you get down to it), lib’ral author’s idea of the preseason top 10 for 2007.

The merits of his list aside, here’s what caught my eye:

9. Boise State Some people complaining Boise doesn’t have a chance to win a national title need to vote it this high to give it a shot at winning a championship…

Oh, really.

Thanks for encapsulating the biggest flaw with the BCS – the preseason polls. It’s bad enough that you’ve got people casting supposedly informed votes on teams that haven’t even taken the field yet, but the idea that voters can be urged to pursue an agenda like this is troubling at best. If acted upon, it would be potentially scandalous.

And you playoff supporters need to understand that this problem doesn’t go away with a playoff, if you still use the polls as a component to determine seedings and eligibility. So keep that air of superiority out of this debate.

There shouldn’t be a human poll affecting college football until at least the fourth week of the season. Currently, the coaches’ poll comes out at the beginning of the season and the Harris Interactive poll comes out about a week before the end of September. Both are too early.

For an illustration of this, take a look at SI.com’s Coaches Top 25 tracking poll for the past season. The rankings don’t start becoming a meaningful reflection of where most teams would finish until the first or second week of October.

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