Since the media solved the Crime of the Century yesterday, it’s turned its attention to a lesser included offense – Spurrier not giving the requisite amount of serious attention to an irrelevant vote. The lesson we’re supposed to take from that somehow is that one coach’s failure to spend endless hours agonizing over a preseason all-conference ballot (as if every member of the media does) means that the Coaches’ Poll is morally bankrupt.
Now I’ll be the first guy to admit that the Coaches’ Poll has problems with at least the appearance of bias and conflicts of interest. Serious problems, which is why the recent move to return the last regular season vote to a secret ballot is incredibly tone deaf on their part. But to see some linkage between Spurrier blowing off a vote on a matter that would have been completely forgotten by next week if he hadn’t been careless with his ballot and what sixty-plus coaches do with their poll votes is lazy thinking at its finest.
Think about it for a minute – and I know this is a back-handed compliment if there ever was one – but don’t accusations of bias and conflicts of interest indicate that the coaches care about which schools they vote for? I mean, really, what we’re saying concerns us is that they’re casting votes for the wrong reasons. How does that relate to the OBC mailing in his preseason all-SEC vote, figuratively speaking? It doesn’t.
But don’t take my word for it. Spurrier himself acknowledges that he treats the two matters in completely different ways.
He said he’s never filled out his All-SEC preseason ballot in 17 years. Spurrier said the only names he remembers seeing on the ballot were Georgia receiver A.J. Green and Florida defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap.
Spurrier said he actually fills out his coaches’ poll top 25 ballot during the season himself.
Look, you want to bitch about bias and conflicts, that’s valid. You want to question whether these guys spend enough time composing their top 25 ballots – OK, fine. (That’s what my shameless plugs at GTP are all about.) But to point to Spurrier’s admission as some huge smoking gun here strikes me as an irrational argument. I dunno, maybe these guys were so disappointed in the way Tebowgate played out that they had all this leftover indignant energy they had to point somewhere, but it sure sounds dumb today.