… I just found out why college football is plagued by a preseason coaches poll, a poll that sets the tone for the entire season and is probably going to lead — four months later — to Boise State riding its Holiday Bowl resume into the national championship game.
What did I find out? I found out that it’s the media’s fault.
More to the point, it’s USA Today’s fault.
The coaches wanted to eliminate the preseason poll last year. USA Today, which operates the poll, talked them out of it.
This is not a guess. This is a fact. I just hung up with USA Today deputy managing editor Jim Welch, who relayed that story to me. Last year the American Football Coaches Association commissioned the Gallup World Poll to study its poll and to make recommendations for improving it. One of those recommendations, Welch said, was to do away with the preseason poll — and to not release its first poll until a month into the season.
“The coaches seemed to agree with that,” Welch said.
So why didn’t it happen?
“We don’t view that as a good idea,” Welch said.
Holy Mother of Crap. For what is probably the first time in the history of the Coaches Poll, they were actually going to do the right thing… and then bowed to a media agenda. (Doyel notes that the AP feels the same way about its preseason poll.)
Here’s the thing that really rankles: how many of these same assholes who “want to plan pages around it”, as the AP sports editor refers to the agenda, bitch and moan in their pages about how unfair the polls are in deciding who makes the BCS?
I guess as long as they’ve got something to write about, they’re happy.