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Silly college football rankings

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by clutchcargo, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Would the world of sports come to an end tomorrow if we were to end the practice of college football preseason polls or any other polls taken/ announced before the first weekend in October?

    Preseason polls and even early-season polls are for the most part shots in the dark, yet they become integral parts of a BCS rating formula that doesn't always untangle early-poll bias even after 13-14 weeks.

    So, why have preseason and early-season polls? So ESPN can tout its upcoming matchup of No. 11 Wisconsin vs. No. 7 Michigan State, or whatever? Or even No. 4 Auburn vs. No. 7 LSU?

    I don't know about you, but I'm confident I can have a water cooler conversation about two undefeated or one-loss opponents without being told where some subjective, biased poll has them ranked.
  2. joeggernaut

    joeggernaut Member

    I'm all for not having a poll until after Week 6. If you leave out speculation and just poll on results we would have a much more accurate/fair system for all teams considered.
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    For one thing, fans would not stand for not having some framework from the get-go, some idea of the story lines for the season, the powers to watch out for. And there are enough people who follow enough teams to have some idea who has the Cam Newtons who may be under the radar. Early polls are not a guarantee, but they're not dart tosses, either.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I don't have a problem with pre-season polls. I have a problem with voters still using it as a starting point once the games start getting played. If a team wins but looks ragged against lesser opponents, move them down.
    If a big win proves not to be that big (Texas, Notre Dame, Florida) as the weeks progress - don't keep voting like it still is.
  5. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    This has come up before and while it's a good idea in theory, AP & USA Today will never agree to it because polls drive traffic to their services, be it on-line or in an actual newspaper.

    That's why polls were started in the first place.
  6. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I do find it funny that writers have started ranking NFL, MLB, and NBA teams as part of a regular feature.
  7. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    As a one-time voter, I said I'd never do it again after realizing how difficult it is to try to think independently. I paid attention to quite a bit of college football that season and thought I knew quite a bit, and even though the AP criteria is to think independently and rank things how you see 'em, it was tough to move a team from even ninth to first after a weekend even though I considered it the best team to that point.

    I think they're useful in trying to mix results with strength of schedule and putting a team in an overall context, but it shouldn't be so formulaic early in the season. And while things may get muddy later in the season, they still are a pretty good indication of the nation's best teams.
  8. HandsomeHarley

    HandsomeHarley Well-Known Member

    I think polls are stupid because of human element: They're biased.

    Half of the moron AP voters couldn't solve Blue's Clues. They pick schools such as Southern Cal, UCLA and Notre Dame EVERY PRESEASON because they can't think of 25 other college football programs.

    Upstart teams, such as Missouri and Oklahoma State, are virtually left out until they go 6-0, while schools with cupcake schedules drop just a few notches when they lose to nobodies.

    As long as there is human element, there will be bias.
  9. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    You aren't suggesting Missouri and Okie State haven't played cupcakes til now are you?
  10. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    Better question: Why have any polls?
    Better question than that: Why would any writer vote in a poll? What does he/she get from it?
    You don't get paid, I know that. So why?
    A poll would have told you there was no way the Buffalo Bills had any chance in a game against the Baltimore Ravens, and yet there they were in overtime yesterday. Polls are antithetical to the beauty of sports.
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I guess the answer is that in Division I college football they need lemmings to pick the same teams year after year so that we can fairly crown a legitimate national champion.
  12. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

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