The Edmond Sun

Sports Opinion

May 28, 2009

SPRUILL : No need to make votes public

Starting in 2010, ballots in the final regular-season USA Today coaches’ college football poll will be confidential.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Though we will have one more season to enjoy it.

The current format fuels rivalries, allows us to see how loyal coaches are to their conference and former school’s, while some votes just make us shake our heads. It’s always fun to see the votes of Mack Brown, Mike Leach, Pete Carroll, and the always lovable Howard Schnellenberger. Bob Stoops didn’t use his vote last season, so he was already left out of the equation.

While it would be the end of an era — votes were made public starting in 2005 — coaches would no longer have a need to show loyalty, though some will. In my opinion, coaches do a great job during the season when their votes are kept private, so really, it’s no big deal.

Other’s don’t see it that way and for good reason. There’s a lot riding on that final poll, after all, it accounts for 1/3 of the BCS formula.

"When I was a voter, I liked every coach putting it out there to see where it stands. I liked being accountable,” Ole Miss head football coach Houston Nutt, told the Associated Press.

Former Baylor football coach, Grant Teaff, who is the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, believes this is the way to get the truest vote. The AFCA took the advice of Gallup, who studied college football’s way of voting, and recommended ways to make it more accurate.

"Gallup said, 'Look, why do you think they have curtains and booths for voting?'" Teaff told AP. "They said it's because you get the truest vote from an anonymous vote."

Exactly. There will be no more reason for coaches not to vote if they have one, making it a better poll.

Some coaches will want to share their votes with the public, some will not, but at least they will have that option. There’s just too much riding on the votes, and for once it appears that college football is heading in the right direction.

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