Here Why The Coaches Poll Should End

Here Why The Coaches Poll Should End

Here Why The Coaches Poll Should End | Sports Takes & News |

Dabo Swinney will be like many of us on Monday night, watching and not coaching in the National Championship game between Alabama and Ohio State. That’s because the Clemson Tigers head coach had his ass handed to him on New Year’s Day by the Buckeyes, a team that he tried to tell us shouldn’t even be ranked in the Top Ten because they hadn’t played enough games to qualify. While you may or may not agree with the logic behind Swinney’s voting methods, the trouble the Tigers coach put himself in was not all his own doing since the entire concept of having head coaches vote in the middle of the season makes zero sense, and frankly needs to be stopped.

For as long as I can remember, the Monday during the college football season always included finding out who moved up and down in the weekly polls. And just like the media polls that were released in the early afternoon, so too were the Coaches’ Poll; implying that after a week’s worth of prep work for their own game and unwinding for their game on Saturday, head coaches from across the country had the time to watch games being played until the wee hours of the morning or watch all the highlights to figure out who the Top 25 teams were in the nation. Of course, this farce has been silly for decades, with the truth being someone from a team’s athletic department, such as the athletic director was casting the votes on behalf of the head coach.

Under the name Dabo Swinney, the Ohio State Buckeyes were ranked outside the top ten at the end of the regular season since, according to the man whose name was one the ballot, teams that didn’t play nine or ten games as the Clemson Tigers or schools from the SEC did had not risk enough to be worthy of a higher vote. Sadly, for Swinney and the Tigers, the head coach’s vote became public knowledge and known to the Buckeyes players, who lit up his team on their way through Clemson and into the national title game.

While never a big fan of media polls before or early in a college football season, the one poll to me that makes even less sense than those are coaches polls. It’s not just because I don’t believe they are doing anything other than listening to the media hype around certain teams, but rather I know they don’t have time to thoughtfully analyze enough teams to make an inform decision, and as a result, should never have their name appear anywhere near a vote for the top ranked, 11th ranked, or 21st ranked team in the country. 

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What made things worse for Swinney is that he had an agenda when his vote was cast by him or for him, which was to tell people that Ohio State didn’t belong in the College Football Playoffs regardless of what the selection committee decided. The result was that his opponent had bulletin board material, and used it to kick Clemson’s asses up the down the field at the Sugar Bowl. Do we know if Ohio State is truly better, no; but they were on New Year’s Day, and that’s all anyone will remember.

Please, NCAA, with all the other self-made drama you create during the season, the joke of having coaches vote on teams in the middle of a season is silly. If you want to have schools name someone from their program who votes on their coaches behalf, fine; but don’t call it a coaches poll, because I doubt Nick Saban is watching any teams other than the one he is playing next week. 


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