I don’t vote in the sporting world. Not in football polls, not for the Heisman, not for all-conference teams. I don’t think journalists ought to be involved in newsmaking, which is exactly what we do when we help determine the BCS and the Heisman and the all-Big 12 tight end.
Voting in civic elections is different. Everyone gets to vote. And we’re in that club. But sports? No. We’re asked to vote because we’re journalists, and I think that’s a bad road. So I cut it out, 10, 15 years ago. Haven’t voted in the AP poll since 1991, haven’t voted in the Heisman since the early ’90s.
And the publication of coaches’ votes in the football poll shows the nonsense. You’ve read of the silly order in which some coaches voted. Howard Schnellenberger, the Bowdens, Mike Bellotti, voting OU below Missouri and/or Kansas. An axe to grind? Maybe. Or maybe they just don’t know any better. I wouldn’t put it past some coaches to not know what the heck is going on. Coaches are the last group in the sport that knows what’s happening outside their cocoon.
And before you mount a posse demanding the head of Schnellenberger, know that Bob Stoops fared little better. Stoops ranked LSU, his prime contender for a Big Bowl berth, No. 6 in the coaches poll. That’s four spots below where LSU actually finished. Schnellenberger ranked OU seventh, also four spots below where the Sooners actually finished. Yes, the rest of the Colonel’s ballot was nonsense — Kansas No. 2, Boise State No. 10 — but that’s due to an addled brain. Stoops’ bias was no less than Schnellenberger’s.
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