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Berry Tramel: Steve Spurrier has no backbone; coaches’ poll no credibility

by Berry Tramel Published: July 25, 2009

/> If a preseason team can do nothing but besmirch the honor of a player like Tebow, then the time has come to do something else with our summers.

Spurrier’s story confirms what we’ve been told for decades, that many coaches hand over their poll or honors ballots to an underling.

The coaches poll always was inferior to the AP poll and historically almost always followed the AP, a week later, as if the coach or his Man Friday just waited to check out the voters who were really paying attention.

Of course, when The Associated Press fled the BCS process, and the Harris Poll replaced it, the coaches ascended in status. As bad as their rankings were, they beat the goofy Harris voters.

Truth is, while everyone picks on the BCS as a whole, the chief problem with the system is the BCS process. When coaches aren’t the lowest common denominator, you’ve got a train wreck.

And when coaches hide behind secrecy, the BCS loses all validity. Congress, at least, stands behind its individual votes. When you’ve sunk below Capitol Hill, you’ve fallen far.

Spurrier’s bailout on the totally meaningless question of preseason SEC quarterback shows what happens in December. Coaches don’t pay attention to their poll vote or even treasure it, and coaches don’t want to stand behind it.

Some have argued that making the ballots secret allows coaches to vote their conscience and not their politics. Spurrier’s waffle shows otherwise.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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