Our Polling Process May Be Flawed

It's about time for the college football preseason polls to start rolling out, and the USA Today Coaches Poll unveiled theirs yesterday. At the top, there's Ohio State, Texas, USC, Notre Dame, blah blah blah. And appearing at the very end, at the bottom of the "Others Receiving Votes" section... there's Duke.

Yes, Duke got 1 vote in the poll, despite going 1-10 last year, and, well, being Duke. The culprit? Steve Spurrier. Spurrier doesn't just slant the poll in favor of his own team, he does for teams he used to work for. Here's what he had to say about it.

"Yeah, I claim that. I've been voting for the boys from Duke since, oh, about 1990, whenever I started voting on that poll. I just want 'em to know that I haven't forgotten about 'em and I appreciate everything they did for me. That's why I did it."

You can't just send them flowers? Hey, I have long ago accepted that these polls are extremely flawed; I think we all have. And I know it's just a preseason ranking, and I know this probably doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things, but the Coaches Poll does in fact count for about a third of the BCS rankings. It would be nice if they could at least pretend to take it seriously.

College Football Rankings - Week 1 [ESPN.com]
Spurrier gives Duke loyalty vote [AJC.com]