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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

So Much For All Those Transparency Buzzwords

Illustration for article titled So Much For All Those Transparency Buzzwords

College football, the sport without a playoff system and with a championship game determined by a computer, is on the verge of becoming even more faceless, just four years after deciding it wanted to add some credibility to its rankings.

Starting in 2010, college football coaches will no longer be required to reveal the identities behind their final USA Today/Coaches' Poll ballot, reverting to the pre-2005 era when coaches were permitted to remain anonymous and avoid the repercussions of, say, screwing California out of the 2005 Rose Bowl.

But wait! Wasn't there a reason for the recent switch? Of course there was, and it's the type of logical rationale you might not have expected: Coaches demanded some accountability for their votes, which still play a critical factor in the BCS. This measure wasn't forced on coaches, either; the American Football Coaches Association voted for transparency after reading a memo classified "Very Important and Confidential." (Irony!) At the time, some coaches were still opposed, fearing lobbying attempts and imminent grudges if coaches knew who everyone else was really voting for.


So this year, the AFCA asked consultants from Gallup World Polling to come in and recommend steps to make the poll more "accurate and credible." Of course, the verdict was to eliminate the only semblance of accountability the poll had, which makes about as much sense as the BCS in the first place.

Or, as Steve Spurrier said today: "I thought it kept everybody honest. Now there's a chance for real hanky-panky."

Football coaches to keep poll ballots secret starting in 2010 [USA Today]
AFCA to reveal votes [ESPN]
Football poll ballots won't be transparent [Birmingham News]

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