We finally got our first real news nugget of the season Friday when USA Today released its coaches' poll. As expected, the Gators are No. 1.
Now for my take: Let's get rid of that poll already!
The poll issue has been simmering all offseason and came up once again at SEC Media Days a few weeks ago during the whole Tim Tebow kerfuffle when South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier admitted he didn't fill out his own preseason SEC ballot or his own Top 25 ballot.
"I don't know why we vote," Spurrier said of the coaches' poll. "I guess we vote because college football is still without a playoff system. I really believe most coaches do not know a whole lot about other teams, but we do vote. That's what they ask us to do."
I don't know why coaches vote, either, nor do I understand why their poll should count one-third in the BCS formula. There is no way those "votes" should help select the two teams that will play for the national championship. After BCS standings determined that Oklahoma should play in the Big 12 title game over Texas last season, UF Coach Urban Meyer said, "When you start talking about who goes to a conference championship because of voting, that's just not right."
When those votes determine who gets to play for the national championship, it's ridiculous. (And so is the recent American Football Coaches Association vote to make the final regular-season ballots anonymous, starting in 2011.)
It's no secret that coaches rarely vote themselves and leave those duties instead to an assistant or someone in the sports information department.
You would be hard-pressed to find a coach who truly wants to vote, and who truly has the time to do it on his own. They don't have time to sit down and pay attention to what is happening around the country.
These guys are too busy preparing their own teams and coaching their own games on Saturdays to keep an eye on the scoreboard — not to mention hosting recruits on home weekends. Coaches might be the most knowledgeable when it comes to evaluating teams, but not in the middle of a season when all they care about is their own team.
"I've never been a great fan of the opinion polls. That's all they are," Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson told the Palm Beach Post. "I've always been a proponent of the computer polls. They just look at statistics. At least it's a little more performance based than a human being that's saying, 'Well gee, I saw nine of their games.'"
When the AP dropped out of the BCS after the 2004 season, then-Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese was one of the proponents of a blue-ribbon panel of 15 representatives to fill that void. But instead, another human poll, the Harris poll, was added.
The idea of a blue-ribbon panel of 15 experts whose sole job is to watch college football games is much more appealing than coaches and a bunch of journalists deciding two-thirds of the BCS formula. Computer polls should also be factored in because they can be the most unbiased, even though statistics can many times be misleading.
This topic should be revisited again in the offseason. Simply put, the coaches' poll should be eliminated. For the sake of the coaches. For the sake of fans. For the sake of college football.
Contact Andrea Adelson on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aadelson or tweet at osaadelson. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.