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Thursday News and Notes: Coaches Poll Changes in the Air

In line with a recommendation from Gallup, the coaches poll has elected to stop making public how its members votes. I've already come out against this move, and I still stand by my earlier statements on the issue. What's even more problematic about the move is that Get the Picture reports that the poll chose not to follow some of Gallup's other recommendations, including one to stop doing a preseason poll. We all know that preseason polls are completely useless for anything other than building hype and that, in fact, they sometimes prove deleterious, as when Auburn was unable to break into the top two in 2004 because they had begun the season ranked much lower than Oklahoma and Southern Cal. The preseason polls not only don't reflect anything but prognostication, but also exert an inertia on voting that sometimes works against what might be considered most fair. For his part, our OBC disagrees with the changes to poll, which is unsurprising considering that his Gators were a victim of malicious voting back in 1996.

A few more tidbits:

  • Spurrier is stumping for a playoff. (H / T Year 2 at Team Speed Kills) Good for Spurrier, I say. Bizarrely, Urban Meyer now seems to be in favor of the BCS system after being a vocal proponent of a playoff in his Utah and early Florida days. What a hypocrite.
  • Mike Slive encourages basketball coaches to beef up their non-con schedules. Slive rightly worries that the weak non-cons from a year ago kept the SEC from placing more teams in the NCAA tournament. Although in general I would agree with Slive here, I can think of good reasons to schedule lightly, such as when you're South Carolina and haven't won many games over the past few years and would like to play a soft schedule to get your team together.
  • You should love Joe Paterno. Why can't ESPN think more like him? The irony, of course, is that ESPN actually published this blurb.
  • Billy Gillispie is suing UK for his buyout money. This situation appears a little strange to me, as UK seems to be suggesting that they are planning on doing something for Gillispie. Apparently, though, they're not doing it fast enough. If UK does actually plan to stiff Gillispie, then I'm all for suing them. Whether or not there was an official contract in place, there must have been some sort of tacit agreement that will hold up in court. Moreover, not many coaches have to go through being canned in such a fashion, and the guy deserves compensation for that.