Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Voting in College Football Poll Compromises Sports Reporters

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Voting in College Football Poll Compromises Sports Reporters

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Clark, Times-Union Reader Advocate

The Associated Press scooped me.

I was planning to write a column about the conflicts involved in newspapers taking part in the AP's college football poll, because it was being used in the formula to determine a national champion.

But the AP announced last week that it was going to fight any involvement with the Bowl Championship Series or BCS. The conflict no longer exists.

Before AP's announcement, I asked members of our E-Mail Interactive Group what they thought of the Times-Union's participation in the AP football poll. Most of their comments validated AP's decision to pull out.

-- AP: "BCS's continued use of the AP Poll interferes with AP's ability to produce the AP Poll and undermines the integrity and validity of the AP Poll."

Jim Kennedy, St. Marys, Ga.: "The BCS has become a joke and an embarrassment. The coaches vote in secret (with the inherent ability to influence their own team's standing) and the reporters' votes influence a major part of the whole story. And this charade begins before the season even starts. If enough papers pull out of this fiasco and enough light is shed upon it, then maybe we'll begin to get some 'clean' college football standings."

-- AP: "By stating that the AP Poll is one of the three components used by BCS to establish its rankings, BCS conveys the impression that AP condones or otherwise participates in the BCS system."

George Derrick, Avondale: "Reporters should be able to participate in the poll. I see nothing wrong with lobbying for your state's team when others are doing the same for theirs."

-- AP: "To the extent that the public does not fully understand the relationship between the BCS and AP, any animosity toward BCS may get transferred to AP."

Emory Weldon, Macclenny: "The present system is a joke. …

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