CNNSI OnCampus wants us to answer a few questions re: polls, so we thought we'd do it catechism-style, putting on a monk's habit over our University Athletic Association-approved jean shorts to answer some pointed poll queries.
Q: What poll do you rely on most?
A: The MGoBlog-sponsored BlogPoll, of course! It's the most transparent poll with the most open debate, and Brian does a great job quantifying the individual tendencies of voters. And because we love the Idaho Vandals we follow the Harris Poll, especially since they let Martha Raye, denture-wearer, have her say in the voting, too. If the dead can vote in elections in Chicago, they can surely improve the scanty credibility of the Harris Poll.
Q: What exactly is the blog poll? How does work, etc.?
A: We meet on an exotic but lethally dangerous island in the South Pacific on Tuesdays. If you find the one with the skull-shaped volcano and the shapely henchwomen in matching hotpants with AR-15s...well, you get a vote. As you can imagine, we're all devastatingly handsome, and are each trained in jiu-jitsu, krav maga, and the art of memorizing Phil Steele's guide to Football yearly.
Actually, only the Phil Steele bit is true. We're still working on the henchmen and skull-shaped volcano, though. We're bloggers who vote on college football. None of us voted for Illinois or Idaho this past week, so we're automatically kick the Harris poll in the teeth.
The Blog Poll voters: still waiting for our hollowed-out volcano lair.
Q: Isnt the Harris poll the BCS poll but the BCS people know they are hated and so they changed the name?
A: Um, no. Nothing to see there. Just stare into this light----see, whay you saw was actually some swamp gas reflecting off a weather balloon, not sports' most grandiose sham scuttling into a new shell. Oh, and Chris Berman entertains you. Chris Berman really, really entertains you.
Q: Should polls be released in the preseason? (Oklahoma, Michigan falling out top 5)
A: Oh, absolutely. The sad truth is that millions of college fans have little else to do but compile lists in the offseason and pick up the threads of the lives destroyed from September to January; working to get wagered homes out of foreclosure, remembering spouses' names, bathing, or in our case, waking in up in January and staring in horror at the six-foot pile of jean shorts we went through during the season.
For some, it's a credibility issue. For us, it's a public policy issue. Save the children--let us have polls, even if they set up unrealistic expectations and often have a significant role in the eventual firing of coaches. If we don't put out specious preseason polls...well, then the terrorists have won, haven't they?
Q: Should polls be released before October?
A: Yes, but expect them to be totally janked-up. Small sample size will make the ugly teams look grotesque and the good teams irresistable. Thus our ranking of TCU in week two after beating Oklahoma and our amorous childhood fascination with the perfectly average Justine Bateman from Family Ties--without a lot of basis of comparison, distortion is inevitable.
Q: Do people freak out too much about polls?
A: No. They don't attach the tenatacle to the monster if they do, since the polls themselves are just mongrel hybrids of shoddy, completely un-statistical analyses and regional prejudices in service of the weasels in brightly colored jackets. Most people just care about their team, their rival, and maybe one other team they grew up watching. The rest is something to fall asleep to on a Saturday afternoon after nachos and a few beers.
Q: Whats so bad about polls? They are fun to debate, dont be so uptight.
A: Nothing's inherently wrong with them, which is why Brian started one. What's bad is when they rob us of good football and force us to sit through trash like Utah/Pitt and the excrescence that was the Orange Bowl last year. What's bad is that they help fund the Orange Bowl halftime show, the worst halftime entertainment at any sport event in the planet. The "Moon Over Miami" 1996 Show still gives us the shakes...all those hideous, capped teeth grinning on one field...(shudder)
Q: Is there a perfect system?
A: No, but an integrated bowl system with the smaller bowls as the first round games and the bigger bowls rotating between the second round and the championship game might come close. It's nothing new, it's been out there for years, and yet here we are as fans still wondering why ADs don't just get smart and realize the payoff from the tv contract alone would eclipse the relatively meager payouts they get from the bowls. There would be a kind of Godfatheresque mafia war over the conferences share, with the SEC/Big 11/ Big 12/Pac 10 playing the part of Michael Corleone and the Big East getting the special boat ride as Fredo.
The other bowls wouldn't die--the teams in the Motor City Bowl aren't exactly banking their whole season on a national championship--and we'd get something like a national champion. But we'll just be over here with our tinfoil hat on selling plastic flowers and walking our invisible dog until that happens.