Thursday, August 27, 2009

USF Coach Voted OU No. 1

SI files open records request seeking coaches votes: Sports Illustrated is requesting the votes of all 51 head coaches at public universities, whom take part in the USA Today Coaches Poll, under the Freedom of Information Act in an effort to seek more transparency. And its no surprise the American Football Coaches Association is against the effort.

Beginning Tuesday, will file records requests with the employer of each of the 51 public school coaches who vote in the 2009 poll. If the schools comply with the law, we should get a look at every ballot. Legal action may be required if schools refuse to comply, but if a recent case involving Florida State and the NCAA is any indication, judges likely will support the people asking that highly paid public employees be held accountable for their actions. Every ballot we receive will be published.

One of the first universities and coaches to comply was University of South Florida and head coach Jim Leavitt. His ballot was interesting in that, Leavitt voted Oklahoma No. 1 over Florida. He explained his Top 25 ballot.
"The SEC's tough. I think it's probably one of the tougher conferences out there in the country. To go through that and to become a national champion two years in a row, that's a lot of pressure on Florida. That was the only thing -- when you're the guy, trying to repeat as national champions, that's asking an awful lot... I did pick Florida No. 2. It's not like I put them down at the bottom... Do I give it to OU because I know Bob [Stoops] so well? No, I try to stay away from that, but I don't think anybody will believe me."
So is the AFCA trying to hide bias in the poll? Remember in 2007 when several coaches (T. Bowden, B. Bowden, M. Bellotti, and H. Schnellenberger) voted Missouri ahead of Oklahoma despite losing to the Sooners twice that season. And reminder the coaches votes account for one-third of the BCS formula.

Question: Should coaches ballots be available to the public?
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