A Small Voting Issue
pblackwell, Mon, July 27th, 2009
The attention given to college football in some parts of our great land is quite irrational, and the lack of a definitive ending to the season adds to the irrationality.
What does this have to do with Steve Spurrier leaving Tim Tebow off the All-SEC preseason team? Well, it's complicated...
To start with, Tebow is great. Really great. As in Only Sophomore to Win the Heisman great, and the other two years, his Gators won the BCS title. Note that I didn't say national championship, because it really it isn't. Another dose of irrationality.
All the praise given to Tebow, a committed football quarterback on the field and a committed Christian missionary off it, is rather excessive, too. Gator Nation thinks he is close to a deity. Non-Gator Nation wants to kill him. Really.
Still, it would make sense that, in advance of his senior campaign, Tebow would get the vote of all 12 SEC coaches as the league's top QB.
Only that when the secret ballots were released, Tebow got 11 votes. it wasn't unanimous, and that became the entire talk of the SEC Media Days last week, an obsessive detective quest to find out which knuckle-headed moron thought that Tebow could be topped.
Every coach got asked. Every coach said they voted for Tebow - until Spurrier, now of South Carolina (but once the same Golden God of Gainesville, quarterback and coach, before Tebow arrived) admitted that he didn't because he left the ballot to one of the sports information guys in Columbia and didn't even bother to check.
On one level, this means nothing, for Tebow still got the votes for a team absolutely no one will care about once they kick it off in September. Tebow himself wouldn't be bothered by it one bit.
On another level, though, it's quite disturbing, for Spurrier has often said in the past he doesn't take much care with his coach's ballot for the top 25. He shouldn't really - his job is to coach football, not cast votes.
Yet the coaches are partially responsible for determining who plays in the BCS title game, which means that either ignorance, or worse yet, agendas, can be a decisive factor, in place of merit.
At least there was a shred of accountability last year when the final ballots were made public, but the coaches have decided that, effective 2010, they'll all be secret again. Nice way to avoid accountability, guys, and prove that the system is even more corrupt than we thought.
Part of the joke of the BCS is that coaches with far better things to do (like, for instance, coaching) are charged with this mighty power - and they pawn off the work to the SID's, mostly. Who has time to watch the games of all the top teams, when you're getting paid (a lot) to win those games in the first place?
No wonder the AP quit this charade and pulled out of the BCS earlier this decade after a series of debacles, like Auburn going unbeaten in 2004 without even a sniff at the big prize. AP can vote for their own champion if they wish - and nearly did in 2008 when Utah ran the table.
Whether he intended to or not, Spurrier has touched on a deep and disturbing aspect of college football, where ignorance and agendas gladly coexist. It's funny and sad at the same time...