The College Football Fans Poll Returns

Opelika, Ala.--George Brown, the teen-ager from Opelika High School who came up with the much-discussed fans poll that named Auburn the 2004 national collegiate football champion, is taking his project to a higher level for the 2005 season.

With the help of friends such as former University of Georgia head football coach Jim Donnan and a software development team, will give college football followers across the country an opportunity to display their expertise with the sport they love.

There will be a FansPick Contest each week in which participants predict the winners of 10 games throughout the 14-week season. If they are really good at forecasting winners and losers each week, they will be elevated to an all-star selection committee that will chose the 2005 Peoples National Champion and 19 other awards.

"It's like a college football version of the Electoral College and this FansPick Contest helps us determine the most qualified fans across the country," Brown says. "The site lets college football fans have a voice in how they think the polls should be run and who should be the national champion.

"We have created 119 different team web pages--one for each Division I team," Brown says. "Fans will log on to register and chose their favorite team. If Michigan is your favorite school, you will be redirected to your Michigan team page every time you log in to It will be the same for anyone who is a Georgia fan, Alabama fan and so on and so forth. The team page is where you play the FansPick Contest and choose your Top 25 poll each week."

Brown has received support from Jim Donnan (left), the former Georgia head coach who does television coverage of college football.

Brown notes there have been more expansions of his project since last season. "For our weekly Top 25 poll we've come up with a formula that gives equal weight to all schools, no matter how many fans participate," he says. "For example, since there will probably be more people involved in the Michigan Top 25 poll than the Akron poll, we decided to compile all of the Top 25 rankings from a school's fan base to get one single team poll for each school…then we will compile a final Top 25 from all 119 team polls. This way no one team will have a larger impact on the poll than any of the others."

Last year, despite not getting started until December, received plenty of media attention. The teen-ager will help kickoff the expanded website with a 7 a.m. appearance on Wednesday (Aug. 17th) on the Rick and Bubba Show that will be broadcast on radio and telecast on the Turner South network.

Brown says the project has been a challenging, but one that he enjoys. "It already has been a whole lot of work," the 18-year-old says. "Our software team has been working non-stop since February to try to pull all of this development together. It's great because most of the design and construction work is out of the way, but the hardest part was creating a fair system that works. We think we've done that."

This is the trophy Auburn received following the 2004 season.

As an incentive to keep fans voting every week, even if they are out of the running for being named to the all-star selection committee, Brown says there will be a random drawing on a nationally televised awards show in January with the winner taking home a 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe. There will also be other prizes awarded throughout the season, he notes. "Every entry for the fan's Top 25 or weekly FansPick pick 'em contest counts as another entry in the Tahoe drawing.

"Fans can register now and participate in our first preseason awards poll under the ‘Vote' section of the website," he says. Fans will be able to submit their Top 25 votes as early as 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4th.

Brown is eager to get the new season started. "We hope this is something fans will enjoy following throughout the season," he says.

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