Tuberville Not Impressed With Poll System

Auburn's head football coach, whose team moved back into the Top 25 ranking voted on by the coaches, comments on the poll system.

Auburn, Ala.--The first Bowl Championship Series standings of 2005 will be released on Oct. 17, yet the USA Today Coaches Poll, which accounts for a third of the formula, continues to be first released before any games are even played.

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville, who is still rightfully bitter about Auburn's 13-0 record and shun from the 2004 BCS National Championship Game, is still baffled as to how a poll can be released based on conjecture.

"I think guessing game is an understatement," Tuberville says when asked the validity of polls for helping determine a national champion.

"I'm an advocate, will be and always have been, that there's no reason to even have polls other to have something to talk about. If a poll is going to count toward the BCS, you should not start that poll until Oct. 1. You can have all the polls you want, but the polls that are going to count toward the BCS should not even be voted on until Oct. 1."

Auburn began last season ranked 17th in the Associated Press Poll and 18th in the coaches' poll, while USC was first in both and Oklahoma was second in both. When both USC and Oklahoma won all of their games, Auburn realistically had no shot at making it to the Orange Bowl, the site of last year's BCS Championship Game, despite becoming only the third SEC team to run the table since the league expanded to 12 teams in 1992.

The Trojans' 55-19 drubbing of the Sooners made it evident that the complex formula of the BCS, which for some reason involves computers, didn't have the right two teams on the field last January.

"It cost us last year," Tuberville says of preseason predictions. "As I look at some of the schedules, it's going to be pretty close this year. You might have three or four teams undefeated, same as last year. There is going to be another big controversy. We'll have to wait and see.

"The only real reason we have polls is for public interest and I'm fine with having those," Auburn's coach adds. "But if you are going to have a poll involved in picking the best team in the country at the end of the year, you shouldn't start it until Oct. 1."

After the first four weeks of the 2005 season, the polls have been shaken up fairly significantly since the preseason poll. Two of the top five teams in the preseason coaches poll, Michigan and Oklahoma, already have two losses and are unranked. Six of the preseason Top 10 teams already have at least one loss, which doesn't surprise Tuberville.

"It doesn't make any sense because coaches, we don't have time to evaluate other teams the first four or five weeks to begin with," he says. "We've got enough problems with our own teams. It's about a 15 minute ordeal. There is not a coach in the country that spends any more time on it than that, and the coaches poll counts toward the BCS."

The BCS had to do a makeover this season after the AP pulled its poll from the selection process. The coaches poll and six computers remain part of the formula, and the Harris Interactive College Football Poll, which is comprised of former coaches, players, administration and media, takes place of the AP poll. The Harris poll is scheduled for its initial release today (Sunday).


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