The Coaches Poll De-Mystified

Georgia football coach Mark Richt, a member of the 2004 Coaches Poll panel, voted the Bulldogs #3 last week. Richt shared his top five with members of the press at Tuesday's press conference.

"Am I allowed to do that?" Richt asked. Once he got the ok he said: "Well, I've got Southern Cal, Oklahoma, Georgia. I'm not really positive after that. I think it's Miami and Texas."

Critics of the Coaches Poll claim the coaches are too busy coaching their own teams to accurately assess the quality of the other top 25 teams. But Richt takes his position seriously and employs a certain methodology before filling out his ballot.

"I watch as many games as I can at night," said Richt. "I watch the highlight shows. I really don't sleep well after a game, so I'm up anyway. I'll probably watch TV until about one in the morning. I actually will get on the internet and check any other scores. Then I look at all the standings of all the teams around the country. I'll have my Top 25 and then I'll try to write about five or six more teams that have a certain record and could possibly jump up."

With nearly all of the top 10 teams still undefeated, how does Richt decide when to move a team up in the rankings?

"If a team knocks off a number one, they'll jump," said Richt. "They may jump some others that also won. But, let's say if Georgia plays Marshall and its 13-3, I may drop them a spot, but not very often. Usually not if it happens just once."

Richt later confessed that he did not drop the Bulldogs after their narrow margin of victory over Marshall. He is also not the coach who voted Georgia #1 in last week's poll (the Bulldogs received one #1 vote last week).

"I wouldn't do that," said Richt. "I'm not sure we are number one. Southern Cal is a heck of a football team, so is Oklahoma, so is Texas and others."

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