Should Coaches Poll Voters in Contention Have to Recuse Themselves?

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterNovember 14, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 03:  Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish talks to coaches on the headphones during a game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Notre Dame Stadium on November 3, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Pittsburgh 29-26 in triple overtime.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Coaches' Poll voters should not have to give up their vote based upon the mere fact that their team is in contention for a BCS championship. What's next, coaches whose teams are close to getting an at-large BCS bowl bid have to toss their votes as well?

If the BCS, AFCA and the like are going to continue to let this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad poll exist, then they should be subjected to every shred of possible bias and manipulation that comes with it.

The latest hullabaloo comes from Notre Dame's head coach, Brian Kelly, who voted his Fighting Irish as the top team in the nation after the Crimson Tide lost last weekend. From the Chicago Sun Times reported:

"I voted Notre Dame first," Kelly said on Sunday. "I had them second last week to Alabama, of course, Alabama lost. I'll typically move up to the next slot."

Kelly has said repeatedly that he won't politic to sway voters, but he was making his case on Sunday, pointing to the fact that Notre Dame is now tied with Alabama for the top-ranked scoring defense in the country.

The Fighting Irish coach was upfront and open about why he voted his team first, which is a plus from a PR standpoint. However, while he avoided the firestorm that surrounded Lane Kiffin to the start the year, his vote could have more of an impact. Kiffin was dealing with preseason rankings; Kelly is voting in polls that help determine where the Irish fall in the postseason.

Here at Your Best 11 we've written about just how bad the Coaches' Poll is from a myriad of angles. Coaches cannot watch nearly enough games. Coaches do not vote for themselves. Coaches have a financial and professional stake in the outcome.

Yet, this poll continues to be used a one-third of the formula to determine who plays for the title. Well, you make your bed, you must lay in it. Picking and choosing where and when the poll does not work is not the answer. It either does not work or it does. It is pretty clear the poll does not work yet, but they shoehorn it into the formula and because of that, this is the type of situation that the poll invites.