Epic Carnival | Where Sports and Pop Culture Collide: WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE HARRIS POLLSTER?


by Thermocaster, The Meaningful Collateral

Way back in the early 00's, the BCS appeared poised for total destruction of the college football world. Despite consistently pairing the wrong teams in the national title game, there appeared to be no conscious effort to fix what was obviously a horrifically flawed system, except for changing the computer rankings and bringing Mike Tranghese on to say a lot of asinine things on ESPN.

Then, for a brief moment, it appeared that the long national nightmare was over. As you may recall, the Associated Press poll, which was a major component of the BCS, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Kevin Weiberg in the wake of the debacles of 2003 and 2004.

Unfortunately, the BCS was, and is, not easily deterred. The AP poll's screw-you-we're-leaving move merely allowed the BCS to place the fate of the college football season in the hands of an ever bigger group of idiots: The Harris Poll voters.

Remember when the first Harris Poll voting group was announced? There was a big PR push behind it, with the BCS folks saying that these were REAL FOOTBALL PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE GAME, therefore we'd be in much better hands than if those dumb ol' writers were doing the rankings.

Then we saw the list of voters. And those with any brain at all laughed their ass off.

Flash forward to the present day. The Harris Poll has now been alive and kicking for the better part of three seasons. The BCS has had plenty of time to ask for changes, improve the poll, and so forth. And yet, all they've done is take the ESPN commentators off the voting roll (which, it must be said, isn't a bad thing). For those who don't remember the hilarity of the first version of the Harris Poll, let's take a look at the CURRENT version and see what types of high-powered football brainpower is voting for the BCS title game participants. Some of my favorites:

TREV ALBERTS: Remember Trev? The former ESPN studio commentator who walked off the set before a taping of College GameDay and was subsequently fired? Yep, that's the guy. Trev is currently employed as a web analyst for CSTV, and he apparently thinks "Who would win if Arizona State and Kansas played?" is thought-provoking.

DENNY ALDRIDGE: Who? I looked for about 15 minutes, and all I could find on this guy is that he apparently once played at Texas in the 60's. Call me crazy, but I'd hope that someone important enough to vote in the Harris Poll would at least appear on the first page of a Google search of their name.

CHRIS CARLIN: A radio host who calls himself "The Continent". Woot.

BILL ARNSPARGER: Former LSU coach, but better known for presiding over a scandal-ridden Florida athletic program as its A.D. back in the 80's.

CHARLIE CAVAGNARO: Former athletic director of a scandal-ridden UNLV in the 90's. Is there some rule that you had to commit major NCAA violations to be a Harris Poll voter?

GIL BRANDT: A former VP of Player Personnel with the Dallas Cowboys who was recently forced to apologize for plagiarizing a draft preview that he wrote for NFL.com.

FRAN CURCI: Former head coach at Miami and Kentucky. His tenure at Kentucky included...wait for it...a bunch of NCAA rules violations.

KEVIN DUHE: Former football player at Northeast Louisiana. The last report we had on Kevin Duhe was that he was a territory manager for Blue Bell Ice Cream.

GEORGE PERLES: Former Michigan State coach who was busted for cheating and subsequently fired in the mid-90's. George is also responsible for forcing the travesty of bowldom that is the Motor City Bowl upon an unsuspecting populace.

TOMMY VARDELL: Yes, that's right. Tommy freakin' Vardell has a Harris vote.

J.J. JOE: An average quarterback for an average Baylor team who got spanked by Indiana in the 1992 Copper Bowl. How this qualifies him to be a voter, I have no idea.

JOHN PONT: As an Indiana grad, I know I'm supposed to have a soft spot in my heart for John Pont. Yeah, he took IU to its only Rose Bowl...in 1967! He was already middle-aged by then...he must be in his 80's by now! Does he have a special computer mounted on his Rascal that allows him to vote while he's motoring down the sidewalk to MCL?

So who's your favorite Harris pollster? Given the fine resumes of the folks above, who would you nominate for the job? And, finally, how excited are you that these folks have 1/3 of the final say in the BCS title game participants?

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