LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01: Head coach Lane Kiffin talks with quarterback Matt Barkley #7 during the USC Trojans spring game on May 1, 2010 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
There are probably about a million reasons to make fun of preseason polls. I mean, seriously people. We create a set of polls that are completely worthless, but that mean something because anytime you have the opportunity to tilt in a power school's favor, you do it. Not to mention that the entire basis of rankings, especially in the preseason, is conjecture. It's something akin to, "I believe that this team is good because they had some of the players they did last year and that team was pretty good so obviously this is going to be the same. That never is proven wrong."
So yeah, it's a little infuriating to me when I even look at the polls. However this rant, and let me be clear this is absolutely more ranting than it is editorializing, focuses on the audacity of Lane Kiffin and the joke of a system the coaches poll is. By now many of you have read about Lane Kiffin's resignation from the voting process in the Coaches Poll. Basically the story goes that Kiffin told reporters that he would, "not vote USC number one," but then indeed did vote his team number one. Because the oversight committee doesn't like people saying one thing publicly and doing something different privately, they outed him and changed his vote.
As Graham Watson pointed out, there is a lot of fuzziness in the way Kiffin's quote was interpreted and it does seem ridiculous that voting in a similar fashion to others is not a reason to be punished. Still, isn't the biggest part of the problem the fact that preseason polls, polls with no transparency until after the fact, and human polls by coaches who have very little time to eat a meal, much less watch enough football to create a poll, exist at all? So yeah, that's my rant for the day. The Coaches Poll is stupid and while Lane Kiffin is one of my least favorite people out there, I will definitely say that this was not and is not the reason for the USA TODAY Sports Oversight Committee to get all up in arms. The fact that their poll is flawed is plenty enough reason for criticism. Okay, on to the links!
- Illini HQ talks about concussions and safety in football and how Illinois is dealing with it.
- A Lion Eye answers user submitted questions about Camp Rantoul 2012.
- The Crimson Quarry continues its preview of Hoosier opponents with their look at the Buckeyes.
- The Hawkeyes sign track star Matthew VandeBerg from South Dakota.
- C.J. Fiedorowicz is ready for a breakout season... (Note: Articles like this are why Local TV Stations should stay off the interwebs... I may or may not have included the link just to point that out.)
- BHGP continues its look at Kirk's best wins with a win over the Spartans.
- Recruiting is funny... A story on how Michigan could overtake USC for top recruiting class.
- MGoBlog answers the question: Usain Bolt or Denard?
- Speaking of Denard, a nice piece from MnB on who Denard is to the Michigan fans and the school's history.
- CBS Sports does Best Case/Worst Case Scenario for the Wolverines.
- Reactions to CBS naming Taylor Lewan Michigan's best player.
- Oh modified scoring in scrimmages... You are the media's worst enemy. I don't think the Spartans care.
- The Only Colors has a Preseason Q&A with Madtown Badgers.
- Looks like the WR position at Michigan State is coming into focus.
- Minnesota Sophomore OT Jimmy Gjere retires from football due to recurring Concussion like symptoms.
- TDG celebrates four years of being on the interweb so congratulations there... also, they break down the WWL positional rankings.
- Nebraska OT Tyler Moore is taking a semester off to go back home and figure out what happens next. The Seminoles are keeping an eye on the situation.
- A legitimately cool tradition at Nebraska where a sea of red balloons is released upon the scoring of the first Husker TD is now on hold due to helium shortages.
- Hail Varsity does a nice breakdown of the Husker practices.
- Lake the Posts writes up some practice notes and gives a few thoughts on the new Northwestern facilities in light of a trip to Indiana.
- A nice interview with Matt Stewart, a walk-on turned scholarship kid for Northwestern during the Barnett turnaround, in light of his new book about that story.
- Sippin on Purple has a Cam'ron reference while doing their player countdowns focusing on wideout Cameron Dickerson.
- 5 Buckeye freshmen defenders to watch in 2012 via LGHL.
- Buckeye Empire on how to get tickets in Columbus... Surprisingly, no references to tattoos.
- Eleven Warriors sits down with another 2013 recruit: C.J. Reavis.
- BSD takes a look at the Penn State LB core going into 2012.
- Penn State will be looking to younger receivers like Allen Robinson to make plays this season.
- Penn State is issued an accreditation warning by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Seems to be posturing, but its worth keeping an eye on.
- The go-to throws for each of Purdue's 3-headed QB.
- Hammer and Rails continues its player countdown with one of those heads, Caleb TerBush.
- An interview with Purdue DC Tim Tibesar on ESPN.
- Bielema hopes to have a starting QB pretty soon and it looks like DOB is leading the pack...
- You know, unless he isn't...
- Pretty much every team story right now is practice reports, so here is one for Wisconsin.
- CBS Sports lists the Top 5 Wisconsin NFL Prospects for 2012.
- A look at the odds of different B1G teams emerging from the heap this season.
- CBS gives us their list of the Big Ten's Top 5 RBs.
- ESPN asks which Big Ten team has the best LB combo.
- And the chat wrap for ESPN's Big Ten Monday Chat.
Gotye - Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra (via gotyemusic)