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Big Ten at Ten 8.14.12: The Coaches Poll is a Joke

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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)
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)
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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!

Team Links:

Conference Links:

As for a finishing video (because I feel compelled to keep putting a random link at the end here), how about this video from Gotye. I hate (cannot emphasize that enough) his popularity with Somebody That I Used to Know, but he went out and remixed all of the fan-submitted videos and created a new video which was pretty entertaining. (h/t to Vox Media partner the Verge)

Gotye - Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra (via gotyemusic)