David Fox Rivals.com College Football Staff Writer
Among the six computer rankings, the dozens of coaches who vote in the USA Today top 25 and the more than 100 voters in the Harris poll, the components used in the BCS standings have one more voice than a year ago.
The Harris poll added one voter and now has 115, with the additional voter to account for BYU's newly independent status.
Harris Interactive randomly selects 10 voters from a pool of candidates presented by each of the 11 FBS conferences, which comes to 110 voters. From 2006-08, the poll had one additional voter for each of the four independents. In 2009-10, when Army, Navy and Notre Dame were the only independents, the poll still had four "independent" votes.
"Last year, there were still four for the [three] independents," said Eric Stone, a senior researcher for Harris Interactive. "It's not necessarily a one-to-one relationship."
Obviously, the presence of one additional voter isn't likely to have great impact on a poll of 115 members. Moreover, a changing panel isn't unique in the BCS. Since 2005, the coaches' poll has had as many as 63 voters (in 2006) and as few as 59 (each of the past three seasons).
The Harris discrepancy, first noted by PollSpeak.com, a blog that examines the various polls in college football, appears to stem from Western Kentucky moving from independent status to the Sun Belt Conference in 2009. The Harris poll had 114 voters in 2009-10, but a one-to-one ratio for independents in those seasons would have yielded 113 voters.
That said, the voters are not intended to carry their affiliations with the conferences (or independents) that nominated them into the voting process. Voters are not formally told which conferences nominated them to the panel.
"This is important to us: Once they become panelists, they don't have any conference affiliation," BCS coordinator Bill Hancock told Rivals.com in 2008. "They're nominated by conference so we have equal geographic representation."
The Harris poll replaced The Associated Press poll in the BCS formula in 2005, when the AP chose to have its poll removed from consideration.
The switch to the Harris poll has not had any real impact on the teams selected for the BCS championship game. In six seasons, the top four teams in the Harris poll have been identical to the top four teams in the AP's final regular-season poll. And in 2005, '08 and '10, each of the top 10 teams in the Harris and the AP were identical.
That trend has not ended this season. The AP and Harris top 10s were identical last week, and in the first Harris poll, on Oct. 9, the top nine teams in both polls matched exactly.
This season, though, the Harris voters and the coaches don't agree. The top three in both Harris polls has been LSU, followed by Alabama and Oklahoma. The coaches' poll has had Oklahoma No. 1 in each of the past two weeks, followed by LSU and Alabama.
As with the coaches' poll, the Harris does not release individual ballots on a weekly basis, though both polls release individual ballots for the final regular-season poll in December.
Unlike the coaches' poll, figuring out the exact makeup of the Harris poll requires doing some legwork. Since its inception, Harris poll voters have been identified only by name. Harris does not reveal the voters' connection to college sports or the conference that nominated them in the first place.
But as Rivals.com has done in each of the past four seasons, we have identified the voters; this season's group has 20 new voters, including former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr and former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. Thirty Harris voters have been on the panel since its inception in 2005.
The makeup remains similar: The panel includes former coaches, players and administrators and current and former members of college football media. Here's the list:
New voters in bold. * - Has participated in every Harris poll since 2005
Former college assistant, Texas player 1966-68
Army player 1956-60
Reporter, The Tulsa World
Florida player 1993-96, CBS College Sports and The mtn. analyst
Reporter, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
Georgia administrator 1986-88, South Carolina athletic director 1988, Virginia coach 1976-81
Former columnist, The Tennessean
Radio host, WGFX in Nashville, Former Ball State player
Tulane coach 1997-98, Clemson coach 1999-2008
Georgia Tech athletic director 1997-2006, Virginia Tech athletic director 1988-97, Marshall athletic director 1985-87
NFL.com analyst, Former Cowboys director of player personnel
Oregon coach 1977-94, Kentucky coach 2003-09
Clemson player 1990-93
Oklahoma player 1970-74
Broadcaster for Rutgers and SNY
Michigan coach 1995-2007
UNLV athletic director 1995-2001, Memphis athletic director 1982-95
Boise State player 2003-07, radio analyst BSU Sports Radio Network
Reporter, Dothan (Ala.) Eagle
East Carolina player 1977-80
Notre Dame athletic director 1981-87, Virginia athletic director 1971-80, ACC commissioner 1987-97
Former University of Nevada president, former NCAA president
North Carolina coach 1978-87, Kent State coach 1988-90
Miami coach 1971-72, Kentucky coach 1973-81
1958 Heisman winner at Army, former CEO of Primerica Financial Services
Central Michigan coach 1978-93
Executive Vice President, University of St. Thomas; Minnesota athletic director 1995-2000
Virginia player 1982-85
Green Bay Packers director of college scouting, Connecticut player 1980-83
West Virginia player 1963-65
Toledo player 1969-71
Columnist, SpartanTailgate.com; Former columnist Lansing (Mich.) State Journal
BYU athletic director 1995-99
Former Nebraska player 1992-95
Tulsa player 1990-94
Reporter, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle
San Diego State player 1999-2002
Texas A&M player 1977-79
Reporter, The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel
Oregon State player 1964-66
Former Utah player 1957-58
Columnist, Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register
N.C. State administrator 1984-2010
Auburn athletic director 1990-2004
Stanford player 1996-99
Reporter, The Birmingham (Ala.) News
Radio analyst, Baylor; Former Baylor player 1990-93
Fresno State athletic director 2001-05
Texas player 1986-89
Don W. Kassing
San Jose State president 2005-08
Kent State athletic director 1994-2010, Cornell athletic director 1983-94
Reporter, The Kansas City Star
Reporter, The Philadelphia Daily News
SEC Commissioner, 1990-2002
Radio host, KXDP in Denver
SMU player 1981-84
Bowling Green athletic director 1978-82, MAC Commisioner 1982-90, Sun Belt Commissioner 1990-91
Colorado State coach 1993-2007
Auburn athletic director 1992-93, Washington athletic director 1975-91
Reporter, Newark Star Ledger
Reporter, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
West Virginia player 1965-67
Kansas athletic director 1978-82, South Carolina athletic director 1982-88, Marshall athletic director 2002-09
Former ABCSports Senior Vice President
Notre Dame player 1992-95
Duke coach 1971-78, Cincinnati athletic director 1979-84, USC athletic director 1984-93
SMU player 1980-83
Clemson athletic director 1971-85, Southern Miss athletic director 1985-99
Radio reporter and host, Navy Radio Network
Former executive director of the NFL Referees Association, former Big 12 supervisor of officials
Troy player 1990-91
Cal player 1962-64
Texas Tech athletic director 1996-2011
Northern Illinois coach 1996-2007
Louisiana Tech athletic director
Reporter on East Carolina for Bonesville.net
Reporter, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Free-Press
Radio analyst, Notre Dame, Former Notre Dame player 1982-85
Ohio State player 1972-74
Sports editor, Idaho Statesman
Oregon State player 1966-68
Wisconsin athletic director 1989-2004
Radio host, AM870 East Lansing, Mich.
Radio host WKNR 850 in Cleveland
Former radio broadcaster, UAB
CEO of GlobalOptions Group, SEC Commissioner 1986-90, Former VP at TBS, former CEO of YankeeNets
*Terry R. Schmidt
Ball State player 1971-73
Columnist, The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore.
San Jose State coach 1990-91, Rutgers coach 1996-2000
Washington St coach 1976, Pittsburgh coach 1977-81, Texas A&M coach 1982-88, Mississippi St coach 1991-2003
Former columnist, The Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen
Arizona player 1992-94
Former Central Michigan sports information director
Reporter, The Washington Times
Florida International coach 2002-06
Former Penn State sports information director
Radio host, KAHL in San Antonio
Connecticut athletic director 1969-87
Auburn player 1977-79
Iowa State athletic director 1983-93, Kansas State athletic director 1993-2001
Former Notre Dame sports information director
Jeff Van Note
Kentucky player 1966-68
Stanford player 1988-91
Former Purdue sports information director
Hawaii coach 1988-95
Iowa State coach 1987-94, Washington State coach 1978-86
Radio host, KPEL in Lafayette, La., play-by-play announcer, Louisiana-Lafayette
Columnist, The Daily
Kansas State player 1980-84, Kansas State radio analyst
Alabama player 1971, former director fo PGA Tour's Shotlink