October 19, 2011

New faces highlight list of Harris Poll voters

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."

[ Video: Video: Winners, losers of first BCS standings ]

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
*Denny AldridgeFormer college assistant, Texas player 1966-68
Bob AndersonArmy player 1956-60
Eric BaileyReporter, The Tulsa World
James BatesFlorida player 1993-96, CBS College Sports and The mtn. analyst
Sammy Batten Reporter, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
*Dick BestwickGeorgia administrator 1986-88, South Carolina athletic director 1988, Virginia coach 1976-81
*Joe BiddleFormer columnist, The Tennessean
*Blaine BishopRadio host, WGFX in Nashville, Former Ball State player
Tommy BowdenTulane coach 1997-98, Clemson coach 1999-2008
Dave BraineGeorgia Tech athletic director 1997-2006, Virginia Tech athletic director 1988-97, Marshall athletic director 1985-87
Gil BrandtNFL.com analyst, Former Cowboys director of player personnel
Rich BrooksOregon coach 1977-94, Kentucky coach 2003-09
Chip BrownReporter, Orangebloods.com
*Brenston BucknerClemson player 1990-93
Grant BurgetOklahoma player 1970-74
Chris CarlinBroadcaster for Rutgers and SNY
Lloyd CarrMichigan coach 1995-2007
*Charlie CavagnaroUNLV athletic director 1995-2001, Memphis athletic director 1982-95
Pete CavenderBoise State player 2003-07, radio analyst BSU Sports Radio Network
Drew ChamplinReporter, Dothan (Ala.) Eagle
Tony CollinsEast Carolina player 1977-80
Gene CorriganNotre Dame athletic director 1981-87, Virginia athletic director 1971-80, ACC commissioner 1987-97
Joe CrowleyFormer University of Nevada president, former NCAA president
Dick CrumNorth Carolina coach 1978-87, Kent State coach 1988-90
Fran CurciMiami coach 1971-72, Kentucky coach 1973-81
*Pete Dawkins1958 Heisman winner at Army, former CEO of Primerica Financial Services
Herb DromediCentral Michigan coach 1978-93
Mark DienhartExecutive Vice President, University of St. Thomas; Minnesota athletic director 1995-2000
Jim DombrowskiVirginia player 1982-85
John DorseyGreen Bay Packers director of college scouting, Connecticut player 1980-83
Bob DunlevyWest Virginia player 1963-65
Chuck EaleyToledo player 1969-71
Jack EblingColumnist, SpartanTailgate.com; Former columnist Lansing (Mich.) State Journal
Rondo FehlbergBYU athletic director 1995-99
Tommie FrazierFormer Nebraska player 1992-95
Gus FrerotteTulsa player 1990-94
Robert GagliardiReporter, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle
Akbar Gbaja-BiamilaSan Diego State player 1999-2002
Jacob GreenTexas A&M player 1977-79
Mike GriffithReporter, The Knoxville (Tenn.) News-Sentinel
*Bob GrimOregon State player 1964-66
Lee GrosscupFormer Utah player 1957-58
*Tommy HicksColumnist, Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register
David HorningN.C. State administrator 1984-2010
*David HouselAuburn athletic director 1990-2004
Todd HusakStanford player 1996-99
Steve IrvineReporter, The Birmingham (Ala.) News
J.J. JoeRadio analyst, Baylor; Former Baylor player 1990-93
Scott JohnsonFresno State athletic director 2001-05
Tony JonesTexas player 1986-89
Don W. KassingSan Jose State president 2005-08
Laing KennedyKent State athletic director 1994-2010, Cornell athletic director 1983-94
*Blair KerkhoffReporter, The Kansas City Star
*Mike KernReporter, The Philadelphia Daily News
*Roy KramerSEC Commissioner, 1990-2002
Nate KreckmanRadio host, KXDP in Denver
*Bobby LeachSMU player 1981-84
*James LessigBowling Green athletic director 1978-82, MAC Commisioner 1982-90, Sun Belt Commissioner 1990-91
Sonny LubickColorado State coach 1993-2007
*Mike LudeAuburn athletic director 1992-93, Washington athletic director 1975-91
*Tom LuicciReporter, Newark Star Ledger
Cindy LuisReporter, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
John MalloryWest Virginia player 1965-67
Bob MarcumKansas athletic director 1978-82, South Carolina athletic director 1982-88, Marshall athletic director 2002-09
Loren MatthewsFormer ABCSports Senior Vice President
Derrick MayesNotre Dame player 1992-95
*Mike McGeeDuke coach 1971-78, Cincinnati athletic director 1979-84, USC athletic director 1984-93
*Lance McIlhennySMU player 1980-83
Bill McLellanClemson athletic director 1971-85, Southern Miss athletic director 1985-99
Pete MedhurstRadio reporter and host, Navy Radio Network
Tim MillisFormer executive director of the NFL Referees Association, former Big 12 supervisor of officials
Eric MizellTroy player 1990-91
*Craig MortonCal player 1962-64
Gerald MyersTexas Tech athletic director 1996-2011
Joe NovakNorthern Illinois coach 1996-2007
Jim OakesLouisiana Tech athletic director
Denny O'BrienReporter on East Carolina for Bonesville.net
David PaschallReporter, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Free-Press
Allen PinkettRadio analyst, Notre Dame, Former Notre Dame player 1982-85
Doug PlankOhio State player 1972-74
Mike PraterSports editor, Idaho Statesman
*Steve PreeceOregon State player 1966-68
*Pat RichterWisconsin athletic director 1989-2004
Earle RobinsonRadio host, AM870 East Lansing, Mich.
*Kenny RodaRadio host WKNR 850 in Cleveland
Gary SandersFormer radio broadcaster, UAB
*Harver SchillerCEO of GlobalOptions Group, SEC Commissioner 1986-90, Former VP at TBS, former CEO of YankeeNets
*Terry R. SchmidtBall State player 1971-73
George SchroederColumnist, The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore.
Terry SheaSan Jose State coach 1990-91, Rutgers coach 1996-2000
Jackie SherrillWashington St coach 1976, Pittsburgh coach 1977-81, Texas A&M coach 1982-88, Mississippi St coach 1991-2003
Corky SimpsonFormer columnist, The Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen
Joe SmigielArizona player 1992-94
Fred StableyFormer Central Michigan sports information director
Patrick StevensReporter, The Washington Times
Don StrockFlorida International coach 2002-06
Budd ThalmanFormer Penn State sports information director
Ron ThulinRadio host, KAHL in San Antonio
*John TonerConnecticut athletic director 1969-87
Charlie TrotmanAuburn player 1977-79
*Max UrickIowa State athletic director 1983-93, Kansas State athletic director 1993-2001
*Roger ValdiserriFormer Notre Dame sports information director
Jeff Van NoteKentucky player 1966-68
Tommy VardellStanford player 1988-91
Jim VrugginkFormer Purdue sports information director
*Bob WagnerHawaii coach 1988-95
Jim WaldenIowa State coach 1987-94, Washington State coach 1978-86
Jay WalkerRadio host, KPEL in Lafayette, La., play-by-play announcer, Louisiana-Lafayette
John WaltersColumnist, The Daily
Stan WeberKansas State player 1980-84, Kansas State radio analyst
Jack WhiteAlabama player 1971, former director fo PGA Tour's Shotlink
George WineFormer Iowa sports information director
Dwayne WoodruffLouisville player 1976-78
Rick WrightReporter, Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal
*Hugh YoshidaHawaii athletic director1992-2002

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David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.


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