Ballots for final coaches' poll won't be released

Updated: November 16, 2004, 8:12 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The final coaches' vote before the FedEx Orange Bowl will stay a secret ballot.

Despite some calls to make their picks public, the 61 college football coaches who vote in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll decided not to release their choices at the end of the regular season.

Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, surveyed the 61 coaches earlier this month. He said it was a split opinion -- about 31-30 against.

"There was not a clear majority," Teaff said Tuesday on a conference call.

Teaff, a longtime voter as coach at Baylor in the 1970s and '80s, said he preferred to see the ballots released.

"It would be a positive thing for everybody, and I would lobby for it," he said. "I don't have a problem with it."

The coaches' poll and The Associated Press media poll each count for one-third of a team's Bowl Championship Series ranking. An average of six computer rankings makes up the other third.

Ballots of AP voters are made available when warranted.

The two top teams in the BCS rankings will play in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4.

Teaff said all Division I coaches voted 88-29 after last season to keep the ballots secret. The survey came after Southern California and LSU split the national championship.

Teaff said the issue would be considered again in January when the coaches meet.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press