Former players, coaches among those who would vote
NEW YORK -- The Bowl Championship Series has a plan for a new college football poll and hired a company Tuesday to find voters.
The new poll, which would be added to the BCS weekly rankings, would consist of former players, coaches, administrators and members of the media, the BCS said in a statement.
Harris Interactive, a marketing research and polling firm that operates The Harris Poll, "is in the process of contacting a random sample of individuals nominated by the conferences and Notre Dame to determine interest in participating in the poll," BCS coordinator and Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg said in the statement.
BCS spokesman Bob Burda said Harris would be in charge of coordinating the poll and counting the votes on a weekly basis. The Big 12 and National Football Foundation will still be responsible for compiling the weekly BCS standings, Burda said.
A decision by the 11 Division I-A conferences and Notre Dame on whether to use the new poll could be made by mid-July.
"I am generally supportive of the concept [of a new poll]," Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said. "We have not seen a formal presentation on it yet so it's premature for me to comment on the specifics. I've been aware of it and like the fact that it has some independence. It is appealing to me that an outside organization would oversee the administration."
The move comes following the decision by two major news organizations to opt out of the BCS ranking system, which determines the two teams that play in its national championship game.
In December, The Associated Press told the BCS to stop using its media poll in its weekly formula; ESPN withdrew from the coaches' poll last week. The coaches' poll remains part of the BCS rankings, and coaches agreed for the first time to reveal their votes for the final regular-season poll.
The AP poll and the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll had been the major components of the BCS rankings, and last season they held more weight than ever. The polls each counted for one-third of a team's BCS grade, with a compilation of computer rankings making up the other third.
USA Today will continue compiling the coaches' poll.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press