A Saturday potpourri:
—- Friday’s post on the Coaches poll raised the question of how the pollsters are selected and how they put their polls together. Got to admit, I don’t really know for sure how the pollsters are selected and I couldn’t really find anything on-line that explained it, though I assume it’s like the AP poll where they just ask people who they think will do a good job, while making sure to spread it around a bit regionally.
However, I did notice in reading this history of the poll that a lot of the same coaches keep doing it over and over — Tyrone Willingham has taken part all three years at UW, for instance. Could just be that some coaches like doing it and others don’t, and they stick with those that are willing to participate.
As for how the polls are put together, there have always been lots of stories about the coaches who actually have someone else do it for them — their sports information guy, an assistant, etc. I remember covering one late-night game and a coach calling a few of us writers over after the interview was finished and pulling out a printed copy of the Top 25 of that week and asking us who won and who lost so he could figure out how to rank the teams.
That’s the one problem with all the polls — both writers and coaches sometimes get so involved with the team they are affiliated with that it can be hard to keep up with what everyone else is doing.
I’ve taken part in the AP poll a few times and how that works is that the state of Washington is allocated one vote every year. Someone from the AP then asks someone who covers one of the D-I teams in the state (either UW or WSU for football) to take part. They usually try to spread it around so that one year it’s someone who covers WSU, the next someone who covers UW, etc. That’s pretty much how it works everywhere, though larger states get more votes and those that don’t have teams at all don’t get any.
— Here’s the Oregonian’s liveblog from Oregon State’s opening day of practice Friday. The big news out of Beaver-land, however, is that punter Kyle Loomis has quit the team for personal reasons. That’s a pretty big blow as he was a solid punter as a freshman last season and apparently means that All-American kicker Alexis Serna will have to take on the kicking duties. Serna’s presence is one reason we decided to rank Oregon State as having the best special teams in the Pac-10 in the pre-season position ratings I help compile for Lindy’s magazine. Wonder if Serna’s kicking will suffer now having to also punt.
— Here’s the latest on Isaiah Stanback — sounds as if he did some cutting and is getting closer to practicing. Also kind of sounds as if the Cowboys are miffed how long he’s been out.
— I admit I’m no video game expert (my losses to my 9-year-old in Mario Superstar Baseball prove that) so this story from the Bellingham Herald on how Jake Locker fares in the new EA Sports NCAA Football 2008 game isn’t one I would have been able to write. We’ll have to ask Jake what he thinks of his virtual self once camp starts.
— Speaking of camp, it begins tomorrow (Sunday) and if you’re a hard-core reader of this board then this query is for you. With camp beginning, I’m always on the lookout for ways to make our coverage better — both here and in the regular on-line and print versions of the paper.
So any suggestions you have for story ideas, or topics to address or questions to ask (within reason, of course) are heartily encouraged.
A Saturday potpourri:
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