This is how much power the college football polls have.


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As in, zip squat.

As a longtime voter (I ran CNN’s end of the CNN/USA Today Top 25, which is now the Amway Coaches Poll) I took serious pride in what we did.  Had too.  In 1989 that poll was the first to award a trophy to a national champion immediately after a major bowl game (at the time the AP and UPI polls waited until two days later to name the champ).

When voters ‘chose’ the national champ the polls meant everything.

Then, as they do, things changed.  The one-game, two-team National Title game came into place.

The polls mattered a lot then.  Since the top two teams were chosen to play in the title game and for the championship.

That ‘playoff’ was seriously flawed (the computer rankings used in the calculation were an abysmal joke) but it was – somewhat – better than the old way in that at least something was settled on the field.

Now we have the College Football Playoff.  What amounts to one anyway.  This too has a serious flaw in that it is guaranteed to leave out at least one champion of a Power-5 conference and is built to all but deny any access what-so-ever to any team in the other ‘non-Power-5’ leagues.

The argument over going to 6 or 8 is pointless to a great degree since that will be settled the first time a deserving SEC or Big Ten champ is left out.  That will create the chaos and push to expand the playoff immediately.

Make no mistake the playoff will expand.  It has too.

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With the new committee choosing the current four teams behind closed doors their is a ton of politicking taking place.  That’s no surprise.  All of which makes the polls today entirely moot.

That the committee even releases its own version of the rankings is a huge mistake, it ought to allow the other polls to rant and rave over who belongs where and just avoid getting into the muck over which team(s) getting no respect.

At this juncture of this season it is fair to say that at least one of the eventual playoff teams is not ranked in the current top-15 of, say, the AP poll.  Could be that team might not even be ranked right now.

Yes the polls are fun to look at and argue over (Michigan State is still #4? on… what planet?).  But the polls don’t matter a whit.

The Committee will look at (and at the moment ONLY at) the winners of the four Power-5 conference title games plus the Big-12 champ.

That’s it.  Just those 5 teams.

*Don’t win your title game? Almost 100% automatic DQ.

*Don’t make your title game? Almost 100% DQ.

*Non Power-5 conference? 99% DQ.

*Independent not named ‘Notre Dame’ – well, good luck.

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Ever look at the NFL power rankings on the major sites and grumble?  Good.  Because those rankings are the same as College Football polls.  Hot air that means nothing unless you make the playoffs.