Coaches discuss changes to their weekly ranking


Published: Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 12:56 a.m.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - College football coaches delayed a vote Wednesday on whether to release the ballots for their weekly poll, though some made it clear they strongly oppose the idea.
"I don't see how that could be anything but a negative," Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer said.
Wyoming coach Joe Glenn said, "I've got no hidden agenda, but you've got nothing good in it."
Just over half of the nation's Division I-A coaches - 59 of 117 - attended the final day of the American Football Coaches Association's annual convention in Louisville.
AFCA executive director Grant Teaff led a forum on the ESPN/USA Today poll, which came under fire after Texas overtook California for the last at-large bid in the Bowl Championship Series.
Six coaches dropped Cal below No. 6 in the final poll, prompting Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen and Cal coach Jeff Tedford to ask the 61 coaches who voted to disclose their ballots. The AFCA voted down the request.
On Wednesday, Teaff handed out a three-question survey to the coaches in attendance. The survey asked if the coaches would:
  • release their ballots every week;
  • release their ballots at the end of the season only;
  • and, continue to vote if their ballots were ever publicly released.
    Teaff said the rest of the coaches would receive surveys by mail. An official vote would not take place until all the surveys had been received, Teaff said.
    "We're trying to make a decision based on what we think is best for our game and our teams and our players," Teaff said.
    The AFCA twice rejected proposals in the past year to publicly disclose the coaches' ballots. Teaff said the more likely change this time was for the coaches to release their ballots at the end of the season.
    "I don't think they're interested with dealing with it on a weekly basis," Teaff said. "I don't know why they would be."
    Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said publicly disclosing ballots would put coaches in awkward situations.
    "If we release the polls, we're bound to our players," Tuberville said. "They're going to see how we voted, other coaches are going to see. There are a lot of things you don't think about."
    Fulmer said revealing how coaches voted could create bad blood before games.
    "If we're getting ready to play somebody or if you rank somebody ahead of your team, that's a bad message to your kids," Fulmer said. "It's different than the writers (poll), because we're dealing with our peers. We're playing against them rather than just reporting about them. That's a big difference."
    Teaff said a suggestion to delay the coaches poll until October was dismissed.
    n LSU: Coach Les Miles will receive a seven-year contract worth $1.25 million annually, a deal similar to the one the Tigers gave Nick Saban when he was first hired.
    Upon approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors, Miles' base salary will be $300,000 a year with an additional $600,000 for radio, television and internet work, LSU said Wednesday in a news release.
    Miles will also receive $300,000 a year from the Tiger Athletic Foundation with an additional $50,000 coming from shoe and equipment contracts, the school said. The deal includes an additional $200,000 per year in deferred compensation.
    Miles was hired from Oklahoma State on Jan. 3 to replace Saban, who left LSU to coach the Miami Dolphins.
    Saban had the nation's richest contract for a college football coach: a seven-year, $18.45 million deal he signed after winning a share of the national title for LSU in 2003.
    Saban's original LSU contract in 1999 paid him $1.2 million annually.
    Miles has several incentive clauses in his deal. He will receive $50,000 in additional compensation if he leads LSU to a bowl game, or $100,000 for leading the Tigers to the Bowl Championship Series. He will also earn $75,000 if the Tigers play in the Southeastern Conference championship game, and $175,000 if they play in the BCS national title game. And he can earn extra compensation based on his team's academic achievement, the news release said.
  • SOUTH FLORIDA: Offensive lineman Danny Muy and receiver Cedric Hill, who last year signed letters of intent with Nebraska and Miami respectively, have transferred to South Florida for the 2005 season, the school announced Wednesday.
  • NEBRASKA: Safety Josh Bullocks said Wednesday he's skipping his senior season to enter the NFL Draft.
    Bullocks had two interceptions this season for the Cornhuskers, but was an all-Big 12 player in 2003 with a conference record 10 interceptions.
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