Inside scoop on BCS polls

ESPN.com's Gregg Found asked a question many of you ask: Who votes in the polls that decide the BCS standings?

That would be the coaches and Harris polls, not the AP poll.

You can learn more on their official sites -- the coaches poll here with USA Today and the Harris Poll here.

Found provides this Q&A:

Q: How many coaches vote in the coaches poll?

A: 59 head coaches of FBS teams. So of the 120 FBS teams, 49.2 percent -- almost half -- have a coach with a vote.

Q: How many voters vote in the Harris poll?

A: 115.

Q: How long has each poll been a component of the BCS standings?

A: The coaches poll since 1998, when the BCS began. The Harris poll since 2005, when the AP poll stopped being included as a component in the standings.

Q: When is the first coaches poll released?

A: Preseason, just like the AP poll.

Q: When is the first Harris poll released?

A: During the season. This year, the first one was released this week, after six weeks of games.

Q: Are head coaches actually the ones casting the votes in the coaches poll?

A: Hard to know, it’s likely different for each school. Some have the head coach do it, some have assistant coaches do it, some have SIDs do it, etc.

Q: Do the coaches who vote have anything in common?

A: Other than all being members of the American Football Coaches Association, not really. Each conference is represented. See the conference breakdown below.

Q: Do the Harris poll voters have anything in common?

A: According to Harris, panelists “include former coaches, players, administrators and current and former media. Panelists are randomly drawn by Harris Interactive from among more than 300 nominations supplied by the 11 FBS conferences and independent schools. The panel has been designed to be a statistically valid representation of all 11 FBS conferences and independent institutions.”

Q: Any notable voters in the Harris poll?

A: Sure…

-Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr

-Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden

-Former Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherrill

-Former Nebraska QB Tommie Frazier

-Former Tulsa QB Gus Frerotte

-And two former SEC commissioners – Harvey Schiller and Roy Kramer

Q: Which coaches with top teams this year have a vote?

A: Glad you asked. There could be some strategy coming into play. Take a look at the chart below. All of the top six teams this week have a coach with a vote -- so if they wanted to, they could each vote their own team No. 1.

Others receiving votes: Florida 72, Washington 52, North Carolina 43, Auburn 33, Notre Dame 31, South Florida 30, Wake Forest 22, Georgia 15, SMU 11, Texas Tech 9, Rutgers 8, Southern Miss. 7, TCU 4, Hawaii 1.

Conference Breakdown – Coaches With Vote in Poll


Big Ten 6




Pac-12 6

Big 12 5

Big East 4


Sun Belt 4


Independent 2