The first 2010 Harris Poll college football rankings are out. The Poll is important because it will be part of the first 2010 BCS standings, due out on Sunday, Oct. 17. The Harris Poll comes out a week prior to the BCS rankings, in part so that they can get a feel for the voting process with the new panel, and also so that the college football world can prepare itself for what’s to come. Sunday saw the first rankings come out, and it will give us a clearer picture of how these voters are going to look at the college football rankings for the rest of the 2010 season.
For those who don’t really know what the Harris Poll is, it comprises basically one-third of the BCS standings from week to week. The Harris Poll is combined with the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and the average of six computer rankings to come up with the overall BCS standings. From that list, the two top schools are selected to play in the college football national championship each year. It isn’t a perfect system, but it’s the one we have to deal with right now and, as such, it also makes the Harris Poll an extremely important component of coming up with the weekly BCS standings.
There are 114 voters on the Poll, each chosen from a list of nominees that comes from all the BCS conferences. According to Harris Interactive, the panel includes former coaches, student-athletes, college administrators, and members of the media, both current and former. Each of the 11 conferences has 10 representatives, with four additional who represent independent institutions (like Notre Dame). From there, the 114 voters submit their college football rankings each week, and it is combined into the BCS rankings system in order to come up with who the best schools in the country are. The Harris Poll is widely considered to be the fairest poll in the voting system.
As we mentioned earlier, the first 2010 Harris Poll came out on Sunday, and it mirrors the other two polls with Ohio State as the No. 1 ranked team. Oregon is No.2, followed by Boise State, TCU, Nebraska, and Oklahoma rounding out the top six. Ohio State has 79 first place votes, with the other first place votes going to Oregon (23), Boise State (10), and Oklahoma (2). The poll appears to be playing things very safe, with Michigan State buried down at No. 12 and Oklahoma State down at No. 18. Both schools are still undefeated at 6-0 in 2010. It’s worth nothing that Michigan is at No. 24, as they dropped out of the most recent AP Top 25 Poll.
The next Harris Poll will come out on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 17, and will play a part in the first BCS standings that will come out that evening on ESPN. Expect some of next Saturday’s games to really play a huge impact in how both the Harris Poll and the BCS rankings look.