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College Football: Who votes in the Harris Poll?

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Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is one of 115 voters in the Harris poll for 2012.

The calendar has turned to October, and the unveiling of the BCS standings is near.

For college football fans, in short, this can be an infuriating time. College football’s national championship is decided by a handful of components -- active coaches, computers and the mix of personalities in the Harris Interactive top 25.

Part of the BCS standings since 2005 when the Associated Press pulled its poll out of the formula, the Harris poll may be the least understood of the postseason components.

Its 115 voters are randomly selected to represent each conference and the independents. Harris Interactive selects 10 voters each from a pool of candidates provided by each conference, bringing the total voters to 110. Candidates submitted by the four independents make up the final five spots in the poll.

But who are the voters? Harris releases a list of names of the panel, but not their relationship to college football, the conference from which they were selected, or the college or conference that nominated to the panel in the first place.

Through research, we have filled in the gaps with a quick description of each voter for 2012.

Here are a few of our observations on the panel.

The mix is as expected among former players, former coaches, current and former media members and college administrators.

Our breakdown is as follows:

39 former players. This includes football players who went on to broadcast careers but not former college football players who went on to become coaches or administrators. One Heisman winner, Army’s Pete Dawkins, is in the panel.

31 former administrators. This includes former commissioners, athletic directors and sports information directors. The most notable is former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer, who is considered to be the father of the BCS.

27 current and former media members for print, broadcast and online outlets.

13 former coaches. This includes Lloyd Carr (Michigan), Tommy Bowden (Clemson and Tulane), Rich Brooks (Kentucky and Oregon) and Jackie Sherrill (Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Pittsburgh and Washington State).

5 “others.” This includes a former head of officials (Tim Mills), a former television executive (Loren Matthews) and a director of college scouting for the Green Bay Packers (John Dorsey).

Other notes:

• Of the 115 voters, 29 have participated in the Harris poll every season since it began in 2005.

• The Harris poll features 15 new voters from last season including former Tulane quarterback Shaun King, former Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El, former Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner, former Minnesota running back Darrell Thompson and former Cincinnati and Florida State athletic director Bob Goin.

• Another new voter, Bob Condron, spent the last 28 years as the director of media services for the United States Olympic Committee. His last experience in college athletics was sports information staffer at SMU and Texas Tech in the early 1980s.

• Gary Hogeboom was a quarterback at Central Michigan and with the Dallas Cowboys, but he was also a contestant on Survivor: Guatemala in 2005.

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Voter

Description

*Denny Aldridge

Texas player 1966-68

Bob Anderson

Army player 1956-60

Eric Bailey

Reporter, The Tulsa World

James Bates

Florida player 1993-96, CBS Sports Network broadcaster

Sammy Batten

Reporter, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer

*Dick Bestwick

Georgia administrator 1986-88, South Carolina athletic director 1988, Virginia coach 1976-81

*Joe Biddle

Former columnist, The Nashville Tennessean

*Blaine Bishop

Ball State player 1990-92, Radio host, WGFX in Nashville

Tommy Bowden

Tulane coach 1997-98, Clemson coach 1999-2008

Dave Braine

Georgia Tech athletic director 1997-2006, Virginia Tech AD 1988-97, Marshall AD 1985-87

Gil Brandt

NFL.com analyst, Former Cowboys director of player personnel

Rich Brooks

Oregon coach 1977-94, Kentucky coach 2003-09

Chip Brown

Reporter, Orangebloods.com

*Brenston Buckner

Clemson player 1990-93

Grant Burget

Oklahoma player 1970-74

Chris Carlin

Broadcaster for Rutgers and SNY

Lloyd Carr

Michigan coach 1995-2007

*Charlie Cavagnaro

UNLV athletic director 1995-2001, Memphis AD 1982-95

Pete Cavender

Boise State player 2003-07, radio analyst BSU Sports Radio Network

Tony Collins

East Carolina player 1977-80

Bob Condron

Former USOC director of media services 1984-2012, former SID staffer at Texas Tech and SMU

Gene Corrigan

Notre Dame athletic director 1981-87, Virginia AD 1971-80, ACC commissioner 1987-97

Joe Crowley

Former University of Nevada president, former NCAA president

Dick Crum

North Carolina coach 1978-87, Kent State coach 1988-90

Fran Curci

Miami coach 1971-72, Kentucky coach 1973-81

*Pete Dawkins

1958 Heisman winner at Army, former CEO of Primerica Financial Services

Herb Dromedi

Central Michigan coach 1978-93

Mark Dienhart

Minnesota athletic director 1995-2000, Executive Vice President, University of St. Thomas

John Dorsey

Green Bay Packers director of college scouting, Connecticut player 1980-83

Bob Dunlevy

West Virginia player 1963-65

Chuck Ealey

Toledo player 1969-71

Jack Ebling

Columnist, SpartanTailgate.com; Former columnist Lansing (Mich.) State Journal

Rondo Fehlberg

BYU athletic director 1995-99

Robert Gagliardi

Reporter, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

Richard Giannini

Southern Miss athletic director 1999-2011, former administrator at ULM, Florida and Duke.

Bob Goin

Cincinnati athletic director 1997-2005, Florida State athletic director 1990-94

Joe Gottfried

South Alabama athletic director 1984-2009

Mike Griffith

Reporter, MLive.com

*Bob Grim

Oregon State player 1964-66

Lee Grosscup

Utah player 1957-58

Mark Hermann

Purdue player 1977-80

*Tommy Hicks

Columnist, Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register

Gary Hogeboom

Central Michigan player 1976-79

David Horning

NC State administrator 1984-2010

*David Housel

Auburn athletic director 1990-2004

Todd Husak

Stanford player 1996-99

J.J. Joe

Former Baylor player 1990-93; Radio analyst, Baylor

Scott Johnson

Fresno State athletic director 2001-05

Tony Jones

Texas player 1986-89

Adam Jude

Reporter, The Oregonian

Don W. Kassing

San Jose State president 2005-08

Laing Kennedy

Kent State athletic director 1994-2010, Cornell athletic director 1983-94

*Blair Kerkhoff

Reporter, The Kansas City Star

*Mike Kern

Reporter, The Philadelphia Daily News

Shaun King

Tulane player 1995-98

*Roy Kramer

SEC Commissioner, 1990-2002

Nate Kreckman

Radio host, KXDP in Denver

*Bobby Leach

SMU player 1981-84

Sonny Lubick

Colorado State coach 1993-2007

*Mike Lude

Auburn athletic director 1992-93, Washington athletic director 1975-91

*Tom Luicci

Reporter, Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger

John Mallory

West Virginia player 1965-67

Bob Marcum

Kansas athletic director 1978-82, South Carolina AD 1982-88, Marshall AD 2002-09

Loren Matthews

Former ABCSports Senior Vice President

Derrick Mayes

Notre Dame player 1992-95

*Mike McGee

Duke coach 1971-78, Cincinnati athletic director 1979-84, USC athletic director 1984-93

*Lance McIlhenny

SMU player 1980-83

Pete Medhurst

Radio reporter and host, Navy Radio Network

Tim Millis

Former executive director of the NFL Referees Association, former Big 12 supervisor of officials

Eric Mizell

Troy player 1990-91

*Craig Morton

Cal player 1962-64

Gerald Myers

Texas Tech athletic director 1996-2011

Joe Novak

Northern Illinois coach 1996-2007

Jim Oakes

Louisiana Tech athletic director 1994-2008

Denny O'Brien

Reporter on East Carolina for Bonesville.net

David Paschall

Reporter, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Free-Press

Allen Pinkett

Notre Dame player 1982-85; Radio analyst, Notre Dame

Doug Plank

Ohio State player 1972-74

Mike Prater

Sports editor, Idaho Statesman

*Steve Preece

Oregon State player 1966-68

Antwaan Randle El

Indiana player 1998-2001

*Pat Richter

Wisconsin athletic director 1989-2004

Earle Robinson

Radio host, AM870 East Lansing, Mich.

*Kenny Roda

Radio host WKNR 850 in Cleveland

Gary Sanders

Former radio broadcaster, UAB

*Harvey Schiller

CEO of GlobalOptions Group, SEC Commissioner 1986-90, Former VP at TBS

*Terry R. Schmidt

Ball State player 1971-73

Terry Shea

San Jose State coach 1990-91, Rutgers coach 1996-2000

Jackie Sherrill

Pittsburgh coach 1977-81, Texas A&M coach 1982-88, Mississippi State coach 1991-2003

Corky Simpson

Former columnist, The Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen

Riley Skinner

Wake Forest player 2006-09

Joe Smigiel

Arizona player 1992-94

Adam Sparks

Reporter, The Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Daily News Journal

Fred Stabley

Former Central Michigan sports information director

Patrick Stevens

Reporter, The Washington Times

Don Strock

Florida International coach 2002-06

Pat Swilling

Georgia Tech player 1982-85

Mel Thomas

Former TCU administrator and assistant coach

Darrell Thompson

Minnesota player 1986-89

*John Toner

Connecticut athletic director 1969-87

Charlie Trotman

Auburn player 1977-79

*Max Urick

Iowa State athletic director 1983-93, Kansas State athletic director 1993-2001

*Roger Valdiserri

Former Notre Dame sports information director

Jeff Van Note

Kentucky player 1966-68

Tommy Vardell

Stanford player 1988-91

Mike Vaught

Former SMU administrator

Jim Vruggink

Former Purdue sports information director

*Bob Wagner

Hawaii coach 1988-95

Jim Walden

Iowa State coach 1987-94, Washington State coach 1978-86

Jay Walker

Radio host, KPEL in Lafayette, La., play-by-play announcer, Louisiana-Lafayette

John Walters

Former columnist, The Daily

Jack White

Alabama player 1971, former director for PGA Tour's Shotlink

Dwayne Woodruff

Louisville player 1976-78

Rick Wright

Reporter, Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal

*Hugh Yoshida

Hawaii athletic director 1992-2002

 

*Indicates voters since first Harris poll in 2005

 

Bold indicates new voter in 2012

By David Fox

Follow @DavidFox615