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College Football: Who votes in the Harris Poll?

Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr is one of 115 voters

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.

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 analyst, Former Cowboys director of player personnel
Rich Brooks Oregon coach 1977-94, Kentucky coach 2003-09
Chip Brown Reporter,
*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,; 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,
*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
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

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