Last month, when we learned the final regular-season college football coaches’ poll will become anonymous starting in the 2010 season, it got me thinking about how the media have pulled back from exercising authority in polls and awards.
The Associated Press media poll no longer is part of the Bowl Championship Series ranking formula. Many prominent newspapers prohibit staffers from voting in polls, for league awards such as Most Valuable Player or for halls of fame.
The thinking is that, by voting, the media are making the news rather than just covering it. Media members also are put in position, the argument goes, to have significant financial impact on teams (getting them into lucrative bowl games) or players (who might have incentive clauses tied to where they finish in award votes or can reap the benefits of being hall of famers).