The College Swim Coaches Association of America has decided on tweaks to the polling procedure for their NCAA Division I polls. The CSCAA Polls are viewed as the primary poll in the world of college swimming.
Now the polls, designed to reflect the teams’ dual meet skill (rather than their end-of-season expectations like our power rankings do), are being revamped and reformatted for the 2011-2012 college season.
This year, instead of opening the polling to all Division 1 coaches, the voting group will be made up of 6 coaching representatives. The 5 major swimming conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, and SEC) will each have a representative, and then a 6th voting coach will stump for the rest of Division 1.
Prior to each vote, the 6 coaches will each share their views of the conference(s) that they represent, and after an hour of discussion, each of these 6 will vote for their top 25.
This is a major overhaul for the poll, which in the past has been accused of being too flippantly considered by coaches whose plates are too full to give it the due attention. There are obvious downfalls to this system, namely that it gives an unequal balance of voting power to those teams who have coaches among the 6. The contra-view of that is that the polls have no bearing on the outcome of a season (unlike in, say, college football) and that the appointed 6 coaches will give more careful consideration to the voting and the discussion.
The polls arguably have some small impact on a team’s recruiting, but without the proof at the end of the season, that’s a house-of-cards that will fall quickly as well.
The first vote will take place next week.