Pollspeak is a watchdog organization dedicated to keeping college sports polls (and computer-rankings) honest. Or at least questioning those that seem to be flawed, uneducated or have an unreasonable bias. Why? Because polls affect teams' TV exposure, finances, recruiting and national championship hopes. Voters and pollsters should be held accountable.
As fans of college sports, we put a lot of faith in the polls and the people who vote in them. It’s kind of like our government; where we elect representatives to make day to day decisions for us…except that we don’t get to elect our pollster representatives, and most people we know get angrier at poll voters than any given member of Congress. So Pollspeak was started to keep an eye on the polls (both human and computer) and report back to the people. At Pollspeak.com, you’ll find tools to help you take matters into your own hands as well. There is a free web tool called Pollstalker that analyzes all the public ballots and tells you who is making the strangest decisions. You can then vote on who you think is doing a good or bad job. There is also a petition to make all poll ballots public.
Since Pollspeak began, a few people have commented that they don't think the polls even matter. "It will all work out in the end anyway." This simply isn’t true. The polls are very important, and not just in the end. Even though coaches and players often downplay the polls' significance in public, they have done enough subtle and not-so-subtle lobbying to the pollsters to prove otherwise.
Aside from the obvious implications that polls have on deciding tournament seedings or national champions, there are other benefits of a poll ranking that affect far more teams than the few teams playing for the big trophy. When a team is ranked in the top 25, it gets more press. The team is listed in every newspaper that covers college sports. The team is listed more often on the ESPN Bottom Line score ticker. Their games get better TV and radio coverage. This all turns into more exposure for the school, which positively affects the team's perception and financials. Equally important (if not more so), the extra exposure has a big affect on recruiting and the attitude of the high school players and coaches. Recruiting is the lifeblood of college sports. So it may not be so important if a team is ranked 17 vs. 18. However, it is VERY important if a team is ranked in the polls at all.
We thank you for taking the time to join us in our mission of keeping college athletics transparent, fair and fun for all.