Thursday, August 20, 2009

College Football Player Poll On Different Topics [Interesting Read]

Let the coaches, writers and computers have their polls. But don't players have opinions? Turns out they do.

This spring,
ESPN The Magazine asked 85 FBS players about drugs, playoffs, refs, gay teammates and much more. In exchange for honesty, we promised not to reveal any names or schools -- only secrets.

  • Who will win the 2009 Heisman trophy?
When the ballots were counted, it was a landslide -- for Colt McCoy.

The Texas QB received 42 votes, followed by Florida QB Tim Tebow (20) and Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford (9). Four others were named more than once: USC safety Taylor Mays (4), Cal RB Jahvid Best (3), Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant (2) and Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead (2).

  • What player would you pay to watch?
Of 19 players, one came up most often: Tebow, who pulled in 35 percent of the votes and was the only QB among the top three. The top five vote-getters: Tebow (30), Tennessee safety Eric Berry (9), OSU's Bryant (7), Texas' McCoy (5) and Florida LB Brandon Spikes (5).

  • Who will win the BCS title in January 2010?
Nearly half (40) of the respondents said the Gators will help Tebow win a third BCS title. The other faves: Texas (23), Oklahoma (10), USC (9).

  • What is the nation's best program?
By a whisker players named Florida 32-31 over USC. But by the same thin margin, Trojans' boss Pete Carroll was the top pick when players were asked who the smartest coach is. No. 2? Florida's Urban Meyer.

  • What is the nation's most overrated program?
More than half of those surveyed (46) named Notre Dame or Ohio State. And the winner, if that's the right word, is -- OSU, 24 to 22. Uh, congratulations, Coach Tressel!

  • Do any players on your team take steroids or other PEDs?
Of those surveyed, 55 percent said they know of at least one teammate taking PEDs; among non-BCS players, 53 percent answered yes; 58 percent of BCS players said yes.

  • Should drugs and alcohol on campus be a bigger NCAA concern?
Just say no. That's how 52 percent of players answered, with 47 percent saying the NCAA should pay more attention to the issue.

  • Should guns on campus be a bigger NCAA concern?
Yes -- 21 percent; no -- 67 percent. While guns were not a concern for most players, 57 percent of the players in the Big East were alarmed at the number of firearms around the team.

  • Were you ever offered money during recruiting?
Yes -- 3 percent; no -- 97 percent. Few players admit to cash offers, but many concede the problem exists. Some paused long enough to make us wonder. Answered one Pac-10 player, "No. Well -- no."

  • Should players be paid?
A scholarship is worth about $19K a year. It sounds like a lot until you realize the bowl teams in 2008 made 148 million in postseason profit alone. That's why 71 percent of players want to be paid.

  • Does the FBS need a playoff?
For the postseason, 75 percent wanted change. Only one conference liked the status quo, 60 percent-40 percent: the Pac-10, winner of one BCS title (USC, 2004) in 11 years.

  • Better OT format, college or pro?
College -- 99 percent; pro --1 percent. The lone fan of the NFL rules? A Pac-10 player: "I like that pressure. If you lose the toss, you have to make a play to survive."

  • What's the worst rule in college football?
More players are worried about being heard than hurt. Excessive celebration (22 percent) was the most hated penalty, edging horse-collar tackles (12 percent) and crown-of-the-helmet hits (11 percent).

  • Does replay work well?
They may not like every call, but 78 percent of those polled think the refs get it right in the end, with identical responses from BCS and non-BCS players.

  • Are the refs doing a good job?
Although 57 percent of ACC players see room for improvement, every other conference's players gave the men in black-and-white a vote of confidence. Overall, refs get a 71 percent approval rating.

  • Do you notice the cheerleaders at other schools?
An overwhelming 81 percent answered yes. Players singled out seven schools: Clemson, Cincinnati (haha), Florida International, Louisville, South Florida, UCLA and their No. 1 -- Oregon.

  • How many times a week do you get hit on?
It's pretty good to be a college football player. On average, they're hit on 5.5 times every week. It's really good to be playing at a BCS school, where players get hit on 6.6 times a week. And it's really, really good to be a Pac-10 player, where that number is 10.2.

  • Should academic fraud be a bigger concern for the NCAA?
Yes -- 47 percent; no -- 51 percent. Both sides cited the Florida State scandal. Says one concerned player: "Look at what they're doing at FSU." Says one unconcerned player: "Look at what they're doing to FSU."

  • Do you have any gay teammates?
Almost half of those surveyed (49.4 percent, to be exact) said yes, they believe they have at least one gay teammate. In the Pac-10, 70 percent of those surveyed said yes.

  • Does the NCAA do enough to promote fair-hiring practices?
Even though only seven of the 120 FBS head coaches are African-American, the majority of players (61 percent) don't see a need to address minority hires. (This one makes me frown, even moreso than the OSU overrated question. Damn.)

(Credit: ESPN & Bruce Feldman and Ryan Hockensmith )

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