The coronavirus pandemic that has altered the upcoming college football season will also change the way the weekly coaches’ poll published by USA Today is conducted.
The preseason coaches’ poll released Aug. 6 included votes from 65 coaches in the Bowl Subdivision.
With members of the Big Ten, Pac-12, Mid-American, Mountain West and other schools postponing football this fall, those teams will not be eligible for the coaches’ poll once the season begins — a decision echoing that of The Associated Press for its Top 25.
Accordingly, the coaches’ voting panel will be reduced to 42, the newspaper reported Tuesday. USA Today has worked with the American Football Coaches Association to administer the coaches poll since the 1991 season.
“This is certainly a unique and unprecedented time in collegiate athletics,” said Todd Berry, president of the AFCA. “It made sense for those currently playing their games to be the voters in this year’s poll.”
The AP preseason Top 25 was released earlier this week and it includes nine teams that will not be eligible for votes once the season begins.