By DAVID JARKA
When I heard that AP reporter Jim Militello was coming to speak to our class, the one of the first things I wondered was “That’s cool. I wonder if he votes in the AP College Football Top 25 poll?”
For those who have never heard of this ranking, it is a collaboration of sports writers from across the country who each submit their own ballots on a weekly basis of who they feel are the best 25 college football teams in the country.
Since I was a kid, maybe 5th or 6th grade, I have always been into the college football ranking system. For some reason, the dilemma of trying to figure out who the best 25 teams in college football are each week is one that fascinates me. At an early age, it became a dream of mine to be able to have a vote in this poll.
I started out clipping the rankings out of The Buffalo News each Tuesday and circling the teams and moving them around into my own order, eventually evolving into spending every Saturday in the fall glued in front of the TV watching college football games from noon to after midnight. I’d also be watching scores along ESPN’s Bottom Line when they came in for those not televised.
This passion of mine that was ignited in me many years ago is still one that I possess today. I still have a notebook that I carry around with me that has my current Top 25 as well as my Heisman Top 5 shortlist, the award for who the best individual player in the nation, and early season bowl predictions. Plus with the rise of the Internet, I can track many games at once and also have information on every game that I need at my disposal at anytime. This has since freed me up on Saturdays to also pursuit other interests.
Thus, I was midly surprised to hear Militello say that he did not have a vote in the AP poll. He said the voters consisted of sports journalists that cover college football exclusively, whether it be for a specific market or on the national level.
So from that, it seems that choosing the career goal of trying to be a sports writer was the right path for me to go down in hopes of possibly being a voter someday. Even if it means that I won’t be voting to determine who plays in the National Championship Game.