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Kansas Coaches Poll

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This year, the national circuit instituted a new ranking system that modeled the AP and Coaches poll for most collegiate sports. The way it worked is that every coach is allowed to fill out a ballot (via email) ranking their personal top 25 teams 1-25, giving their "first place" team a 25, and their 25th team a 1. These points were then averaged to create a top 25 list.

 

I was wondering if anyone would be open to implementing this type of poll in Kansas.

 

A couple of arguements--

1. Accolades--It allows for coaches who are less than fortunate and perhaps can't win a state championship still champion an accomplishment to their adminstration. For example, telling your adminstration that you lost in quarters of 6A 2-speaker state sounds fairly disappointing, but it's plausible that the 3rd "best" team in the state simply had a tough out and lost early.

 

2. Graduating Seniors--Unfortunately, Kansas Debate (although still respected by many higher institutions of learning) does not carry the same prestige as debating nationally. Similarly, only one team gets to win a state championship each year, and very good teams (perhaps even the overwhelming pre-tournament favorite to win) will not achieve this accolade. However, if they have the opportunity to say "We lost, but we were ranked 2nd throughout the year" it could help their chances of getting into college or perhaps allow them to recieve more scholarship money from debate programs.

 

3. Elitists pre-empt--

I know that a lot of coaches and debaters are often relucant to copy things from the national circuit, especailly something that is percieved as "elitist". But this type of ranking is done in almost every other KSHSAA sanctioned event, and allowing all Kansas coaches to participate should check back for any structural bias towards one "style" of debate.

 

 

Lemme know what you think.

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I would oppose this change.

 

1. There are already infinite metrics. You say that it's disappointing to say "we lost in quarters at state," why not say "we placed 5th at state," or use one of the other metrics ("won three tournaments," etc) to emphasize. There's zero benefit from this.

2. A coach from Three Trails is less likely to accurately be able to evaluate a team from, say, Hays, because they'll almost certainly never see them, even on the rare times where they'd be present at the same tournament. Coaches would be basing their votes on hearsay 95% of the time, resulting in your proposed metric becoming nothing more than "(Metrics already in existence) + (gossip) + (personal bias)."

3. Your change will never have popular support in Kansas. Kansas debate is split into two groups (though not cleanly - plenty of overlap exists) -- those who prefer an open, communicative style and those who prefer the high-flow, varsity/champ style. Take for example, the old DCI system, where coaches ranked teams for admission to the tournament. There were two divisions: traditional and contemporary. Whether you agree with it or not, there are those who believe that one style is superior to the other and will incorporate that into their voting, beyond the sheer skill of teams.

 

There are other reasons, but I think that's probably sufficient for now.

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I think all rankings should be based on number of NFL members and degrees accumulated.

 

That aside, when hyping my team to outsiders, I generally refer to our ordinal position on the bidtracker as our "state ranking".

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I agree with Carpe that there is an absence of an offensive reason to establish such a poll, coaches actually see relatively few teams debate, and even if those arguments are untrue, there's no way this idea will gain traction.

 

However, I think it could be fun to do a Cross-X-based Top 25 Poll (where everyone can vote) in conjunction with the annual "Best of Kansas" thread.

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I'm not against it, but there are just so few people that judge enough to make this work. I've judged about 20 or so of the top 25 in bids, and a large majority of the overall DCI teams. I'm not sure that I'd feel comfortable ranking teams outside of the top 10 or so.... Plus you'd have to have someone compile the results, and swear that person to secrecy as to not put everyone's ballots on blast.

 

I just don't think it's feasible.

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I will confess to having compiled lists of this sort for my own amusement, both as a competitor and as a coach. I haven't made them public for fear of hurting feelings.

 

If a public top 25 list is worth having, why not just produce one? There's no reason the coaches would need to sanction or participate in such a project; we really don't have any more access to the relevant data than any given member of the community. There will be haters, of course, but that's going to be true of any such project.

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I think my biggest problem with it, is that if it is a "Coaches" Poll, it puts a lot of emphasis on what we hear, and not what we see. For example, I can read Bid-Tracker, and Cross-ex and make a compelling argument that BVW BY is the best team in Kansas, but I have not seen them once all year. Regionality plays such a huge part in who we see, that it would become funtionally a three part poll, with the Johnson county, topeka/manhatten/emporia etc area, and Wichita and the far West, having different people getting vote concentration based upon who has seen them/knows about them. You need a system that accounts for regional bias, and the lack of vision of all people, and although not perfect, the bid tracker does a pretty good job showing who has had the best year, thereby "Ranking" the teams.

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Lets just get to it and rank the top 25 on here....?

 

 

I think my biggest problem with it, is that if it is a "Coaches" Poll, it puts a lot of emphasis on what we hear, and not what we see. For example, I can read Bid-Tracker, and Cross-ex and make a compelling argument that BVW BY is the best team in Kansas, but I have not seen them once all year. Regionality plays such a huge part in who we see, that it would become funtionally a three part poll, with the Johnson county, topeka/manhatten/emporia etc area, and Wichita and the far West, having different people getting vote concentration based upon who has seen them/knows about them. You need a system that accounts for regional bias, and the lack of vision of all people, and although not perfect, the bid tracker does a pretty good job showing who has had the best year, thereby "Ranking" the teams.

 

Yeah, so the bidtracker ranks them. What is the disad to having coaches from all over the state interpret this information and then let everybody see it? i don't see the argument that there would be a regional bias towards BVW BY and teams of their likeness. For one, they are the best team in the state, so your bias probably isn't real. For two, the coaches in western Kansas, Flint Hills, EKL, TTNFL, etc. would pref the teams they're familiar with. This means that the rankings, when averaged out, would probably reflect no bias at all. Unless you're making the argument that there are just more coaches that would vote from one specific area which may or may not be true. As for an offensive reason to doing this, I think Jared highlights a couple fairly well. "It allows for coaches who are less than fortunate and perhaps can't win a state championship still champion an accomplishment to their adminstration." Rankings and accomplishments are where programs live and die. There's really only a risk that a rankings system allows a coach to taut their team to administration and secure funding. I just don't see a real offensive reason to reject a system like this.

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Lets just get to it and rank the top 25 on here....?

 

 

 

 

Yeah, so the bidtracker ranks them. What is the disad to having coaches from all over the state interpret this information and then let everybody see it? i don't see the argument that there would be a regional bias towards BVW BY and teams of their likeness. For one, they are the best team in the state, so your bias probably isn't real. For two, the coaches in western Kansas, Flint Hills, EKL, TTNFL, etc. would pref the teams they're familiar with. This means that the rankings, when averaged out, would probably reflect no bias at all. Unless you're making the argument that there are just more coaches that would vote from one specific area which may or may not be true. As for an offensive reason to doing this, I think Jared highlights a couple fairly well. "It allows for coaches who are less than fortunate and perhaps can't win a state championship still champion an accomplishment to their adminstration." Rankings and accomplishments are where programs live and die. There's really only a risk that a rankings system allows a coach to taut their team to administration and secure funding. I just don't see a real offensive reason to reject a system like this.

 

Extend my last comment responding to all of this.

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Extend my last comment responding to all of this.

 

I'm not sure where you responded to any of that?

 

"2. A coach from Three Trails is less likely to accurately be able to evaluate a team from, say, Hays, because they'll almost certainly never see them, even on the rare times where they'd be present at the same tournament. Coaches would be basing their votes on hearsay 95% of the time" ..... The rankings would average out to reflect no bias since coaches all vote for teams from their own regions anyways. (If that's even true)

 

"3. Your change will never have popular support in Kansas. Kansas debate is split into two groups (though not cleanly - plenty of overlap exists) -- those who prefer an open, communicative style and those who prefer the high-flow, varsity/champ style. Take for example, the old DCI system, where coaches ranked teams for admission to the tournament. There were two divisions: traditional and contemporary. Whether you agree with it or not, there are those who believe that one style is superior to the other and will incorporate that into their voting, beyond the sheer skill of teams." .... Not sure this is an argument, but Jared answered this. Coaches vote however they want which means that again, if they like lay style debate, they can vote for teams that they think represent this well.

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Your not understanding my point. The point isn't that we as coaches as biased, it is that we don't see enough rounds across the state to be good evaluaters of a comparison of teams. If anything, all of you are the best tool for comparing teams, because many of you have actually seen the teams. My point was not that I would "Bias" a BVW, its that any rating of them by me is nothing but second hand, and popularity, or at best the opinion of one of my debaters after a round. We just don't see many rounds in the course of a year, and for the most past the ones we do see are in our region's. Meaning my "comparison of good teams" ranking would obviously be heavy on teams in my area I have seen. Hutch A is the best team I judged in a round personally all year, and even in that round, it was a lay pace, and against a lesser team, making a comparison difficult. How do I as a coach compare what I saw with say, what I have heard from one of my teams about? For example Waru CR, who beat up on one of my teams in a high tech flow round? I know they are good at debate, but thats really all, In the end, what I am saying is a coaches poll, just like in football, would have a legitimacy problem at the point we would be doing a lot of guessing. Leave the ranking to you all, or if you want a comprehensive list of results to formulate an opinion on who has been great all year, look at the bid tracker.

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