The Football Writers Association of America and the National Football Foundation announced a partnership months ago, with the intent of generating an alternative poll named after the famed 20th century sportswriter. Today, we learned who will comprise the group that casts its first votes on September 15.
2014's Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll features 41 individuals, a blend of journalists, former coaches and players, and NFF board members. Three in particular will hold particular interest to fans of the Mountain West, though, the biggest of which is former Nevada Wolf Pack head coach and College Football Hall of Fame member Chris Ault.
Ault is one of two former head coaches to be a part of this effort, the other being former Oklahoma Sooners coach Barry Switzer. The other two people with Mountain West ties are Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Mark Anderson, who covers the UNLV Rebels, and Kelly Lyell of the Fort Collins Coloradoan, who follows the Colorado State Rams.
It's an interesting wrinkle that two of the three have connections to the Silver State, though it's probably no more than a coincidence. The big draw here, despite the Super 16's lack of real importance next to the College Football Playoff committee, is that Ault and company will submit transparent votes to the public. It will provide plenty of fuel for the autumn-long debate about teams that belong, and should ultimately be a positive for every college football fan.