The Harris Poll panelist who voted Houston No. 5 and Oklahoma State No. 6 this weekend said he believes the system that selects the teams for a national championship through polling and computer rankings needs to go, in favor of a method decided on the field.
"I think the BCS is just a mess," said George Wine, 80, who retired as sports information director at Iowa in 1996 and still writes stories for the Hawkeyes' official site. "I think college football is crying for a playoff system. This voting is highly subjective. I realize that voting is subjective and often arbitrary. I probably don't do as much research … but who the hell knows whether Oregon is better than Wisconsin?"
Wine, reached by phone at his home in Coralville, Iowa, said he has served as a Harris panelist for five years ("It's a well-paying job," he said) and said he feels his decision to vote Houston ahead of Oklahoma State is justified, because he believes Oklahoma State's lone loss (in double overtime at Iowa State) is a worse loss than that of Houston, which lost by 28 at home to Southern Miss this weekend in the Conference USA championship game.
"Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State, which I think is a very bad loss," said Wine, who said he attends every Iowa game he can. "I think Southern Miss is a very good football team."
Oklahoma State finished third in the Harris and BCS standings, just missing a chance to play LSU for the national title. Houston finished 17th in the overall Harris voting, having not beaten any teams that were in the top 25 all season. Houston was not ranked higher than eighth on any other Harris ballot, while Oklahoma State showed up sixth on two other ballots.