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AP Voting Guidelines

As posted by Jon Wilner here.

Some voting guidelines:

  • Base your vote on performance, not reputation or preseason speculation.
  • Avoid regional bias, for or against. Your local team does not deserve any special handling when it comes to your ballot.
  • Pay attention to head-to-head results.
  • Don't hesitate to make significant changes in your ballot from week to week. There's no rule against jumping the 16th-ranked team over the eighth-ranked team, if No. 16 is coming off a big victory and No. 8 just lost 52-6 to a so-so team.
  • Teams on NCAA probation ARE eligible for the AP poll.

Some ethics guidelines:

  • Voters should have no professional or booster connection to the schools they cover. This could pose a conflict of interest.
  • Voters cannot write for team media guides or even independent fan magazines associated with certain schools. This has the potential of compromising a reporter's objectivity.
  • Adhere to APME and APSE standards of conduct: We do not accept free tickets, deals, discounts or gifts, etc.
  • Please be advised: "Homerism" will be challenged and could lead to dismissal from the poll board.

How voters are selected (as of August 2016):

  • Four 'national' voters are selected by the AP.
  • Local sports writers and editors select one voter for every three FBS teams in each state.
  • Discretion has been used in the past to adjust the number of voters.