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Voting In Brookline: Polls Open | Brookline, MA Patch - Brookline, MA Patch Voting In Brookline: Polls Open | Brookline, MA Patch - Brookline, MA Patch Posted: 03 Nov 2020 12:00 AM PST BROOKLINE, MA —It's Election Day in Brookline, Tuesday, Nov. 3. It's also the final day of voting after weeks of early voting and mail in voting for the 2020 general election. In addition to the presidential and congressional races, there are several key races at the state and local level, as well as five ballot questions. Voting was different this year thanks to rules approved to expand early and mail-in voting in light of the coronavirus pandemic. If you haven't voted already, we've got you. First: head to the Secretary of State's website to check your voter status and find your polling place . Voting on Election Day Polls in Massachusetts are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. You can also use the Secretary of State's w

Opinion: College Football Playoff committee foolish to meet in person - USA TODAY

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Nobody has ever accused the powers that be in college football of being ahead of the curve on big issues, but here’s a little suggestion for the College Football Playoff committee as it begins its arduous and very important work of ranking teams for a television show on ESPN.

There’s this thing called Zoom that a lot of us have been using to do business for the past eight months. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a great product that allows us to hold important meetings virtually. Sure, nothing will ever take the place of in-person interaction, but there is a pandemic going on. In fact, as all the experts predicted, it’s getting worse as we head into the cold weather months. This isn’t the time to be doing a lot of unnecessary moving around. 

And if there’s anything that falls in the category of unnecessary, it’s the CFP committee’s meetings until Dec. 20 when it will release the only rankings that matter. 

As ESPN reported Saturday, and confirmed by a person who talked to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak for the CFP, the selection committee still hopes to meet in the Dallas area prior to the release of the first rankings on Nov. 24. 

The College Football Playoff title game is scheduled to be played Jan. 11 in Miami.

 (Photo: Stephen Lew, USA TODAY Sports)

Following through on those plans as COVID-19 rages would be ridiculous, insane, tone deaf and completely irresponsible —and that’s putting it kindly. There’s no way it should happen.

Sorry, but COVID-19 doesn’t care how seriously the CFP takes itself. It doesn’t care about the fancy catered breakfasts or the dessert carts outside their vaunted committee room at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine. It doesn’t care about the importance of a detailed discussion over whether Alabama or Notre Dame has the better résumé. 

The bottom line is, as this virus surges toward 200,000 new cases per day in this country with hospitalizations and deaths also spiking, what is the logic behind asking 13 committee members to travel in from all over the country and sit in a room talking to each other for hours? Especially when six of the members are over 60 years old. 

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And for what?

To be clear, the importance of the CFP selection committee meeting in person every week has always been pretty superficial. The week-by-week rankings provide good content for ESPN on a Tuesday night and fodder for the rest of us, but they don’t mean anything. In the end, it’s a lot of busy work for already busy people, and by the time they need to make real decisions, the top four generally sorts itself out with very little controversy. 

Lots of college sports administrators want to be on the CFP selection committee because it is prestigious and comes with perks, but many of the former members have acknowledged both that it is a significant time suck for them during football season. Depending on what part of the country they’re coming from, it can take up the better part of two days of the week including travel. 

Everyone involved knows that’s unnecessary to do the work. But the CFP, for better or worse, has held firm to the idea that in-person meetings give committee members more familiarity with the process they’ll use to actually select the teams and more comfort with each other debating the various data points. 

Of course, none of those other years have taken place during a pandemic, where every step of that process potentially exposes committee members to a highly contagious and potentially dangerous virus. 

Part of the duty of high-profile institutions like the College Football Playoff is to model good behavior and prioritize safety. We all need to learn how to live with the threat of COVID-19 until a vaccine is widely distributed, but there’s a simple rule of thumb here to determine whether something’s a good idea. If you don’t need to do it in person, don’t do it. 

Under what scenario or responsible corporate culture would be it considered necessary to get 13 people from all over the country into a room in Texas to rank football teams for a TV show? 

Zoom, or any number of video-conference platforms, would work just fine for this year. Being obstinate about the realities of a pandemic that is getting worse by the day does absolutely nothing to help the CFP function. In fact, it only makes their brand look foolish. 



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