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An Interview with

Harry DeVold
Harry DeVold's College Football Ratings
NCAA Football

YL: When did you pursue sports ratings and why did you find it interesting?

Harry: This started in 1945. I was shipped back from the Southwest Pacific by the Marine Corps. I ended up at Cornell U. and became the starting right end. It was in this environment I began my system. I had an avid interest way before this. I saw my first college game back in '33. I was raised in Minneapolis which was a perfect location for college football in the '30s.There were a notable number of journalists who were hardly provincial. By '35 I was aware of all the major teams in the nation. I became a student of the game, so formulating a system was just a reflection of my past.

YL: You and a couple of others have caused me to think that I might want to add a section about games way back when. I'll certainly think about it. What do you consider to be the most important factors in determining team strength?

Harry: First, if I were to evaluate a team, I'd want to know what residue of materiel is returning in the fall. Next, I'd look over the coaching staff. I recall the quote of Pop Warner, voted the best coach by the AP for the first 50 years of the past century. "A coach is only as good as his players." Then I'd check out the standouts at the skill positions. After, I'd run through a potpourri of thoughts on the incoming freshmen class and even the environment. Certainly, I'd prefer to coach a team in Madison or Lincoln than in downtown New York.

YL: Do you think teams attempting to grab a bowl should be rated retrodictively or, as I rate them, how strong of teams they are at the end of the season?

Harry: I have a very terse answer for that. I wouldn't want to see many set rules. There are so many variations on this theme. One of our most respected individuals exclaimed earlier in this past season that all systems are a bit flawed. The figures might be in the abstract, but the figure makers are hardly ever.

YL: What role do computer ratings have in the future?


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