A Look Back at Ohio’s State Poll Titles – 1947-1971
For as long as competitive athletics has been a part of civilized society, it has always been crucial for avid sports enthusiasts to identify which team commands a position above the rest. At any level, albeit at the league level, the state level or the national level, inherently there is always a best team. And this best team must by demand be named. But whatever process is used to determine that, it must be one that is formalized through an accepted institution and confirmed by those who matter the most, the sports fans.
In Ohio, state championships in football have been either claimed or awarded for well over one hundred years. They were first recognized through popular claim and later statewide voting polls. Recently, the procedure has evolved into the present-day post-season playoff system.
Presented here is a look back at the second method, sportswriters polling, which encompassed a timeframe from 1947 through 1971. The narrative below describes the polling process, the justifications behind the selections of the Number 1 teams and the claims of irregularity. But most important of all, it examines whether the polling process was a credible method for determining the state champion.