The American Volleyball Coaches Association has begun releasing the ballot of the 60 coaches who vote each week for its Top 25.

Seeing this made me think about how valuable it would be to implement this process in the college football coaches’ poll, the most important coaches’ poll in collegiate sports since it makes up one-third of the BCS formula.

Steps have been taken to improve transparency in college football’s polling, as the final ballot that helps determine which teams will compete for the national championship is released. But at that point, it’s too late. Coaches can affect the postseason with little more than a bit of criticism, which likely doesn’t faze them and is typically forgotten by the time the BCS bowls come around.

But if coaches were to release their ballots each week, unfair, self-beneficial discrepancies could be realized well before they affect the outcome of a season. A coach in the top five is unfairly dropping another title contender down a few spots? We’ll know about it. Coaches from a conference are doing their best to prop up their league’s teams? It’ll be mentioned over and over for the next week.

Opening their votes may be one more distraction in the week-to-week jobs of these coaches, but since the system relies on them this heavily in determining a national champion — at least for two more seasons. There would also need to be an understanding not to badger coaches about their votes, limiting it to a specific number of questions each week during a news conference, for example. The poll is much lower on the checklist compared to getting ready for the next game.

Coaches will see and evaluate teams differently from one another, and that’s a good thing. Just having a better understanding of each coach’s vote would improve the process. A public ballot may make the coaches take a little more responsibility for which teams they vote for, requiring them to put the effort that the value of the poll actually has.

Another detail of the women’s volleyball poll that other sports could consider implementing is the rule that a team must be named on two ballots in order to be listed on the poll. There will always be outlier teams who randomly pop up on one coach’s ballot for one reason or another. This rule helps to ensure that it is truly the top teams that are being recognized each week.

Besides, if there were access to every coaches’ ballot, those one-vote teams would be identified anyway.

This week’s women’s volleyball Top 25 and the ballots of each coach can be found here.