Yeah, that should work for you. Windows 8 takes control over the BIOS, one of my biggest beefs with that OS. ... uh, geeze, leave my BIOS alone! What the hell are you supposed to do if if totally crashes? What, you have to put windows 8 on first, just to take control of your BIOS? ... then install what you want, what a headache! What are they going to do next, try to run everything off the cloud and take away my ability to store local files?! (don't laugh, it could happen... even CPU power could be taken out of your control and processed across the net. Devices could get really, really small in return... basically a display with a connection. But we'll lose our computing freedom. If that happens, the powers that be would have too much control in my opinion. Whole different subject.)
Once you disable UEFI and enable legacy boot you can then boot up off your install media and install like normally, format your drive and install Win7. If you want the ability to use the recovery partition for windows 8 and go back later... don't format the whole drive, only format the partition that's booting windows 8. In other words, leave the recovery partition.
Thanks for the replies. I really don't care whether Windows 8 lives or dies, I just want Windows 7 on the machine. I've read articles like this and wonder if that's all there is to it: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417361,00.asp