Blog Entry

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 12:39 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson

Our very own Bryan Fischer has ruthlessly picked through the weekly ballots of Associated Press poll voters all season in the new college football edition of Poll Attacks. But the 59 coaches with votes in the USA Today Top 25 are able to escape the criticism of Mr. Fischer and college football fans everywhere as their ballots are not released to the public. The one exception is the annual release after the final regular season balloting.

USA Today published an infographic that breaks down their final Top 25 poll of the regular season - used as 1/3 of the BCS formula - showing where each coach ranked the 35 teams who received at least one vote on Sunday.

I encourage you to spend some time checking out where each coach ranked the top teams in the nation, but here are a few observations that jumped out - especially considering the way things played out in the BCS.

1. No shocker at the top: LSU is the top team in the nation. The Tigers not only wrapped up their perfect season with an impressive victory over Georgia in the title game, they were a unanimous decision from the coaches for the No. 1 spot. LSU was also a unanimous pick in the Associated Press and Harris Interactive polls in their final balloting.

2. T. Boone Pickens' new enemies: After dismantling Oklahoma for their first Big 12 title in program history, Oklahoma State had the best argument of any non-SEC team for a spot in the National Championship Game. But the coach who hurt the Cowboys the most in the USA Today poll was Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, ranking Oklahoma State behind Stanford (3) and Arkansas (4). Duke head coach David Cutcliffe and Syracuse's Doug Marrone both ranked Oklahoma State fourth, along with Nick Saban and Stanford head coach David Shaw - though those last two can easily be chalked up to self-interest.

3. About that Sugar Bowl...: When the BCS bowl pairings were released, arguably the biggest surprise came the Sugar Bowl selecting Virginia Tech and Michigan with their two at-large bids. The Hokies and Wolverines finished at No. 11 and No. 12, respectively, and were selected out of an available at-large pool that included Boise State, Kansas State, Baylor, and Oklahoma.

The Hokies were blasted 38-10 by Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. It was their second loss to the Tigers this season by 20 points or more, yet most coaches still ranked the Hokies ahead of the Tigers. Even head coach Frank Beamer put Clemson at No. 10 and his Hokies at No. 13. But enough coaches kept the Hokies high enough to allow them to finish in the top 14 and be eligible for that Sugar Bowl berth.

Michigan did not make the inaugural Big Ten title game after losing the division to Michigan State. Sparty played Wisconsin to a thrilling 42-39 loss in the Championship Game, but many of the voting coaches did feel they belonged near the magic Top 14 status needed to be eligible for a BCS at-large spot. Nineteen of the 59 voters placed Michigan State below No. 14, including three coaches (Baylor's Art Briles, Marshall's Doc Holliday, and Houston's Kevin Sumlin) who ranked the Spartans at No. 21.

4. Agree to Disagree: The one team that votes placing them all over the ballot was no-longer-undefeated Houston. The Cougars fell from their position in the Top 10 after a 49-28 blowout loss to Southern Miss in the Conference USA Championship Game. Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes and Califonia's Jeff Tedford both kept Houston in their Top 10, while James Franklin and Mark Hudspeth were among those who dropped the Cougars to the very fringe of the rankings at No. 23.

You can check out the interactive graphic breaking down the coaches' ballots at

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Since: Aug 24, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:48 am

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

Talk about no respect, The Razorbacks get none. All I here is how their over rated. Well they play in the toughest conference in the nation. Some of their teams may not be incorrectly ranked but they didn't lose to any 6-6 cupcakes. And as far as okie state, I saw every game they played and they were LUCKY way more than Arkansas. They could have lost 3-4 games without turnovers that you say Arkansas was lucky to get but okie state was skill. Get a brain people you don't win 10 games in a major conference by being lucky. And by the way, at this point there is NO reason to think that okie state is better than Stanford. What happens when Stanford wins that game? The SEC is the SEC and until someone knocks them off they will stay the best conference in college football. You say Bama had their chamce, well everyone else had there chance as well. If Okie state could have beat a 6-6 team and stayed undefeted, they would be in the big game.

Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:04 am

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

Lots of turmoil about how Alabama was picked over Ok St.  I can see where most people are coming from in saying that OK St. deserved a shot.  However, if the goal is to have the two best teams play for the NC, then Alabama is the second best team in the country to me.  You cannot lose to a 6-6 team and expect to play in the national title game.  Sorry, just can't happen. 

Since: Aug 19, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 7:30 am

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

thick skin saban finally shows his true colors by just by looking at his voting bias

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:23 am

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

Saban = slime bucket.  The man has no honor.

Since: Nov 30, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:40 am

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

SABAN said be fair. Don't vote against AL because they are not dividion or conference winners and then in his own self interest votes OSU 4th. Give me a break. His word is as good as the money he gets for getting to the game. With Saban it's all about the money. His word is crap.

Since: Aug 12, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:39 am

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

kshusker ps 1966 al. 34- neb 7 & 1965 al 39 neb 28 also devaney my bad

Since: Aug 12, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:30 am

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

kchusker so you want to look back huh well al. has won 16 nc & your huskers 8 although both schools don't reconize all of those as some were splits or other polls you won your first one in 1970 al in 1925 i will say this devanet & osborne were both great coaches & you guys had some great teams & all americans & osborne played to win i also like pellini however he has not turned the corner for you guys yet 4 losses a year doesn't cut it the last decade you are from 2000-2010 94-48 so you still have a ways to go i went to hs with a guy named dana brinson who played at nu he was from so. ga. i saw your team play in the early seventies in a couple of bowls good teams but right now you just don't stack up against al or lsu but most of the other teams don't either esp ok. st. maybe southern cal but not stanford no speed  We need a playoff system only fair way to crowm a nc

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:25 am

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

@ [KcHusker]

Thanks KCHusker for gracing us with NU history.  This post is about the BCS era though.  Read my post again...sick of hearing this whole crap fest of hating the SEC because of their success in the BCS NCG's.  Hit me back up when the post is about the entire history of college football.  

And btw, I'll never have to put my tail between my legs, thank God, since my school has arguably the most storied program in history.  So I'll be ready for your debate then.  Right now...I'm not wasting my time to point out the obvious.  Go Huskers...wished they would've won the B1G this year...maybe next.  RTR

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:47 pm

How the coaches voted in the final USA Today poll

capstonela let me give it a try.

My Huskers played SEC teams in NCG 4 times.

1970    NU 17    LSU 12
1971    NU 38    BAMA 6
1995    NU 62    Florida 24
1997    NU 42    Tenn 17

I guess I have room to talk!!! That would be 4 times with a combined score of 159-59.

In fact Nebraska is 19-6-1 against the mighty SEC all-time.

Nice try now put your tail between your legs and run home.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:01 pm

GARBAGE TALK towards the SEC.

I think it's RIDICULOUS that all you people keep ripping the SEC for stating it's place in college football as the best conference and it's now 6 straight national titles....when your conferences have had every single opportunity to face an SEC opponent in the NCG on 7 occassions...yes!!!....count them.....1....2....3....4....5....6

....7....... SEVEN TIMES...and NONE OF YOU have put your money where your mouth is.  Just shut the hell up once and for all.  Until you anhialate an SEC team in the big game, you have no point to your garbage talk.  You've had your fair share of times to "prove" yourself and your comments....and you haven't.  No matter if it was TN (1999), LSU, FLA, BAMA, or AUBURN...what ever SEC team you faced in the NCG, YOU LOST!  And not to mention, you were all claiming at the time that you would "run over" and "destroy" the SEC opponent in the NCG and it didn't happen.  It would be a different story if the results were different.  But they're not.

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