Quirky Coaches Ballots

The best relatively new thing in college football is holding coaches accountable for their final votes in the poll. Because of the magnitude of what the final poll means, it's only reasonable to let the public know what decisions were made that led to the final outcome.

A study of this year's final ballots show that several coaches made some bizarre choices and others made purely provincial ones. Some were outright lunacy and others indicated someone went to bed before a certain game ended. Plus, you have the case of a coach showing a lot of integrity in voting in a way that was arguably against his self interest. With that I offer up the coaches' poll follies.

Howard Schnellenberger --- The FAU coach was obviously not impressed with the 59-20 pasting Florida put on his Owls. How else can you explain him ranking the Gators No. 21, six places lower than the next lowest ranking for Florida? It wasn't his only bizarre selection, however; Schnellenberger has Southern Cal at No. 12, two spots lower than Boise State. As for the top of his poll, he had Ohio State, Kansas and Hawaii. I guess Howie didn't hear about the Kansas/Missouri game. He gets my blabbering buffoon award.

Bob Stoops --- There are no coaches in the country that I like and respect more than the former Gator defensive coordinator. Still you gotta wonder about his decision to be the "Prince of Provincialism". Stoops voted his Sooners No. 1, which is fair enough. But I have trouble accepting his verdict that Missouri belongs at No. 3 and Kansas at No. 4.

Mario Cristobal --- The FIU coach shares Stoops' affection for the Big 12 as he too had those three schools in the top four. Stunningly he also gave Ohio State its lowest ranking, No. 6.

Bobby Bowden --- The FSU mentor didn't stay up to see how the Big 12 final turned out. Why else would he vote Missouri No. 6 and Oklahoma No. 10?

Ron Zook --- The Zooker wanted to make sure his Illinoize team looked good to the Rose Bowl committee. He ranked his team No. 9 as did fellow Big Ten coaches Bret Bielema and Mark Dantonio. The Zooker relegated the Gators to the No. 13 spot.

Steve Spurrier --- Nothing quirky from the HBC who put Oklahoma atop his ballot. Spurrier had Georgia at No. 4, Florida at No. 12 and UCF at No. 22.

Dennis Franchione --- He won't get a Christmas card from June Jones after ranking the Rainbows No. 22. Maybe he'll get one from Tim Tebow.

Hal Mumme --- On the other hand, Mumme will be receiving the golden lei from Jones for having Hawaii ranked No. 1.

I offer a special commendation for one coach whose vote shows integrity.

Les Miles --- He voted his team No. 1 and Ohio State No. 2, but that's not what stands out. Miles also voted Georgia, perhaps the biggest threat to his chances of being in the BCS Title Game No. 3 with Virginia Tech, Southern Cal and Oklahoma right behind. He could have easily tried to hurt those teams by sticking Hawaii, Kansas and Missouri in the positions 3-5. He may be a bit wacky, but that was a classy ballot.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel


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