Analysis Of USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll

The USA Today Preseason Coaches Top 25 was released Thursday. My first thought is, hasn't this poll, like the AP normally been released in the preseason on a Saturday or with USA Today on a Monday. Hey, doesn't matter anytime is good for something football.

Meaning: It means more than most people think because if you are not ranked during the preseason it is very hard to climb through all of the teams that are in the top 25, and make your way high enough to get into the BCS games, much less the BCS National Championship Game. So for all those so called experts that thumb their nose at a preseason poll, I'm not saying it is fair but I am saying it is substantially important.

SEC Heavy: Sure, I know that the SEC folks are saying, "Bob Stoops, take that." The SEC has Alabama at number one and five of the conference's teams are in the top 10 with Georgia at No. 5, Texas A&M at No. 6, South Carolina at No. 7 and Florida at No. 10. The SEC has six teams overall and the Big 12 only has four with Oklahoma State being the highest at No. 14.

Bigger Favorite Here Than the Big 12 Media Poll: Say, what? Yes, the USA Today Coaches Poll makes Oklahoma State out to be a bigger favorite in the Big 12 than the recent media poll the conference released. In that poll the voting was close with Oklahoma, TCU and Texas all close in the points. In the USA Today< Top 25, Oklahoma State is 14th followed closely in the poll by Texas at 15 and OU at 16. However, check the points. LSU is just ahead of OSU at No. 14 with 797 points while OSU has 726. That is a 71-point differential. That is significant in points but OSU has a 104-point advantage over Texas and 126 over OU. Texas is only two points ahead of OU. Check the points and they tell you the poll likes OSU significantly over their rivals despite ranking them right next to each other.

Voters: Gundy is back voting in the poll and it seems for the first time in about four or five years. Out of the Big 12, Baylor's Art Briles, West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen, Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury, and OU's Bob Stoops are also voting. Big 12 voters are fair with each other and may even favor conference schools. They get it.

Also voting in the poll are former Gundy assistants and now head coaches in Larry Fedora of North Carolina and Tim Beckman from Illinois. Les Miles is voting but I don't know if he is much aid to OSU. However, I think it is a plus that Texas-San Antonio head coach Larry Coker, who was Gundy's former offensive coordinator when he was in college, is voting. OSU plays UTSA in week two. Mike Leach at Washington State and Dan McCarney at North Texas are both friends of Gundy.

Potential voters who may not cast votes for OSU would be Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, who was caught voting OSU way down in the final regular season poll in 2011. Calhoun is mad that Gundy cancelled a series with Air Force. Don't expect any favors from Todd Graham at Arizona State or Bo Pelini at Nebraska. It's safe to say there are always agendas at work in this poll.


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