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Inside the Football Coaches' Poll


At least he's the best at compiling humorous football rankings.


Still waiting for Las Vegas Sports Consultants' final Top 30 rankings of the season.....very, very, very curiously waiting.

In the meantime, Post college football scribe Adam Kilgore just threw himself, literally, into the nitty gritty of the Coaches' Poll. Yes, I'm saying he lifted up his body and slammed it into a paper copy of the poll. You can look at every ballot right here; what follows is Kilgore's analysis. Any mistakes in the analysis are his.

The main point is this: I run a ridiculous local college basketball poll that means nothing, counts for nothing and features random voters I've never met with names like Thigh Master and dcreds, and I would absolutely kick any of them out for voting like this. And yet college football uses this to determine its national champion. That makes sense.

Some highlights among the lunacy:

-Dennis Franchione [who isn't even a coach any more] voted Hawaii 22nd; Hal Mumme voted them first. This was the widest margin for any team. Hal Mumme coaches New Mexico State, which, like Hawaii, plays in the WAC.

-Steve Kragthorpe, who coaches in the Big East, voted Big East champs West Virginia sixth, ahead of Virginia Tech and Oklahoma.

-Tommy Bowden voted Oklahoma 10th, four spots behind Missouri, which Oklahoma beat twice (!), including once this week in the conference title game. The teams finished with identical records. Bowden also voted Clemson, his team, 11th, three spots ahead of Boston College, which beat his team at Clemson three weeks ago.

-Bobby Bowden also put Oklahoma behind Missouri, 7th to 5th. Does the Bowden family have some sort of vendetta against Bob Stoops?

-Maybe not -- Mike Bellotti also chose Missouri over Oklahoma, 5th to 8th. Is Bellotti still sour over all the complaining Stoops did over that replay incident last season?

-Stop the madness! Howard Schnellenberger says Missouri 4th, Oklahoma 7th!

-Schnellenberger's ballot is a special kind of mess. He voted Southern Cal 12th, behind Boston College, West Virginia and Boise State. Just unreal.

-Lloyd Carr voted Michigan 21st, and the Wolverines finished 31st. Remember when Oregon crushed Michigan in Michigan? Oregon, which finished 33rd, didn't make Carr's ballot.

-Bob Stoops's ballot was kind of dicey. He was one of two coaches to vote Oklahoma No. 1. (Steve Spurrier was the other; incidentally, I, Adam Kilgore, would have voted Oklahoma No. 1, too.) The real diciness lies here: Stoops's main competition for the title game figured to be LSU and Georgia. He voted LSU sixth, a spot behind where any other coach put them. He voted Georgia eighth, worse than only two other coaches. And those two coaches are crazies -- Wyoming's Joe Glenn (who voted UGA 10th) flipped off an opposing coach during a game, and Mumme, who voted Hawaii No. 1.

-Every single coach whose team was in the top 25 voted his team higher than it finished in the poll, except Mack Brown and Jim Tressel, who voted his No. 1 team No. 1. Wake Forest received four votes and finished 35th, though Jim Grobe left it off his ballot, and Michigan State received three votes and finished 37th, though Mark Dantonio left it off it his ballot.

College football coaching moralists of 2007: Mack Brown, Jim Grobe and Mark Dantonio.

The most stark moral offenders are: Lloyd Carr (10 spots difference), Mike Bellotti (8), Chris Petersen (6), Mike Riley (5), Randy Edsall (5), Tommy Bowden (5), Mike Leach (4), Ron Zook (4) and Phillip Fulmer (4). Frank Beamer (3) didn't quite make this cut, but he was the only coach to vote Virginia Tech No. 2, meaning he tried to put his own team in the title game and no one else did. A little on the dicey side.

-Here are the coaches local fans of Virginia Tech and Virginia should be mad at and happy with:

Virginia, which finished No. 20, should be happy with: Dennis Franchione (who voted the Cavaliers 14th), Schnellenberger (15th), Dantonio (16th), Tommy Bowden (16th), Bill Lynch of Indiana (16th) and Tom O'Brien of N.C. State (16).

The Cavaliers should be mad at: George O'Leary of UCF (24th), Rich Rodriguez (24th) and Joe Tiller of Purdue (23rd). (Frank Beamer, by the way, nailed Virginia at 20.)

Virginia Tech, ranked fifth, should be happy with all the coaches who voted the Hokies third: Mike Bellotti, Mark Dantonio, Phillip Fulmer, Jim Grobe, Rocky Long of New Mexico, and Steve Spurrier.

(Not only is Mark Dantonio one of our moralists of the year [see below], he also loves the Commonwealth.)

Virginia Tech should be mad at: Pat Hill of Fresno State (10th), Mario Cristobal of Florida International (9th) and Doug Martin of Kent State (9th).

Unrelated: Bobby Bowden, Sylvester Croom, Jim Tressel, Steve Kragthorpe, Sonny Lubick, Frank Solich and Tom O'Brien were the seven (of 60) coaches who nailed all 25 teams.

Here's a full list of discrepancies between a coach's assessment of his team and his peers' assessment, with the Vote and Actual spot:

Beamer, Virginia Tech. V: 2, A: 5

Bellotti, Oregon. V: 25, A: 33

Bielema, Wisconsin. V: 13, A: 15

Tommy Bowden, Clemson. V: 11, A: 16

Mack Brown, Texas. V: 17, A: 17

Carr, Michigan. V: 21, A: 31

Mark Dantonio left Michigan State off his ballot, but the Spartans received three votes and finished 37th.

Edsall, Connecticut. V: 23, A: 28

Fulmer, Tennessee. V: 14, A: 18

Wake Forest received four votes, though Jim Grobe left it off his ballot.

Leach, Texas Tech. V: 22, A: 26

Les Miles, LSU. V: 1, A: 2

Petersen, Boise State. V: 14, A: 22

Richt, Georgia. V: 2, A: 4

Mike Riley, Oregon State. V: 24, A: 29

Rodriguez, West Virginia. V: 8, A: 9

Tressel, Ohio State. V: 1, A: 1

Tuberville, Auburn. V: 19, A: 21

Zook, Illinois. V: 9, A: 13

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 3, 2007; 12:14 PM ET
Categories:  College Football  
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