20 Fun Facts About College Football's Final Regular Season Coach's Poll
College football's methodology for selecting its championship game participants (and its marquee four bowls outside of the title game, for that matter), the BCS, is cloaked in numerous flaws that when all is said and done, more often than not give us a title game shrouded in controversy over who actually got to play.
Last year, we got a team that didn't even win its division of its conference playing for the national title. We've seen one loss teams make the title game ahead of other one loss teams that defeated them during the regular season. Hell, this year the BCS gods even got to dust off the old "if a non-AQ inside the top 16 finishes ahead of a BCS conference champion outside of the top 16, they get an automatic BCS bowl bid" rule! (Go Huskies!)
Among many foundational issues with the BCS is the fact that its potential participants have a direct subjective say in who plays. Each week, 59 college football coaches cast their ballots in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, and the results count as one third of the final BCS rankings.
These ballots are cast privately and not made public until after the season, unless you're Lane Kiffin and can't keep your mouth shut.
The lack of transparency during the season is frustrating, but understandable. What coach would even want a 1/59th say in the balloting if their selections were public, and in turn, something they could potentially get asked about and have to explain each and every week. And make no mistake, the media would ask about their picks at every weekly presser, especially if the coach strayed from the norm.
But now that the season is over, and the BCS matchups are set, USA Today is kind enough to give us a peek behind the curtain and reveal the selections of all 59 poll participants.
Before we get into some of the fun facts coming from the individual ballots, here is the final USA Today Coaches' Poll:
1 Notre Dame (56 1st place votes) 12-0 (1,470 points) 2 Alabama (3) 12-1 (1,417) 3 Oregon 11-1 (1,313) 4 Florida 11-1 (1,287) 5 Georgia 11-2 (1,216) 6 Kansas State 11-1 (1,190) 7 LSU 10-2 (1,111) 8 Stanford 11-2 (1,047) 9 Texas A&M 10-2 (1,039) 10 South Carolina 10-2 (947) 11 Oklahoma 10-2 (890) 12 Florida State11-2 (853) 13 Clemson10-2 (769) 14 Oregon State 9-3 (663) 15 Boise State 10-2 (569) 16 Northern Illinois 12-1 (495) 17 Northwestern 9-3 (444) 18 Louisville 10-2 (409) 19 UCLA 9-4 (408) 20 Utah State 10-2 (334) 21 Nebraska 10-3 (328) 22 Michigan 8-4 (278) 23 Wisconsin 8-5 (115) 24 San Jose State 10-2 (110) 25 Texas 8-4 (97)
Others receiving votes: Kent State 84, Vanderbilt 75, Cincinnati 46, Tulsa 32, Fresno State 31, Rutgers 29, San Diego State 23, Arkansas State 20, Oklahoma State 15, Mississippi State 9, Arizona State 8, Louisiana Tech 2, USC 2
Ok, now that you're armed with the final regular season poll results, here are some fun and interesting voter facts that may illustrate some of the inherent biases that make the current BCS system such a sham: