USA Today has the final ballots from the coaches' poll, and it's the usual raft of half-truths, impossible justifications, and unadulterated spite. Among the more notable outliers:â†µ
• Four coaches voted Texas over Alabama: Robb Akey, Tim Brewster, Mark Dantonio, and Bo Pelini (understandable, that). Brian Kelly also slotted the Tide at No. 2 in favor of his own Bearcats for the top spot.
• Along with Kelly, freshly-fired Tommy West of Memphis dinged Florida the hardest for the Gators' faceplant in the SEC championship game, down to No. 7. Recently ousted Charlie Weatherbie of Louisiana-Monroe ranked Northwestern 16th and didn't rank LSU at all.â†µ
• Boise State's Chris Petersen showed admirable restraint in ranking his own undefeated team fourth, behind Alabama, Texas, and TCU. Despite being one of only three 13-0 teams in the country, Boise State received only three third-place votes, and none for second or first. Among the Bronco boosters: Illinois' Ron Zook, who scored BSU just behind the New Orleans Saints and Monster Energy Drink.â†µ
• Central Michigan is No. 26, despite going 11-2 and winning the MAC championship. The next lowest 11-2 team is Brigham Young at No. 14.â†µ
• But the clear "winner", if that's the right term, is Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, who has Georgia Tech and LSU in his top ten, no vote for Stanford or West Virginia, Utah at No. 16, Houston at No. 17, and Ole Miss at No. 19. Pssst, Mullen: Houston Nutt's got the yeehaw-crazy schtick all sewn up in your state. And there ain't room for two of him.