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The final Coaches Poll reveals coaches still totally rig ballots to make their teams look good

This might shock you, but there might be some fundamental bias with the Coaches Poll.

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Remember the Coaches Poll? It's that thing where coaches ask their subordinates to fill out a top 25 ballot every week. It actually used to play a major role in determining which college football teams played in important games!

Luckily, it doesn't anymore, so now the final Coaches Poll of the year is released in relative anonymity a few hours before the College Football Playoff committee releases its ranking. For transparency purposes, the poll releases each voter's ballot in the final week of the poll. Hypothetically, this would be a good thing that shows why it's a good poll. Instead, it reveals the petty foibles of coaches that make us glad the poll doesn't matter anymore.

(Note: for the sake of this post, we will play along and say, for example, "Urban Meyer voted for X" when we are pretty sure it was actually somebody besides Urban Meyer on Urban Meyer's staff voting for X. That said, we wouldn't put it past Jim Harbaugh to take the Coaches Poll very seriously and insist he fill it out himself.)

  • Only two voters saw fit to put Michigan State at No. 2. One was Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio.
  • Five coaches put Oklahoma at No. 2. One of those was Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Three of the other four were Big 12 coaches: Baylor's Art Briles, TCU's Gary Patterson, and Iowa State's Paul Rhoads. (Fired coaches still vote.)
  • Only three coaches figured Stanford deserved a spot in the all-important top four. All three were Pac-12 coaches. Oregon's Mark Helfrich actually put the Cardinal third, making the Ducks' win over Stanford look better. The others were Utah's Kyle Whittingham and Colorado's Mike MacIntyre.
  • Jim Harbaugh was the only coach to put Ohio State in the top four AND the only coach to put Michigan in the top 10. OSU's last game of the year, of course, was absolutely pummeling Michigan, so Harbaugh had good reason to boost them up.
  • Two of the five coaches who put Alabama at No. 1 had Alabama ties. South Alabama coach Joey Jones played for the Tide and Texas State coach Dennis Franchione apparently harbors no ill will for Alabama after his tenure as Tide coach ended awkwardly.
  • The only coach to put Houston in the top 10? UConn's Bob Diaco, who is the only coach to beat 12-1 Houston this season.
  • Texas A&M only got three votes. Two came from Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin, who put his own team 24th. The other came from South Carolina's Shawn Elliott. (Apparently Steve Spurrier relinquished his vote when he retired. Here's where we remind you that Spurrier used to always give Duke a vote until he was told to stop.)
  • Louisville finished 7-5 on the year with only one win over a team with a winning record. Yet somehow, they got two votes in the final poll. Who would possibly vote for the Cardinals as one of the top 25 teams in the country? Idaho's Paul Petrino, brother of Louisville coach Bobby Petrino. He had Louisville ranked 24th, the only person to put them on his ballot.