Breaking down the Coaches Poll


The USA Today Coaches Poll came out Friday. Of the 59 coaches who vote on the poll, 53 of them voted Florida No. 1. No, we don’t know (and we really don’t care) which six coaches didn’t vote Florida No. 1 because the voting is secret.

 In fact, we don’t even know if the coaches filled out their own ballots. Of course, we have reason to be skeptical about that and we wonder how much longer the Coaches poll will remain a viable part of the BCS process. But that’s another argument for another day

Here is a breakdown of the poll by conference with a little commentary to get your Monday started.  Feel free to add your own.

The number of teams each conference placed in the Top 25 is in parentheses in bold. The other numbers are where those teams were ranked. I’m not ranking the conferences today. That will come later.

SEC (5): Florida (1), Alabama (5), LSU (9), Ole Miss (10), Georgia (13). It’s not surprising to have five SEC teams ranked. It’s not totally surprising to have four in the Top 10, because Ole Miss is getting a lot of love from a lot of people. What is surprising is for the SEC not to have a team ranked in positions 14-25. Auburn, Kentucky, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee all received votes. Vanderbilt and Mississippi State were the only SEC teams which did not receive votes.

ACC (4): Virginia Tech (7), Georgia Tech (15), Florida State (19), North Carolina (20). The ACC continues to be a very balanced league as Clemson, Miami, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Maryland, and Boston College all received votes. The ACC sent 10 teams to bowls last season and could do it again this season. But the league would trade a couple of those bowl slots for a serious contender for the BCS championship on the first Saturday in December.

Big East:  (0): Yes, you read that right. The Big East got shut out of the preseason Coaches Top 25 and don’t even scratch until No. 29 with Cincinnati, the defending conference champions. The Bearcats lost 10 starters off the defense that led them to the Orange Bowl. Pat White is gone as West Virginia’s quarterback. South Florida and Rutgers could also win this league.

Big Ten (3): Ohio State (6); Penn State (8), Iowa (21). I was a little surprised to see Iowa sitting there at 21 because the Hawkeyes lost their best offensive weapon in running Shonn Greene (1,850 yards rushing in 2008). As a college football fan, it’s hard to accept that Michigan is bad. They are going to get better under Rich Rodriguez, but in the short term it’s painful to watch. I don’t see anybody other than Ohio State and Penn State in this league challenging, but keep an eye on Illinois and senior QB Juice Williams and WR Arrelious Benn.

Big 12 (4): Texas (2), Oklahoma (3), Oklahoma State (11), Nebraska (22): This league is pretty top heavy but you’d better be aware of Kansas in the North Division. The Jayhawks have a very good quarterback in Todd Reesing and Nebraska will have a new quarterback. Texas Tech will have to replace the prolific Graham Harrell at quarterback, but head coach Mike Leach always seems to find somebody who can throw for over 300 yards a game.

Pac-10 (4): USC (4), California (12), Oregon (14), Oregon State (25): If anybody is going to challenge the Trojans, this is the year. USC will have a new quarterback for the second straight year. It could be sophomore Aaron Corp or it could be true freshman Matt Barkley. The Trojans also have to replace eight starters on defense. I really like California with running back Jahvid Best, the nation’s leading returning rusher (131.67 ypg in 2008).

Mountain West (3): TCU (17); Utah (18); BYU (23):  About right now the folks who play in the Mountain West are saying: “We have three teams ranked in the preseason Top 25. We had a team (Utah) to go 13-0 last season with a win over Alabama. Now explain to me why the Big East, which has NOBODY in the Top 25 gets an automatic bid to the BCS and we don’t?”

WAC (1): Boise State (16). Only a 17-16 loss to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl kept the Broncos (12-1) from perfection last season. Sophomore quarterback Kellen Moore returns and maybe this time Boise State can be the BCS buster. The Broncos open the season at home against Oregon on Sept. 3. Win that one and they could be looking at 13-0.

Independent (1): Notre Dame (23). The Irish have a schedule that should allow them to significantly improve on last season’s 7-6 record. Jimmy Clausen enters his third year at quarterback with some weapons at wide receiver who can make plays. The defense will be better now that (former Georgia Tech DC) Jon Tenuta is running it.


So who was left out of the Coaches Top 25 who absolutely, positively should have been in there? The floor is yours.


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142 comments Add your comment


August 10th, 2009
10:35 am

The Dawgs are certainly getting traditional respect. We’d better enjoy it now. Call me a pessimist but I see us having our worst year in a decade. The OSU, ASU and GT out of conference games look like two losses of the three and of course LSU, Fla, and pick some other SEC loss leaves us with 5 or more losses. Just don’t get the warm and fuzzies with Martinez back (means we will give up some serious points even to the Vandy’s and Kentucky’s) and then we lost such top shelf talent on the offensive side of the ball (means we score less this year). Tougher schedule with less talent equates to several more losses. Why not start the frosh QB so that next year we can challenge for an SEC and natl title?

Not Disappointed

August 10th, 2009
10:37 am

I agree with Coach PJ. It’s really too early to pick the top 25, but Florida should be Number 1 without a doubt.

It’s almost time for Football!

Ramblin Wreck!


August 10th, 2009
10:38 am

Notre Dame in the top 25? How?


August 10th, 2009
10:39 am

Hey TampaGator,

Glad to see you are back to talking football instead of getting in the weeds with the haters!

I agree with your assessment about the SEC West with Bama coming out on top. As far as the East, Florida is bringing the big guns. On paper, they are the best team with a pretty soft schedule. A few unknowns on my Dawg squad. If they come out playing hard-nose football, well anything can happen. Let’s play some football!


August 10th, 2009
10:43 am

Joke…I will remind you about one of those “easy” teams Florida plays…Troy. They were way up on LSU towards the end of the year last year before finally losing a close game to the Tigers in Tiger Stadium. They are no pushover for the Gators this year, with excellent talent (up to 7 possible NFL draft picks as starters). Troy will be no easy task for the Gators. Charleston Southern was a last minute schedule due to USF pulling off the schedule when they decided that playing Miami, FSU, and Florida in one year would not be good for recruiting or their record (although very good for the pocketbook)…and I don’t have a clue why the Gators are playing FIU (other than maybe to help out that program financially). But playing LSU at night in Baton Rouge and Georgia, plus the rest of the SEC schedule (plus a much improved FSU team), will more than make up for the FIU and Charleston easy wins.


August 10th, 2009
10:43 am

Ramble On!! How did it go in the Bowl after the SEC had a chance to get players back healthy. Care to post how the SEC vs ACC record has been over the past 5 years?

Joke!! I love the system and hope it does not change except maybe to give BCS teams more scholarships. The SEC wins their bowl where they usually have a team with a later picker than the other conf. The SEC plays the highest finishing team not to go to the BCS from the Big12, BingTen, and ACC. Peach was ACC#2 vs SEC#4 (well really SEC #5 since they sent 2 into the BCS) Yet even at that disadvantage the SEC does well in the Bowl Challenge.

When did an ACC team last get picked for a BCS at large bid? Keep in mind that the ACC #2 is usually sentenced to a but kicking in the Peach Bowl.


August 10th, 2009
10:47 am


"War Eagle" is a battle cry, not a mascot

August 10th, 2009
10:48 am

Definitely not a USC fan by any means, but how is playing Washington and Wazzu an indictment against USC’s team? It would be one thing if they sought them out to play them, but USC is obligated to play those clowns. The fact that out of USC’s 3 OOC games (you know, the ones where schools have a choice of who to play), 2 of them are against Top 25 teams on the road. The same goes for a lot of schools, not just USC. How is USC supposed to rectify the fact that they play in the Pac-10 (which is obviously weak, only going 5-0 in bowl games last year)? Move their university location?

King of Sandy Springs

August 10th, 2009
10:50 am

Preseason polls and polls in general are worthless. Auburn had three losses early in the year, last year, and was still ranked in the top 25. Why? Because the idiotic voting polls are based on people’s opinions, and human’s hate to be wrong. TB, you’re probably one of the ones who kept AU in the AP top 25 after three losses. Because “He-haw shucks, SEC football, I say, I say it’s SEC football” Does the SEC have four of the top teams in the country, um, you’ll never know. Just look at their out of conference schedule,

Charleston Southern
Florida International
Florida State
Va Tech
Florida International (again)
North Texas
Northern Arizona
Southeastern Louisiana
UA Birmingham
Louisiana Tech

Only 3 out of 16 OOC games are BCS schools. Cowards.


August 10th, 2009
10:51 am

get players back healthy….LMAO, spoken like a true fleabag.

who would have ever thought injuries were a part of football, geez whiz?

If the SEC is soooooooo great, top to bottom you can’t rationalize 6-6 unless you’re just ignorant.

which is it?

Reality Check II

August 10th, 2009
10:52 am

Ramble On, you are always way off base, UGA does not need UF’s coattails to defend ourselves against the ACC. You have taken one game in a mediocre season (By UGA’s standards, ring worthy by yours) and put your weak spin. Since CMR has been there UGA has traditionally flogged the ACC conference powers 7/8 against GT, 2-0 Clemson, 1-0 VT. The SEC is better traditionally that is a fact. That is the reason the SEC traditionally gets two teams in the BCS in one year and your pathetic ACC is lucky to lose in its one BCS game. Your champion is lucky to play teams like Cincinnatti, Kansas, etc. that is the only chance you have to win a BCS bowl game. The SEC was down overall last year with traditional teams like Auburn, Tennessee having bad years. The teams from SEC are ranked because the Coaches all have proven with results that if they have the talent level they will finish ranked high. LSU, Florida, Alabama all have NC coaches and UGA has won a conference championship this decade.


August 10th, 2009
10:54 am

Joke, then you will not be watching any college football this year?

"War Eagle" is a battle cry, not a mascot

August 10th, 2009
10:54 am

TampaGator, UF is playing FIU as a “breather” game, nothing more. Every SEC school does it (and deserves it, let’s be honest), yet for some reason most SEC fans only feel that the “other team” does it, you know? There’s really nothing to be ashamed of.

"War Eagle" is a battle cry, not a mascot

August 10th, 2009
10:58 am

As for my beloved Auburn, we always seem to play better (and tougher) when expectations are low, but I am not expecting much this year. We simply have too many questions and not enough talent.

Redo man

August 10th, 2009
11:02 am

King of Sandy Springs…FYI…Ohio State’s out of conference schedule includes home games with Navy, Toledo and New Mexico State (not exactly BSC competition, my friend)…the Buckeyes’ in-conference schedule isn’t so great either. So lighten up, would you.


August 10th, 2009
11:02 am

End of week one:

ACC 2-0 vs. SEC. Sorry USC, NC. ST has their 1st string QB back this year, not the 3rd string. Wow, injuries happen in the ACC too Otto.

Like GT offensive line, full of walk-on’s that ran 409 yards against you.


[...] Breaking Down the Coaches Poll – Mr. College Football and The Sporting Blog [...]


August 10th, 2009
11:06 am

North Carolina State is going to be the suprise team in the ACC. But the ‘Noles will win the Atlantic, Va Tech will win the Coastal, and Va Tech will win the ACCCG.

King of Sandy Springs

August 10th, 2009
11:09 am

Here’s the ACC’sour teams in the top 25 OOC games,

East Carolina
Jacksonville State
Mississippi State
Jacksonville State (again)
U. South Florida
The Citadel
East Carolina
Ga. Southern

That’s 8 out of 16 OOC games against BCS schools. Gosh, that’s almost 50%.


August 10th, 2009
11:12 am

King, I couldn’t help notice you left off OSU, ASU and GT from the SEC’s ooc schedule.


August 10th, 2009
11:15 am

Hey…the King of Sandy Springs. Here is a schedule sampling of 5 Big Ten teams:
New Mexico State
Murray State
Western Kentucky
Northern Iowa
Eastern Michigan
Delaware State
Montana State
South Dakota State
Not exactly BCS powerhouses either, so I guess the Big Ten is made up of cowards, too, like every major conference that, like “WAR EAGLE” wrote, needs a breather or two due to a challenging in-conference schedule. So why did Georgia schedule Oklahoma State…and as their first game, too? Mr. Evans was not thinking clearly on that one.


August 10th, 2009
11:16 am

King of Sandy Springs,

Congratulations. 1 above average team on the entire list that is being played by choice. GT gets some credit for playing Vandy and Miss. St., however, let’s not equate that w/ an SEC schedule. Those teams are tough to play when they’re book-ended with UGA, LSU, TN, Alabama, etc. Playing them apart from the big boys of the conference obviously removes some of the difficulty those games pose.

As far as the vaunted 6-6 record last year, is there any reason that’s the only year we’re getting records for? Seems like if the SEC was ‘consistently overrated’ we’d be getting more examples than one season’s record. Just a thought.


August 10th, 2009
11:19 am

King…what is your point? That the ACC is better than the SEC based on the out of conference schedule they play? How about the conference schedule they play? The ACC is getting better, but it is not exactly the SEC yet.

Gator Nation

August 10th, 2009
11:24 am

King of Sandy Springs…. You get an “F” on your homework.

Georgia plays Oklahoma State and Arizona State. And I haven’t even checked the other schedules yet.

First day of school and your already on the retention list. Lucky for you, M is on that list too. You can keep each other company in summer school.


August 10th, 2009
11:25 am

The Truth 2009…what planet are you from??? CF suxs ?? WTF are you smoking I agree the Falcons are mildly amusing but for the love of GOD what other sport stirs fans more that CF ?? Your even moved by it..admit it….admit it…I mean you want a playoff too but really CF suxs??


August 10th, 2009
11:30 am

Hey king of sandy springs….in your first post you forgot Ok State, Arizona , and Ga Tech. And in your second post do you realize that 5 of those games are against the SEC. The other 3 or mediocre teams at BEST.


August 10th, 2009
11:33 am

Hey, SEC guys, King was referring only to the top 4 (by ranking) in each conference. Georgia is the fifth highest.

Georgia should be applauded for their OOC schedule, and that’s coming from a Tech fan.


August 10th, 2009
11:37 am


Not Disappointed

August 10th, 2009
11:38 am

<——— Die Hard Jacket and Alumn

Tampa Gator, changing subject back to Troy, which is not a push over. You mention Troy with their talent & recruiting. “Troy could be the next Wake Forest!” They reach into Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Troys success makes one think that Georgia State Univ could eventually be the third Div 1 school in Georgia. As you know, alot of talent that wasn’t picked by UGA or Tech for whatever reason has a third local choice. It may sound strange or funny now, but just wait and see.

Back to the subject at hand, Florida should be number 1, but the field is wide open.

Ramblin Wreck!


August 10th, 2009
11:38 am

Reality Check II, SEC coaches vote each other up and the ACC down (except for the teams that coach play). That’s the way it is.

AND, some of the coachs in the ACC don’t even bother voting in this poll.

haha, I guess these coaches think losing 3 stars on UGAg’s offense and GT losing nobody makes the fleabags better….sure thing buddy. I’ve got a nice health care plan I’d like to share with you too.


August 10th, 2009
11:39 am

Roamble On!!! Ignorant? Top to Bottom? Injuries yes they play a part and if you are a basement dweller as Miss. St. and Vandy playing in a league of top 25 teams with the SECCG being a BCS playoff you can not expect to win every week. Yes Ole Miss lost too but, how long had Nutt been there? It was his 2nd game. You nerds like to point out that CPJ improves but Nutt doesn’t get the same pass?

Top to Bottom, would be great I’d love to see ACC#1 vs SEC #1, ACC#2 vs SEC #2 and so on. The closest we get are the bowls where the ACC is given a clear advantage and lost badly. Top to bottom lined up the SEC beat up on the ACC. So are you a homer or a typical Nerd that has never touched a football?

Again no argument from the ACC when it comes to BCS bowl wins or even invites. Shocking all buzz no sting.


August 10th, 2009
11:47 am

There is a reason that SEC coaches vote each other up and why they vote the ACC down. The SEC is superior and the ACC is inferior. Just because Georgia lost some good players doesn’t mean there isn’t anybody good to fill their shoes. I’ve said this before and I’ll say til he proves me wrong, Cox is a more accurate passer than Stafford. Cox has been on the money just about every time he has come into a game. He will be fine, Tech fans, you all seem to be worried. If you think Tech will be better, than you shouldn’t be whining so much about why Georgia is ranked 2 spots ahead of you. It must suck to be in your position though. I mean, you finally, after 7 tough years, come away with a win. You think coming into this year you can brag from beginning to end, then ooops, the polls come out and most coaches think Georgia is better. I don’t know what that feels like but it must suck.

My allegiance lies with Auburn, not the SEC

August 10th, 2009
12:03 pm

Now, even though it’s manifestly obvious as to why they did it, Alabama is going to take a ton of grief for putting Georgia State on the schedule next year (deserved or not). I hope Bill Curry appreciates what UA administrators are going to have to go through to make that happen.


August 10th, 2009
12:05 pm

Reservoir- no, I’ll be watching NFL. You know, that league that has playoffs. That league, just every other sport, that decides their champion on the field with a playoff. They don’t rely on a voting system. By the way, the way college football has their tie-ins for the BCS bowls is also a joke. Why do I want to see USC/OSU every year in the same bowl?? There is no reason that those two teams shouldn’t win their conferences every year, there is no competition for them. At least let the bowls pick from the conference champions and at-large.


August 10th, 2009
12:21 pm


Nice of you to notice that if an ACC school plays an SEC OOC – it’s a big deal. Props to those schools on both conferences that schedule each other.

ALSO – MR KING OF SANDY SPRINGS – noticed that you conviently left out other OOC games for ACC schools. Here is a revised list of opponents for ACC schools in 2009 …… and remember – THOSE THAT LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES……….

Kent State
Central Michigan
Mid Tenn
Coastal Carolina
NC Central
Jacksonville State
James Madison
Fl A&M
Georgia Southern
Murray STATE
Gardner Webb
Williams & Mary
Southern Miss

My boots are shaking!!!!!!

Where is Appalachian STATE? NO ACC school will play them!

So What’s the point? – We can make the “same” list for all conferences.

Scheduling OCC is tough to begin with – you do not want to beat up your team when the first goal is to win your conference – Or schedule a killer game or guaranteed loss before a big conference game.

I think we can both agree with – would love for each school to have either two decent OOC games against BCS Opponents.


Afternoon Grab Bag |

August 10th, 2009
12:29 pm

[...] Tony Barnhart of The AJC breaks down the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and finds it unusual that the SEC doesn’t have a single team ranked between 14th to 25th.As we mentioned earlier today, billboards (like the ones Auburn and Tennessee have put up in [...]


August 10th, 2009
12:30 pm

I think the team to watch is Alabama, Kids they recruited awhile back should start showing up adding the power and depth to be a formidible opponent to all they play. The Rebs won’t end up the top 10 because of depth and hype. LSU is a mystery, there just may be more warts than a young QB.

uga should be much improved and have a chip on their shoulders, if not HOT SEAT time. I’m asking for a second glass of koolaid on the Gators, I know I shoudn’t but this anticipation far eclipses SOS’s senior year.

Corrine Brown (D) Florida couldn’t screw this championship speech up

Sanford Drive

August 10th, 2009
12:59 pm

While UF’s schedule certainly is softer compared to UGA’s, it doesn’t matter anyway. Even if UGA traded schedules with UF, the gators would still come out undefeated.

Bill' Sass

August 10th, 2009
1:15 pm

If I need a quiet place to reflect on a Sunday I’ll go to an NFL game. I usually go to a couple CF games every year as well as a couple NFL. There is no comparing atmospheres. You can feel it in the air at a college campus on gameday. NFL doesn’t have it.


August 10th, 2009
1:24 pm

Alabama will be a good team this year but the expectations are very high for a new QB and replacing an all-american OL. Defense is stacked. 2010 will be their year though as so many teams will be gunning for them. 2 especially in LSU and Ole Miss. Both teams lost late in the game last year and VT is not Clemson under Beamer. Florida’s schedule is sick and could not be better for them. UGA looks like the same team to me; what could improve there? the defense? The folks who say LSU will not play well are forgetting Chavis is now DC. Kiffin appears to have Deione Sanders mouth without the game. Ole Miss looks just like a Nutt team: great one week against top 10 teams and bad the next. Auburn has some great new coordinators with great 1st string talent but no depth which translates to nothing left for the 4th quarter and doesn’t have a full scholarship roster either. Will not know if Chizik is successful until mid part of 2010

Gator Mike

August 10th, 2009
1:27 pm

Tony, great article.
I agree with Lisa on these pre-season polls. It would be more interesting to start the polls after week 4 of the season. I do not like UF at #1. They would be better off at 5 or 6 without a bull’s eye on them. UGA was in this tough position for many good reasons last year, but injuries, etc. hurt them. I want the Gators to win it all, but if they don’t I hope a quality SEC or ACC does it.
Go Gators!


August 10th, 2009
1:30 pm

Florida plays Charleston southern and Troy, while Georgia plays Oklahoma State on the road and Arizona state for their out of conference games. What a joke! The SEC commissioner should order all schools to play schedules with equal difficulty. Florida will blow out these schools without breaking a sweat. It’s not fair that GA has to play a harder schedule!


August 10th, 2009
1:36 pm

What is “fair” about college football at all and, your school set up the schedule not the SEC or NCAA or BCS.

Sometimes you have to play tougher OOC to get to the big game see AU 2004. weak OOC although they had played USC in 2002 and 2003, it did not help in 04.


August 10th, 2009
1:51 pm

Pre-season polls mean little unless the #1 and #2 teams run the table-every Saturday is a playoff. Looking at the SEC teams I think most are ranked about right, based on last years performance and returning talent. Ole Miss as a rule stumbles when picked to do well. UGA stumbles when picked high but is great coming out of the second ten. The SEC west will be a war with LSU, Ole Miss, and ‘Bama slugging it out. Give the nod to Ole Miss on the schedule as they drop Florida. LSU gets the bummer of a break on the schedule having to go to Georgia, and play Florida from the east, while Bama drops Georgia and picks up South Carolina. In the East it will all come down to Halloween on the St. Johns–though UT and Vandy can be spoilers along the way. By the way Vandy should have gotten a little love in the poll.


August 10th, 2009
2:03 pm

Even in the NFL the Giants were at a disadvantage because they had to play their rival the Philadelphia Eagles and beat them, then had to turn right around and play them again to make it to the Superbowl so the NFL with playoffs is not perfect either.College football is what it is.

Gurn Blanston

August 10th, 2009
2:11 pm

UGADawg83 – You say Ole Miss gets the nod because they don’t play Florida, but Florida is a team that Ole Miss ususally beats — 3 out of the last 4 attempts, anyway. More than UGA can say. Removing Florida from the schedule may actually hurt Ole Miss . . .


August 10th, 2009
2:20 pm

Tony, I hear someone has finally read through the 1000+ page health care bill and it has a clause in it that Obama’s top 25 poll must be factor into the BCS to eliminate the stress moonbats will have for not knowing who our beloved messiah wants in the NC game.

Is this true?


August 10th, 2009
2:32 pm

Hey Tide4u2c,

“Florida dominated all other teams they played and yet only beat Alabama by 11 points.”

Need I remind you that UF was playing without Percy Harvin, its biggest playmaker?


August 10th, 2009
2:37 pm

Oh and My allegiance lies with Auburn, not the SEC,

Alabama owes Coach Curry a favor for the way they treated him.
He was (and is) a great coach and the UA powers that be had him sumarily dismissed for not beating AU.
Too bad.
Had y’all stuck with him, you might not have had to go through what must have been a painful six-coaches-in-ten-years run.


August 10th, 2009
2:46 pm

ramble what makes you so upset is the ALMOST COMPETETIVE CONFERENCE is well not very good in bowl games not to mention their lack of support for their own teams in it’s championship games.When toe meets leather be in stands pulling for your team win or lose.55.000 seats bring a friend and get a free hot dog.