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
7:31 am

Times have sure changed in the ACC. With Tech ranked ahead of FSU, and UNC ranked but not “The U”. Tony, don’t buy into this typical Notre Dame preseason hype. EVen with that schedule they will go nowhere. We will see about Ole Miss also. A lot of talk so far. And what has happened to Michigan? I bet the Wolverines wish they had their money back on Rodriguez.

Billy Bennett's Right Leg

August 10th, 2009
7:53 am

No way three teams from the SECW will finish that high since they all play each other. LSU and ALA have talent, but unproven qbs, with LSU getting a slight nod. But why does ALA get so much credit for losing, A) Andre Smith, arguably the best, and craziest, OL in the league, B) their starting qb and replacing him with someone with no experience, and C) their top rb, also losing their last two games and yet they are ranked top 10 everywhere? Of course, they have an easy schedule, so 9 wins are assured, but any other team with those kinds of replacements get hammered.

LSU as well looked awful last year at times. Their qb looked good in the bowl game, but that was against a pretty bad GT defense. But you don’t lose some of those games LSU did without some problems deep in the system. We’ll see how Les handles things, but I see three struggles this year and three losses won’t surprise me.

GT gets so much love for their win over UGA its not even funny, but that D was awful in their loss to LSU and the UGA win but no one seems to care. Yes, the offense will win them some games, but that D is not good. And yes the ACC is “balanced”, but with no really quality teams that scare you, how do you judge any of them? We’ll see if VA Tech beats Bama, then they, I think could run the table in what is essentially still a weak ACC. 10 bowl teams when we all say the bowl season is way too bloated means nothing. Their BCS bowl record is awful, they played lots of 6-6 teams and in bowls no one cared about. Until they get a couple of good OOC wins against good teams, I won’t believe they are really strong.


August 10th, 2009
7:59 am

Having a pre-season poll is an IDIOTIC part of and IDIOTIC system.

These pre-season polls unfairly slot some favorite teams ahead of other teams with no evidence whatsoever that they deserve it. Then the teams ranked lower have to work their way up the rankings when it wasn’t fair that they were ranked low to start with.

It is a stupid system that stupid people like Tony Barnyard perpetuate.

We need a 16 team playoff. Take OPINIONs out of football….let only what happens on the field COUNT.

Thank God and Greyhound that chan gomer gailey is gone forever….he should have taken the BSbcs with him.

Hootie Bookems

August 10th, 2009
8:02 am

Billy Bennett was a left footer by the way

Gator in Miami

August 10th, 2009
8:05 am

This poll—no big deal. Florida should easily run the table, beat either Texas or USC in the title game, pocket their 3rd national title in 4 years–it’s hard to be humble when you’re a Gator!! 14-0 baby–watch it happen!!!

Fast Eddie

August 10th, 2009
8:17 am

M, you sound like a broken record. Don’t you ever have a fresh idea about anything?

Atlanta Gator

August 10th, 2009
8:18 am

For a preseason poll, and based on the end results of last year’s season, the Coaches Poll looks about as good as I would expect.


August 10th, 2009
8:25 am

Alabama deserves the 5th place in the coaches poll based on several things.

Last year Alabama was playing with less depth and talent than other teams like Florida and yet won 12 games in a row and played Florida tough in the SEC champ game for alittle over 3 quarters.Florida dominated all other teams they played and yet only beat Alabama by 11 points.

Alabama’s depth will be improved this year even on the O-line and despite Alabama starting Greg McElroy who has very little game time starting experiance he has been in the system for 2 years now and knows the offense and just like last year the coaches will come up with an offense that will play to this years team’s strengths.

Last year Alabama was playing the most true freshmen of any other SEC team and them freshmen were coached up enough to make a solid contribution to the team allowing Alabama to go undefeated in the regular season.

Now imagine Alabama with even better depth as well as talent this year,thanks to 2 #1 recruiting classes in a row.Alabama will be improved despite all the misunderstanding about this Bama team and the coaches.I doubt Alabama will go undefeated again just because of how hard it is to do(even Florida can’t do it) but Alabama will still be improved over last years team.Bama’s D will be awesome.

Roll Tide!

m a broken record

August 10th, 2009
8:27 am


get some new material & quit acting like a 5 year old

the only words you ever repeat are stupid & idiot

grow up


August 10th, 2009
8:28 am

Which league’s teams have the most active players on NFL rosters right now? And how can you explain it?


August 10th, 2009
8:30 am

I hope Auburn realy sucks this year, but how can they really be nuch worse than last year? I know, the new coach can’t win games in the midwest/central garden league, but I can see them in the top 25.


August 10th, 2009
8:32 am

Alabama can win the most recruiting national titles – nobody cares. They will self destruct and Saban will leave. He is unstable. But its you fans fault that they got taken behind the woodshed in the sugar bowl. Aiight!

Gen Neyland

August 10th, 2009
8:32 am

At this point of the (non)season, polls are based on legitimate concepts by writers and coaches. Come week 4, Sagarin begins to take a foothold and gives us a truer, unbiased breakdown. Just my opinion.

Reality Check

August 10th, 2009
8:37 am

All of you need a Reality Check! You’re doing coke by the coke and getting robbed or working at Wendy’s. tickling nerds and ugly girls or som zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


August 10th, 2009
8:41 am

If you told me 2 years ago that Alabama would be in the top 5 season poll this early in Saban’s regin
I would have said that you are crazy. Give Saban his credit the man is a recruiting machine and one
hell of a head coach. He needs to work on his relationship with the media and not come off like a sob.

Braedon Stephenson

August 10th, 2009
8:47 am

\” They\’re The ACC. You are positioned in Oklahoma State \\(11\\) so you want to try semi-bluffing. Pat White of winning however is firmly against them.


August 10th, 2009
8:50 am

Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas have to be the top 3 with their Quarterbacks.
Georgia and GT are better than their rankings show..


August 10th, 2009
9:06 am

We all know KNOW this poll will look nothing like the one at year end…….

Top Dawg

August 10th, 2009
9:09 am

Dawgs will run the table.


August 10th, 2009
9:10 am

South Carolina is very underrated this year. They will beat NC St by 3 TDs and upset a couple of people in the SEC to finish the year in the top 25.


August 10th, 2009
9:11 am

Bama will not be nearly as good as this poll predicts. They have many flaws that early games will reveal. Saban teams have been known to always disappoint thier fan base when expectations are high. Bama will lose four games this year…count on it!


August 10th, 2009
9:13 am

lsu being ranked over ole miss is a disgrace, we beat them in the head to head game, we played in a better bowl game and destroyed that team, we were ranked higher than them at the end of the bowl season and we return more skilled accomplished athletes than they do.


August 10th, 2009
9:13 am

Billy Bennett’s Right Leg is a total moron.

Since all 12 coaches in the SEC votes each other in the top 20, it makes perfect sense that the SEC is always over-rate each year.

Sure makes it easy to lose 2 games a play for a NC when you got a staked deck.

UGAg #13 LMAO what a joke.


August 10th, 2009
9:16 am

Alabama only replaces 4 players.Take a look at USC and see how many they lost and they have a new QB too.


August 10th, 2009
9:21 am

Ramble On!! I didn’t know the SEC had 53 coaches to vote UF #1.


August 10th, 2009
9:25 am

At this point I could give a shi* who beats who and where ppl are ranked. I am just itching to watch some FOOTBALL, please let it get here fast.


August 10th, 2009
9:27 am

m is RIGHT!!!


August 10th, 2009
9:31 am

Billy Bennett’s Right Leg,
You’re not thinking at all. GT lost that game because of special teams. Three turnovers led to 21 points. They have a good defense and you should recognize that they will be taking the ACC (including VT) by storm. I’ll just wait for the season to see all the doubters pick their lips up off the ground just like last year. Remember this, “THE OPTION WON’T WORK”. Well guess what it did and it will continue to work.


August 10th, 2009
9:32 am

Alabama will be 11-1 going into the SEC Championship game. Right now, I think Florida is better than Bama. We will see in early December if Bama’s QB and Oline will have what it takes to beat FL. Georgia is soft and will never take the next step with Richt. Auburn & LSU will be looking for new coaches.


August 10th, 2009
9:33 am

ramble you will see the error of your ways soon hold on don’t blow a fuse.The reason the SEC is ranked higher is because they have better programs better recruting and a better fan base.Free hot dogs won’t get it done.


August 10th, 2009
9:34 am

I remember when they revised the BCS a few years ago after BC, VT & Miami left the Big East for the ACC. Everyone wanted to take away the Big East Auto-Bid, but WV was ranked #1-#3 in the pre-season polls and the BCS committee didn’t want to be embarassed if the final poll #1 team did not get an auto-bid. So the Big East kept the auto-bid. WV flopped that year and ended up not even ranked in the final top 20. I am sure that if the BCS knew that would happen they would have revoked the auto-bid then. Events since have proven that they should have.


August 10th, 2009
9:42 am


I tend to agree with you about LSU being ranked over Ole Miss.LSU has the talent and depth to be the top team in the west but something held them back but they still replace more starters than Bama and Ole Miss also their QB(if it is Jefferson) has only started 2 games.Ole Miss has a much more favorable schedule this year too.It would not be impossible for LSU to still win the west despite the tougher schedule but their coaching must improve especially on defense.Ole Miss has the schedule to make a run but I worry about the high expectations for Ole Miss this year, can the team handle it?It has been along time since Ole Miss was favored.All I can say is the SEC west is sure to be exciting to see how it all plays out.Bama,Ole Miss or LSU?Arkansas might surprise a few teams too.

nashville vol

August 10th, 2009
9:43 am

Last I checked turnovers was a part of the game. LSU’s defense may of had something to do with that.


August 10th, 2009
9:43 am

There should be no preseason polls. They are useless and sway voting during the year. I mean look at UGA last year….that worked out real well didn’t it?

Tech Buzz

August 10th, 2009
9:45 am

Tech beats Georgia again, in a 20 point rout in Atlanta–mark it down! Joe Cox is terrible and Ga Tech’s offense is loaded!!! Tech may make a BCS bowl with a couple of breaks this year. Ga will be in another minor bowl.


August 10th, 2009
9:55 am

Buzz, if I could spell delusional I would call you that.


August 10th, 2009
9:58 am

Buzz, you have no clue about what kind of player Cox is. Another minor bowl? I don’t remember UGA ever playing on a blue field or in the peanut bowl like the nerds.


August 10th, 2009
10:00 am

Auburn will be alot better than last yera-still had an outstanding defense, not convinced Notre Dame’s vaunted O-Line knows how to block (maybe 9 wins)-Phil Steele i believe loved Iowa-and the Big 12 is going to have to prove me wrong about its Defenses and lack of depth


August 10th, 2009
10:08 am

TOPDAWG, this is football, not billiards. Were you talking about a pool table?


August 10th, 2009
10:12 am

Otto, it’s on a point system, over your head for sure.

Not the 45-42 kind either.


August 10th, 2009
10:15 am

Let the season begin!!

Gotta like the, “Gator in Miami”’s take, that “it’s hard to be humble when you’re a Gator!!” We would have had the train rolling back in the ’80’s if Pell had not gotten so greedy, but hey, patience pays off. Yes, the Bear was right when he once said, that the Gators were a Sleeping Giant!!

Not sure if we’ll run the table this yr., but I wouldn’t bet against us. If Tebow stays healthy, and the wideouts make plays, it’s a walk in the park!!


GA Tech Insider

August 10th, 2009
10:15 am

The sad state of affairs is that the early polls typically help those which are perceived to be the strongest and hurt the teams that are perceived to be the weakest in the beginning of the season.

The teams that are perceived to be the elite, and lose early-to-mid season, don’t fall far and have a chance to recover and still maintain a chance for a high ranking at the end of a season. The loss is considered as a fluke, etc, and they are still in the “hunt”.

On the other hand, teams that are perceived to be on the outside looking in have a very difficult time moving up if they have an early-to-mid season loss. They are expected to have these losses and they’re tough to recover from in the eyes of the “pundits”.

If the polls were started several games into the season, and everyone came in after the dust settled so that the rating services actually had a chance to see the teams in action prior to starting their rankings, then maybe, just maybe, we’d start to see a more “honest” ranking of the teams week-to-week.

I also think strength of schedule should be considered in the ranking selections. Sure, it may look nice to have an undefeated Boise State sitting at number 10 and a one loss UGA sitting at 11 come week 8, but strength of schedule-wise, Georgia beats them hands down and there’s no way Boise State should be ranked ahead of UGA in this case.

Finally, I would also support a Championship Playoff, with Quarter-Final and Semi-Final Games leading into the Championship Game. This means the top 16 teams play in the Quarter Finals and then the 4 Quarter Finalist winners play in the Semi-Final Game for a chance to play in the Championship Game.

I would have the Holiday, Motor City, Cotton, and Chick-fil-A Bowls (just examples of Bowls spread across the US, these could obviously be changed, such as the Gator, Capital One, Liberty, Alamo, Sun, etc.) to always be played as the Quarter-Final Bowls, and then the Rose, Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta hosting the Semi- Final Round Bowls. I would then rotate the Championship Game just like it’s being rotated now.

The other “lesser” Bowls could still exist.


August 10th, 2009
10:15 am

The SEC west is totally up for grabs between LSU, Ole Miss, and Bama, with Arkansas possibly being a player. Miss. State will be better and upset someone along the way. It will be a recovery year for Auburn. The East is a two-way battle between Georgia and Florida, and I think the Gators just has too much 2 and 3-deep talent and experience for Georgia this year. My wish, a real Gators beat down of the Vols (more a beat down of Kiffin) in the Swamp in early September…to shut his mouth.


August 10th, 2009
10:17 am

Sorry, my blog should have read, “the Gators just have too much 2 and 3-deep talent” for those grammar searchers out there.

The Truth 2009

August 10th, 2009
10:20 am

The BCS makes college football resemble a bodybuilding competition. Everyone gets on stage and prances around……posing for the judges…. while you fans are the ones rubbing down the BCS commisioners with tanning oil and fulfilling their gay fantasies by supporting such a sham of a sport!
All you fools are getting USED! Do your azzes hurt yet from getting raped as fans? haha
Boycott CF…. boycott all the MEANINGLESS bowls!
They will NEVER give us a playoff system till us fans DEMAND IT and prove it by taking our support away!
Wanna watch REAL football…… the Falcons start soon!


August 10th, 2009
10:20 am

superDawg “The reason the SEC is ranked higher is because they have better programs better recruiting and a better fan base.”

hmm, let’s hear you explanation/spin for going 6-6 against the “always crappy conference”?

get ready for a losing record against the ACC this year and riding UF coat-tails once again.


August 10th, 2009
10:21 am

Preseason polls are simply about flare and name recognition. Georgia has proven nothing to anyone, yet they are still ranked 13, ahead of Georgia Tech I might add. To the NFL, they lost their best 3 skill position players. It doesn’t matter how great your offensive line is, if your quarterback can’t throw it, if your runningback can run it, and your wide receivers can’t catch it, you’re not going to score points. I admit, the defense will be much improved, but an above average defense and a solid offensive line doesn’t warrant a number 13 ranking. I realize Joe Cox won in high school, but this is college, and he plays in the SEC, the same conference everyone on this blog is so high about. So please tell me why it is expected by all Georgia fans that a quarterback that has started one game in his college career, and two runningbacks who have never started a game, are going to make an impression, and even think about playing in early december? I just don’t understand. And the dawgs better stop worrying about Florida, LSU, etc. and start worrying about the Cowboys in Stillwater, because your defense better be ready to slow that offense down, because let me be the 143048932nd to say, you damn sure can’t score with them.


August 10th, 2009
10:23 am

If Notre Dame is able to win 8 games, they may be ranked #1 and play for the National Championship.


August 10th, 2009
10:26 am

It is not looking good for Auburn at all.They almost might as well be on probation with scholorship reductions it is that bad.Tubs left them in a pretty bad state.It is effecting the way they practice too because they are so fearful of injuries.Their coach even decided to not practice in the heat for fear of heat strokes and practices inside where the AC is.They do have quality players in key positions as starters but their lack of depth is gonna hurt them. It could take a couple of years of strong recruiting to get where they want to be.I still would’nt under-estimate them though.


August 10th, 2009
10:28 am

College football is a joke as usual.
Pre season rankings- a joke. If you aren’t ranked in the top 15 most years why even bother playing?

BCS system- a joke.

Florida’s schedule a joke- they play 4 games they should win by a total of 200-0.

USC’s schedule- a joke (as usual). THey played two games against teams with 1 win between them!!!!!

It’s the worst run sport yet it’s the most popular, go figure. People bitch every week about the system yet they tune in every week. Way to get your point across! Rewarding 6-6 teams with bowl games?!?!?!? Rewarding mediocrity?!!?!? Notre Dame played the service academies UNC and Stanford in ‘06, got their a$$es kicked by the only 2 good teams they played, got a BCS bid and promptly got their a$$es kicked by LSU!!! IT’s a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!