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Irish Insights


Examining Charlie Weis Poll -- And Others

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis is one of 61 coaches who vote in the USA Today coaches' poll, one of three factors in how the BCS national title game is determined.

Usually, USA Today does not release the individual votes, except for the last one of the year.

Guess what? This is the last one.

So how did Weis vote?

Here's the fourth-year Notre Dame coach's final poll:

1. Oklahoma; 2. Florida; 3. Texas; 4. USC; 5. Alabama; 6. Penn State; 7. Utah; 8. Texas Tech; 9. Boise State; 10. Ohio State; 11. TCU; 12. Cincinnati; 13. Oregon; 14. Oklahoma State; 15. Georgia Tech; 16. BYU; 17. Georgia; 18. Virginia Tech; 19. Michigan State; 20. Pittsburgh; 21. Northwestern; 22. Mississippi; 23. Iowa; 24. Oregon State; 25. Ball State.

Nothing really unusual about Weis' poll, and the only team in the coaches' final Top 25 he left out was Missouri, replacing the Tigers with Iowa.

Can't say that for other coaches. Among the things that glared out to Insights during a quick study of the votes:

  • Got to hand it to Guns Up Mike Leach, though. The Texas Tech coach voted his Red Raiders the No. 2 team in the country behind Oklahoma. His reasoning is solid (Tech beat Texas), but Florida would defeat his team.
  • UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel had No. 1 Oklahoma the lowest at No. 4, behind his No. 1 Texas (actually No. 3), No. 2 Florida (actually No. 2) and No. 3 USC (actually tied for No. 4). Neuheisel also had issue with Cincinnati, voting the Bearcats three slots lower at No. 19 than any other coach.

  • Georgia coach Mark Richt tried for an all-SEC final, voting Florida No. 1 and Alabama No. 2. That was the lone No. 2 vote for the Crimson Tide.
  • Howard Schellenberger, the Florida Atlantic coach, voted USC No. 8, the lowest of any pollster.
  • Missouri coach Gary Pinkel clearly had no respect for the non-BCS. He voted Utah No. 15, six spots lower than the next coach. Pinkel also had issue with Boise State, slating the Broncos 16th, five slots lower than any other coach. He also had TCU at No. 17, two slots lower than any other coach.
  • Meanwhile, Pinkel has much love for Georgia Tech, slotting the Yellow Jackets at No. 9, one of two coaches to put them in the Top 10 with Wisconsin's Bret Bielema (No. 10). He also rated his own team, Missouri, at No. 18.

  • Fresno State coach Pat Hill has much distaste for BYU, not even putting the No. 16 Cougars, at 10-2 with losses to fellow Top 25 teams Utah and TCU, in his Top 25. He did, though, have 7-5 Rutgers, Cal and Kansas all the way up at No. 16. The Jayhawks didn't make the Top 25. Hill also gave No. 19 Virginia Tech its highest vote at No. 12.