Analyzing the coaches' ballots

The coaches' ballots for the ESPN/USA Today top 25 poll are not made public during the season.

At the end of the regular season, the veil comes off. Every now and then, there's an interesting note or two, and this year is no exception.

You can see all the coaches' ballots in this well-done chart.

Note: Plenty of coaches let a graduate assistant handle the duties during the season, but the majority will take over duties at the end of the season for the ballot that becomes public.

The following Big 12 coaches are voters: Art Briles (Baylor), Bo Pelini (Nebraska), Gary Pinkel (Missouri), Mike Sherman (Texas A&M), Paul Rhoads (Iowa State), Tommy Tuberville (Texas Tech)

The coaches poll is factored into the BCS standings, along with the computer rankings and the Harris poll.

A few notes:

  • All but four coaches voted their teams higher than its actual rank, but Bo Pelini ranked Nebraska No. 8, eight spots higher than its actual rank. Robb Akey at Idaho had the Huskers the next-highest, at No. 11. The Huskers beat the Vandals earlier this season.

  • Pinkel ranked Missouri No. 11. The Tigers came in at No. 14 in the final poll.

  • Sherman ranked Texas A&M No. 15. The Aggies came in at No. 17 in the final poll.

  • Pelini and Pinkel were the only voters in the Big 12 whose ballots contained all 25 teams on the final poll.

  • Who had Auburn No. 1? Pelini, Rhoads and Tuberville.

  • Who had Oregon No. 1? Briles, Pinkel and Sherman.

Finally, here's who ranked the Big 12 teams the highest and the lowest.

  • No. 8 Oklahoma: Jim Harbaugh, Stanford (No. 5); Three coaches ranked Oklahoma No. 12. (Steve Fairchild, Colorado State; Al Golden, Temple; Chris Petersen, Boise State)

  • No. 13 Oklahoma State: Two coaches ranked OSU No. 11. (Jim Harbaugh, Stanford; Tom O'Brien, NC State.) Interestingly, no coaches voted OSU at No. 17, but two had it at No. 18. (Mike MacIntyre, San Jose State; Robb Akey, Idaho)

  • No. 14 Missouri: Three coaches had Missouri at No. 11. (Todd Berry, Louisiana-Monroe; Gary Pinkel, Missouri; Ron Zook, Illinois). Greg Schiano at Rutgers had the Tigers the lowest, at No. 17.

  • No. 16 Nebraska: Pelini obviously had the Huskers the highest, at No. 8, and Akey had them at No. 11. New Mexico coach Mike Locksley had the Huskers at No. 21.

  • No. 17 Texas A&M: Brian Kelly at Notre Dame had the Aggies the highest, at No. 11. Five coaches had the Aggies at No. 19.