Art Briles 'passed along' 2008 coaches poll ballot

In 2008, Oklahoma and Texas were embattled in a jockeying to be ranked higher in the BCS. The team ranked highest in the BCS would break a three-way tie atop the Big 12 south, advance to the Big 12 title game, and, with a win there, to the national championship.

The polling was so close that every vote in the Coaches and Harris polls counted. Every vote mattered.

And Baylor coach Art Briles strangely voted Oklahoma No. 1 and had Texas all the way down at No. 5, even though the Longhorns defeated the Sooners head-to-head.

This season, Briles is in the middle of his own head-to-head debate. The Bears have been slotted lower than TCU in the playoff rankings, even though they beat the Horned Frogs last month.

Monday, Briles was asked how he could vote Texas behind OU while also reconciling that his team deserved to be ahead of TCU in the playoff rankings.

Turned out, Briles said he didn't vote at all.

"I've always been taught to tell the truth," Briles said on the Big 12 coaches teleconference, "and I didn't vote on that poll. I passed it on to somebody in the office."

The Sooners narrowly edged Texas in the BCS that year, won the Big 12 title and played for the national title against Florida. The Longhorns, meanwhile, went to the Fiesta Bowl.

Briles went on to say he never has voted in the coaches poll, even when he's had the ballot.

"I've done it that way every year," Briles said. "If they ask me not to vote again, I'm fine with it."

This is the first year the coaches poll will have no say in determining who college football's champion is. And after Briles' revelation, there's no doubt college football is better off for it.