- Chris Low, ESPN Senior Staff Writer
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The final coaches’ ballots have been made public, which is sure to fan the flames even more concerning the whole Allstate BCS National Championship Game controversy.
One of the first things that jumps out at you is that Alabama coach Nick Saban voted Oklahoma State No. 4. Saban had LSU No. 1, Alabama No. 2, Stanford No. 3 and Oklahoma State No. 4.
Saban was the only one of the six SEC coaches on the panel who didn’t vote Oklahoma State No. 3.
Alabama nudged out Oklahoma State by decimal points for the No. 2 spot in the final BCS standings and a berth in the BCS National Championship Game.
The other five SEC coaches on the panel -- Auburn’s Gene Chizik, Vanderbilt’s James Franklin, LSU’s Les Miles, Georgia’s Mark Richt and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier -- all had identical top 4s: 1. LSU, 2. Alabama, 3. Oklahoma State, 4. Stanford.
Richt, whose Bulldogs lost to Boise State to open the season, had Boise State No. 5, which was a lot higher than the other SEC coaches. Franklin, Saban and Spurrier all had Boise State No. 11 on their ballots.
Saban wasn’t the only coach nationally who didn’t have Oklahoma State No. 3. In fact, Air Force’s Troy Calhoun had the Cowboys No. 5 behind No. 3 Stanford and No. 4 Arkansas.
Other coaches who had Oklahoma State No. 4 were Duke’s David Cutcliffe, Syracuse’s Doug Marrone, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel, Rutgers’ Greg Schiano and Stanford’s David Shaw, who ranked his Cardinal No. 3.
Looking at the flip side, Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville, formerly the Auburn coach, was among those coaches ranking Oklahoma State No. 2 and Alabama No. 3.
Some of the others included Illinois’ Ron Zook, Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema, Southern Miss’ Larry Fedora, Baylor’s Art Briles, Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes, Cal’s Jeff Tedford, Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops.
None of the 59 coaches on the panel had Alabama lower than No. 3 on their ballots.
There were some other interesting votes concerning SEC teams. North Carolina State’s Tom O’Brien had Georgia No. 7 on his ballot. Tuberville was one of four coaches who had the Bulldogs as low as No. 23.
Louisville coach Charlie Strong, the former defensive coordinator at Florida, had Arkansas No. 5.
Saban, who was the head coach at Michigan State prior to taking the LSU job in 2000, had the Spartans No. 17.
Fans can go here to see how all of the coaches voted.
2hSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
1dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney