Who's voting on the coaches' poll?

I had a reader ask earlier this week which SEC coaches were voting this season in the USA Today coaches' poll, which is one of three components used in determining the BCS standings.

The 2010 voting panel is made up of 59 coaches from the FBS ranks and includes six SEC coaches -- Florida’s Urban Meyer, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino, Georgia’s Mark Richt, Alabama’s Nick Saban and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier.

Seniority isn’t a factor in which coaches are on the panel. All coaches are asked by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) if they want to be a voter, and if they agree to take part, their names go into a random drawing.

The SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA and MAC all have six coaches apiece on the panel. The Pac-10 has five, and the Big East, Mountain West, Sun Belt and WAC have four apiece. Brian Kelly at Notre Dame and Ken Niumatalolo at Navy also have votes.

Kevin Scarbinsky of The Birmingham News had a story Tuesday about the whole process and wondered aloud why all coaches aren’t invited to vote in the poll, especially since it plays a key part in determining which teams play for the national championship.

The answer he received from the AFCA was that it was hard enough getting 59 or 60 coaches to vote every week.

Of course, one of the worst-kept secrets in college football is that sports information directors are the ones doing most of the voting.