Sunday, December 4, 2011

Analyzing the 12/4/2011 Coaches Poll: Conflict of interest shows

Limited information has been released on the voting in the final Coaches poll that was used do determine the final BCS rankings.  I have not yet found the full ballots.

But what we've learned thus far is the best case of 7 coaches voting Oklahoma State fourth like I wrote, didn't happen.  Instead 5 voted them fourth and 1 voted them fifth.  These coaches were:

  • Gary Pinkel of Missouri voted Oklahoma State 4th.  Rather than support his conference, he votes in a way to benefit where he'll be next year, the SEC.  Conflict of interest?  I guess having their worst loss of the year, at home no less, to Oklahoma State wasn't enough to vote them 2nd or 3rd.
  • David Shaw of Stanford voted Oklahoma State 4th.  You can understand this one, he had Stanford 3rd and he can make that case as they lost to Pac-12 champ Oregon, not 6-6 Iowa State.
  • Nick Saban of Alabama (story above says LSU which can't be right, assuming they got coach name right and not the school).  Clear conflict of interest as voting them 4th and not 3rd clearly benefits his own team.
  • David Cutcliffe of Duke voted Oklahoma State 4th.  This is a little suspicious given his past ties to the SEC.
  • Doug Marrone of Syracuse voted Oklahoma State 4th.  I don't know anything about Doug to say anything one way or the other.
  • Troy Calhoun of Air Force voted Oklahoma State 5th!  He at least has been public with his voting.  I too don't know his background, but he did vote Arkansas 4th ahead of Oklahoma State.  Yes, Arkansas' only losses were to LSU and Alabama, but they did have 2 losses to Oklahoma State's 1, and Arkansas only beat 2 teams with winning records!  Oklahoma State on the other hand beat a full 7 teams with winning records!  Hard to see how this one is justified so something is fishy.
Given how close the voting was, it is hard to see how such clear conflicts of interest can be allowed.  One can make a case Stanford should be ahead of Oklahoma State, but when a coach will clearly benefit from leaning one way, it doesn't feel right.