By Scott Wright
Let me preface this blog by stating that I don’t think OU deserves a top 25 spot right now. Win at A&M, hang tough with Texas next week and don’t blow it at Colorado, then we’ll talk. For now, I don’t see them as one of the 25 best teams in the country.
That said, I’m still a little shocked that the Sooners were not among the 46 teams to receive votes in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll last Monday. UNLV, Kent State, BYU and Houston all got at least one vote from the panel of 31 coaches. So did Baylor, West Virginia and Gonzaga, three teams OU has defeated on the road or at neutral sites.
So that made me curious. Who are the coaches that vote in the poll?
We know after seeing the votes in football’s final poll before the BCS was released that coaches aren’t afraid of supporting their own agendas with their vote.
You’d think there would be a Big 12 coach trying to get his conference a little extra love or one of OU’s past opponents trying to help their own case by boosting the Sooners up the rankings. So here are a few coaches with a reason (valid or not) to vote for OU who decided not to.
Doug Wojcik, Tulsa: The Hurricane got walloped by OU in Norman, easily their worst loss of the year. Wouldn’t you rather it be to a ranked team?
Doc Sadler, Nebraska: The Huskers don’t play OU until Feb. 27 in Lincoln, so Sadler’s opinion might be altered after he sees Blake Griffin up close and personal. Still, wouldn’t you want to get as many Big 12 teams in the poll as possible?
Tim Floyd, USC: The Trojans beat OU in LA, but they’re still potentially a bubble team. A win over a ranked opponent would sure look better on the resume.
Scott Sutton, Oral Roberts: C’mon, help out a fellow Okie.
Tommy Amaker, Harvard: C’mon, help out a fellow Dukie.
Dave Odom, South Carolina: Apparently the Stoops-Spurrier connection does not transcend to basketball voting.
San Francisco coach Jessie Evans — who lost to OU in the season opener — had a vote until he was put on a leave of absence and replaced by Eddie Sutton. But Evans’ vote went to Randy Bennett of St. Mary’s rather than Sutton. And for those who are curious, here are the rest of the coaches who vote:
Mike Adras, Northern Arizona
Dana Altman, Creighton
Tevester Anderson, Jackson State
Randy Bennett, Saint Mary’s
Eddie Biedenbach, North Carolina-Asheville
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse
Matt Brady, Marist
Rick Byrd, Belmont
Charles Coles, Miami (Ohio)
Steve Fisher, San Diego State
Pat Flannery, Bucknell
Greg Graham, Boise State
Tom Green, Fairleigh Dickinson
Johnny Jones, North Texas
Mike Lonergan, Vermont
Mike McConathy, Northwestern State
Bob McKillop, Davidson
Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph’s
Ron “Fang” Mitchell, Coppin State
Matt Painter, Purdue
Tom Pecora, Hofstra
Jimmy Tillette, Samford
Bob Thomason, Pacific
Perry Watson, Detroit Mercy
Gary Williams, Maryland