Les Miles got a vote.
Ditto for Nick Saban and David Shaw.
But not Mike Gundy.
The Oklahoma State coach had his team in the hunt for a spot in the national championship game, just like those other coaches, but in the end, he had no say in the Cowboys' fate. Yet the head honchos from LSU, Alabama and Stanford did.
Sure seems that way.
You're darn right it is.
Truth be told, the fix for this glitch in the BCS system is pretty simple — give every coach a vote in the coaches' poll.
Currently, every conference has half of its coaches voting. Why not allow every coach of a BCS-eligible team a vote? That would include coaches in all the automatic-qualifier conferences, from the ACC to the Pac-12, and coaches in all the non-automatic-qualifier conferences, from the MAC to the WAC.
Let them all have a say.
“First of all, they have to be willing to serve,” said Grant Teaff, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. “There are some that don't want to serve. They don't want the responsibility. They don't want the effort. They don't want the job.”
Teaff would know. His association oversees the random selection of coaches' poll voters every year — names are pulled out of a pot — and every year, at least a few coaches indicate they want no part in the process. Their names are left out.
Give every coach a vote, and some might refuse.
The ones who they would be hurting most would be themselves. They would be ceding power to other coaches. And really, how many college football coaches strike you as men willing to cede power to someone else?
Here's guessing that less than 10 percent of the 120 coaches would turn down the chance to vote. Might be more like 5 percent.
No doubt this change would create a much bigger pool of voters. The coaches' poll would go from its current count of 59 votes to 100-plus. Thing is, the Harris Poll, the other human variable in the BCS system, has 114 voters. No reason that the coaches couldn't have that many voters, too.
The good news is, the coaches' poll has been willing to change over the years. The polling experts from Gallup came in a few years back and gave Teaff and the AFCA some pointers.
Round up to the next even number if a conference has an odd number of teams, then half that number to determine how many voters from that league.
Select the coaches who are going to vote randomly.
The football coaches took that advice and made those alterations.
“With the importance of the polls ... our coaches wanted it to be the very best that it could be,” Teaff said.
The very best would be every coach voting.
Now, with the possibility that a few coaches might turn down the chance to vote, there are some people who would probably cry foul. They might complain that some conferences would have more representatives than others.
Is that unfair and unbalanced?
But you know what? Depending on your point of view, the current system with the coaches' poll isn't exactly fair or balanced.
Look at the Big 12. A conference that was among best this season — five teams in the final BCS rankings, second only to the SEC — had the second-fewest fewest voters of any automatic-qualifier conference. The Big East had the least votes with four, which considering the sorry state of football there seems appropriate, but the Big 12's five votes in the coaches' poll was less than the ACC and the Pac-12.
Those leagues had two teams in the final ranking but six voters in the poll.
Heck, the Big 12 had fewer voters than Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference. Nothing against C-USA and the MAC, but those mid-major conferences aren't better than the Big 12.
Shouldn't that count for something?
And what about the imbalance of votes by state?
In our fair state, only OU coach Bob Stoops got a vote. Nothing wrong with a three-team state having only one vote. That's a rational percentage.
But check out some other states. The state of Florida has seven teams, but this season, only two of them had votes in the coaches' poll. Meanwhile, California, a state also with seven teams, had five votes in the coaches' poll.
Is that a sensible distribution?
Does that seem like a fair balance?
Even if that does, this won't — Louisiana has five teams, and each and every one of them had a vote in the coaches' poll. Les Miles at LSU. Sonny Dykes at Louisiana Tech. Todd Berry at Louisiana-Monroe. Mark Hudspeth at Louisiana-Lafayette. Bob Toledo at Tulane.
I don't doubt that coaches' poll has a better system now than it did in the past, but it's nowhere near as good as it could be. Getting closer to perfect would be a snap — give every coach who's willing to take part in the process the opportunity to do so.
Not just the ones whose names are randomly drawn out of a pot.