OSU football: Poll voters are determined by chance

by Gina Mizell Published: December 11, 2011

Then, all willing voters are separated by conference. Those names are put into a pot, and half the number of member schools are drawn. That means the Big 12 has five voters, the SEC has six, the Pac-12 has six, and so on. And that way, the votes are spread across the country.

“There's not 10 voters in one conference and five voters in another,” Teaff said. “I voted for 20-something years, and you better believe I knew my conference teams better than I knew those in California and the East Coast. That's why you have balance.”

The only time Gundy has been pulled out of the pot was his first season in 2005. Pinkel has been picked four years in a row. Rhoads, Dan Hawkins and Dennis Franchione have all voted more than Gundy since he took over as OSU's head coach.

Again, pure chance.

Teaff continues to believe in the validity of the coaches' poll, and he doesn't see any major changes coming in the future.

There will always be select coaches who do not want to vote, making it difficult to increase the number of ballots while still keeping the poll balanced.

The Gallup World Poll, which was recently brought in to study the coaches' poll, recommended that all votes be kept private throughout the season. But the coaches decided that transparency on that final ballot was important, which is why that is still released each season.

And Gundy said earlier this season that he took the responsibility very seriously when he was a voter in 2005. He half-joked that he would not let anyone else in the athletic department fill the ballot out for him, debunking the theory that no coaches are actually doing the voting themselves.

Gundy, by chance, did not get the opportunity to vote for his Cowboys — or any other team — in 2011. And whether he participates in the voting process in 2012 all depends on if his name is drawn out of the pot.


by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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