With the Notre Dame-Alabama national championship matchup cemented on Saturday night, the only BCS drama on Sunday involved Northern Illinois squeaking into the field at No. 16 (and perhaps rendering the Orange Bowl unwatchable).
It’s interesting to view how coaches voted in the final regular-season USA Today poll, when the veil of anonymity was finally stripped away. (Here’s the interactive graphic for all 59 voting coaches.) The coaches poll represents one-third of the BCS formula, along with the Harris poll and the combined computer formulas.
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen’s ballot had a few noteworthy wrinkles:
• He had No. 3 Oregon (11-1) ranked eighth. None of the other 58 coaches voted the Ducks lower than sixth.
• Holgorsen listed No. 7 LSU (10-2) third on his ballot, the Tigers’ highest placement among the coaches.
• Kansas State (11-1) came in at No. 6 in the overall poll, but Holgorsen voted the Big 12 champion fourth.
• Holgorsen also had a slightly elevated opinion of conference member Oklahoma (10-2), ranking the Sooners ninth when the poll had them at No. 11.
• As for No. 16 Northern Illinois (12-1), Holgorsen voted the Huskies all the way down at No. 24. So don’t blame him for junking up the BCS lineup.
• The only Top 25 poll team Holgorsen omitted was No. 24 San Jose State. Instead, he inserted at Tulsa No. 22.