Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy—pictured with Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops before their Bedlam game in Stillwater—voted his Cowboys two spots higher than the Sooners in the final regular-season USA Today poll.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Perhaps Mike Gundy was stunned from the final shocking seconds of Oklahoma State’s Bedlam buckle.

In the final USA Today coaches poll of the regular season, Gundy voted OSU ahead of Oklahoma—doing so less than 24 hours after the Sooners (10-2) beat the Cowboys (10-2) in Stillwater 33-24. He ranked his team 10th and the Sooners 12th though they had identical conference records

Gundy’s reasoning seemed dubious, as told to The Oklahoman on on Sunday:

“I just try to take into account the season in general and not one or two games and come up with the best formula that I think works,” said Gundy, adding that he weights teams based on magin-of-victory against bowl-eligible teams.

We only know how Gundy voted because coaches bowed to media pressure in recent years and began divulging their final ballots. It was much-needed transparency, to be sure—and it revealed some other curious voting patterns from Big 12 coaches.

Baylor’s Art Briles, for instance, went homer haywire on his ballot, ranking Big Ten champion Michigan State (12-1) at No. 8, behind three Big 12 schools (No. 4 Baylor, No. 6 Oklahoma State and No. 7 Oklahoma). You can’t begrudge Briles placing his league-champion Bears that high, but his love for the two-loss Cowboys and the Sooners is misguided, even if they did play slightly tougher schedules than Sparty.

Dana Holgorsen’s ballot was noteworthy in that he favored a Florida State-Michigan State championship game instead of the FSU-Auburn matchup the BCS delivered. Holgorsen ranked the Spartans No. 2, one spot ahead of the SEC-champion Tigers.

Kliff Kingsbury voted Baylor third and dropped Michigan State to fifth, behind two-loss Pac-10 champ Stanford. Kingsbury also voted Alabama No. 6, the lowest of any coach in the poll.

See how all the coaches—including Marshall’s Doc Holliday and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez—voted here.

The fact the coaches poll won’t directly factor into the next year’s selection criteria is a welcomed change. Over the years we saw numerous examples of coaches showing home-conference favoritism, and many coaches on the panel rotation have or had sizable contract bonuses attached to their postseason destinations. As deeply as these men know the game, their week-to-week tunnel vision toward the next opponent made it impossible to watch games coast to coast.

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  • Mike Hamm

    Great article Allan. I think this just enforces even more the playoff format.When you put anything up to a vote you are basically getting opinions.Playoffs removes a lot of variables.

    P.S. NCAA needs to pay their atheletes something.1)They may stay a little longer. 2) Lord knows they are making their schools enough "profit margin" for them to afford it.

    A True Fan of College Football, Mike

  • D.P.

    Time: 7:30 p.m. Total posts: 45 Posts by Big Larry: 10!!! I've read NONE of them!!!
    Big Larry is as negative to WV sports as HopsHip is to ANYTHING Hoppy K. writes in his colums!!! Why don't you TWO LOSERS get a life!!!

    I'm an avid Mountaineer fan, but as a West Virginian, I ALWAYS root (except when they play WV) for Marshall and Doc H.

    Go Herd!!!!!

  • Dave

    Recruiting seems to be a plus for our football team. Good job coaches and congratulations to the recruits. Welcome to West Virginia University. I'm sure you all will make great Mountaineers.

  • Dean Miller

    Tell Henry to go where they have a real coach. Dana is not in that league.

    • GoEers

      cry me a river you jealous troll hahaha!!

  • GoEers

    4 Star DB Dravon Henry from Aliquippa, PA just announced he is going to WVU!!!

    Recruiting is picking up!

    Let's Go Mountaineers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Charleston,WV

      Right on! Thanks for the good news!

      • GoEers

        The pleasure was all mine. The press conference was streamed online.

        It's a great day to be a Mountaineer wherever you may be!!!

  • Steve

    Funny how all the Marshall fans read and comment on every article about holgorsen, luck, or WVU athletics in general.

    Is Marshall not relevant enough?

  • Jack

    I'm a WVU fan, but I also support Marshall and Doc. I wanted them to beat Rice and sure hope they beat Maryland. Good luck in the bowl game. Hope we get to go to a bowl game next year.

  • Big Daddy Kane

    Dana's vote pretty much sums up his knowledge of college football.

    • jase

      Your not too bright yourself if you think Michigan St isn't good enough to be in the championship game


    I believe Baylor -vs- Florida State would be the best match up .... here is how I would put teams together. 2. Aurburn VS Michigan State
    3. Alabama VS Stanford
    4. Ohio State VS Missouri
    5. South Carolina VS Oregon
    6. Oklahoma VS Clemson
    7. Oklahoma State VS Arizona State
    8. LSU VS UCF
    9. Arizona VS West Virginia (Heinz Field- Christmas day 9.Am Kick-off / Roots Sports) ** National Champion could be anyone from Alabama, Standford , Baylor, Florida State, Aurburn & Michigan State.

    • Chris

      love the idea of AZ-WV at Heinz on Christmas...absolute grudge match on basically a home field, sPitt-WV would also be AZ playing in a bowl game? haven't looked too hard at all the bowls

  • Neil

    shouldnt DH be recruiting, teaching, and building this program better

    • GoEers

      Perfect timing Neal! 4 Star DB Dravon Henry from Aliquippa, PA just announced he is going to WVU!!!

      Aren't you happy now Neal that DH is recruiting!?

  • Dale

    We are not one of them Joe? Marshall University is! I'm very disappointed too but give them credit. Let's see how Marshall stacks up against Maryland.

    • Big Larry


      Give the Thundering Herd Credit....

      And the WVU faithful better hope and pray that Maryland defeats the Herd...because if they don't, I will be all over that like a pair of cactus a west Texas Dust a fat rat on a Cheeto...

      Maryland defeated WVU 37-0. What if Marshall defeats Maryland?

      • Charleston,WV

        Big Larry:
        I just wanted to say that despite your monotonous ridiculing of WVU and its current state of affairs I particularly do not care what you think of in respect to the Marshall vs Maryland game. In fact I for one am rooting for Marshall to defeat Maryland despite the fact that WVU lost to Maryland earlier this year. To boot, I am a WVU alum. Your constant cynical, negative ranting in my opinion (of which you are entitled to) shows your level of maturity and character. Please grow up. I'll finish by saying, "Peace to you during you during these Holiday season".

        P.s. Cynical remarks and retorts are welcome!

        • Big Larry


          I will try and make a new years resolution to only say nice things about WVU athletics and all those who have administration positions.

          That way I will be like the majority who live in a delusional world of everything being sunshine & roses.

          That is what you want isn't it?

          And the same to you and your family for the happy holiday wishes...

          And thank you for reading my comments!

          • Steve

            And thank you Lawrence for reading and commenting on every WVU article. It shows just how big of a jealous obsessed classless troll you really are.

          • Big Larry


            Thank you for following me on all these forums...I know you are learning a lot by reading all of my comments. I sure do appreciate you....

          • Jason


          • Steve

            Hey Lawrence Tomas aka big Larry...stop posting your jealousy filled crap on this site,, and wv rivals. Spend some time looking got a job so you can get off welfare.

        • Jason

          First As a MU fan, thank you. Second, if you look on the MU articles, Big Larry talks trash about the Herd as well. I "think" BIG LARRY and MAULDAWG are probably the same person. They both only post comments to stir people up...regardless of the article or the team. After just realizing this, I will cease to pay them any attention.

          • Big Larry

            Sorry but No...I am not MAULDAWG or anyone else but "Big Larry".

            I will be pulling for the Herd to win against Maryland but unfortunately, they only play well at home. It will be a repeat of the Rice game I am afraid...

            It is what it is...

            And thank you for reading my comments!

      • David

        If that happens, Marshall will still be 0-12 against WVU.


        • GoEers


        • WVAtty


        • Jason

          Yep. 0-12, however, any fan of either team knows the majority of those games were played during the true golden years if WVU football and durin the worst stetch of years for Marshall since the mid 80's...except for the one game in 97 (where MU lost the game in the 4th). So that being said, the past is the far as the present. I am happy the direction doc has the MU program moving in and if I were a WVU fan, I would probably not be happy at this moment about the state of that program. Currently, neither team plays each other, so who really cares. Both teams have bigger fish to fry. Marshall needs to focus on Maryland and the bowl game and WVU needs to figure out a way to just be competitive in their conference. Game #1 next year may just set the tone for the season, and I am pretty sure WVU will have their work cut out for them in that game.

          • GoEers

            Spoken like a true fan of a team who had 12 chances to beat WVU and lost all of them...most of the game weren't very competitive

        • Concerned

          Hit the nail on the head. Larry, I will send you a cookie though. Especially since Marylands lost virtually all their best offensive players.

  • Joe

    It just infuriates me that there are 70 bowl eligible teams and we are not one of them.

    • Big Larry

      You have Ollie's Follies to thank for it....

      • GoEers

        And you have "do nothing" Hamrick to thank for Marshall still playing in conference USA whille the big name teams left for greener pastures

        • Big Larry


  • Big Larry


    Please...enough of Dana Holgorsen and his opinions until April of 2014.

    Now we got the Huggy-Bear show for the next 4 or 5 months which is bad enough.


    • Steve

      Miserable jealous troll you are

      • Jephre


      • Big Larry

        Steve....A Word to the wise....

        "Always remember to drink upstream from the Herd"...

        • GoEers

          "Jealousy is an ugly thing"

          Even uglier than you Lawrence Tomas aka Big larry
          aka huge marshall fan that reads and posts on every article about WVU

          • GoEers

            Happy Holiday ot you Lawrence Tomas. I am sure it is very dark and lonely where you are at now. I sincerely do feel sorry and take pity on you. I am sure that all this anger you have probably stems from the abuse you took as a child Lawrence.

          • Big Larry


            I would like to personally thank both of you for reading every single one of my comments over this past year.

            I really do appreciate your following and know that you are better sports fans because of it.

            And have a very happy Holliday.

        • shawn

          Yea i was hoping Rice would win by 40

        • shawn

          You mean the same team that got cooked by Rice?

          • Big Larry

            Yes...Wasn't that awful?

    • Jake

      Please....enough of your opinions until 2043.


      The Jake