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Funny business in BCS voting

The final Bowl Championship Series standings turned out the way they did because coaches and Harris poll voters put their biases aside and made decisions based strictly on the cold, hard facts.

(We’ll pause here until you’ve finished laughing.)

Ever since the controversy of 2004 involving Texas and California shamed voters into revealing their final ballots the following year, picking apart the final USA Today poll has become the best day in December between bowl announcements and Christmas.

Harris voters had to reveal their final ballots too, but we don’t hold ex-jocks, former athletic directors, sportswriters and doughnut shop workers to the same standards.

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The only thing scarier than seeing how some coaches voted is thinking back to all the years when we couldn’t see how they voted.

The 61 coaches this year picked Oklahoma and Florida as the top teams, but those weren’t their only decisions.

Oh, what fun, but what about your credibility?

Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel, incredibly, had Utah No. 15 and Boise State No. 16 while putting Georgia Tech at No. 9.

Memo to Pinkel: Utah and Boise State are a combined 24-0 this year and both schools have won BCS bowl games in the last four years.

At the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State scored a shocking upset over Oklahoma, a team that annually pummels Missouri. Last weekend the score was Sooners 62, Tigers 21.

Georgia Tech did not even make it to the title game of the Atlantic Coast Conference, a league that is 1-9 all-time in BCS bowls. Virginia Tech, which won this ACC this year, is No. 25 on Pinkel’s ballot.

And then there’s Hal . . .

Last year, New Mexico State Coach Hal Mumme put Hawaii at No. 1 on his final ballot only to watch the Warriors get pounded by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

This year, Mumme voted Boise State (12-0) and Utah (12-0), teams vastly superior to Hawaii, at No. 8 and No. 9.

New Mexico State just fired Mumme, but we think it had more to do with on-field issues.

Well, of course the Scarlet Knights should be ranked.

Rutgers received two Piscataway pats on the back, both at No. 25. One was from Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano and the other was from Fresno State Coach Pat Hill, whose team opened the season with a win at Rutgers.

Maybe he’s just smarter than we are.

Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach thought the national title game should have been Oklahoma versus his team, which he voted No. 2. Leach voted Texas No. 5 (ouch).

Roll Tide.

Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden put Alabama No. 3, ahead of No. 4 Texas. Bowden was born in Birmingham, attended Alabama for a time and idolized Bear Bryant. Bowden also had Penn State at No. 5.

He and Joe Paterno are close friends.

He’ll be home for Christmas . . . we think.

Terry Bowden, college football analyst for Yahoo, wrote this year that his brother Tommy deserved to lose his job at Clemson. Then, on Sunday, Bowden didn’t even put his dad’s Florida State team in his final top 25.

Bobby voted his Seminoles at No. 21. Last year, the highest vote Tommy’s Clemson squad got was a No. 11 from his dad.

Is it time to cut Tommy out of the will?

It seems only right, right?

No one wanted to see an all-Big 12 national championship game -- except for five of the seven voting coaches from the Big 12.

Bo Pelini (Nebraska), Gene Chizik (Iowa State), Dan Hawkins (Colorado) and Pinkel all had Texas and Oklahoma as their top two.

Chizik, Texas’ former defensive coordinator, had the Longhorns No. 1.

Leach had Oklahoma-Texas Tech.

Dissenters: Texas Coach Mack Brown (Florida, Texas) and Baylor Coach Art Briles (Oklahoma, Florida, with Texas at No. 5!).

Read between the lines.

Florida Coach Urban Meyer put Texas, the team he was trying to keep out of the national title game, at No. 4. But he still has a soft spot for his old school, Utah, which checked in at No. 5.

What kind of nut besides The Times’ college football columnist dares to rank Utah ahead of USC?

Answer: Utah’s coach. Kyle Whittingham has the Utes No. 5, ahead of the No. 6 Trojans.

All of us non-BCS schools have to stick together.

Fresno State’s Hill voted Boise State No. 6 and Utah No. 7, ahead of Penn State and Texas Tech.

What happened to head-to-head?

Mack Brown voted Texas No. 2 but put Texas Tech, the team that defeated Texas, at No. 8, behind Utah.

No way we’re the third-best team in the state.

Texas Christian Coach Gary Patterson voted his two-loss team No. 10, ahead of one-loss Texas Tech.

What happened to the SEC?

Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel, who suffered national-title losses to Florida and Louisiana State the last two years, voted Oklahoma and Texas first and second.

Don’t expect to work for the Sooners any time soon.

UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel’s top four: Texas, Florida, USC and Oklahoma.

Blunt Assessment award.

Buffalo shocked previously unbeaten Ball State to win the Mid-American Conference championship, but Buffalo Coach Turner Gill didn’t put his own team on his ballot.

Should we be surprised?

Georgia Coach Mark Richt wanted to see a rematch of Florida and Alabama in the BCS title game.

No hard feelings (but would he have voted the same if his ballot were anonymous?).

Texas El Paso Coach Mike Price, fired at Alabama before he ever coached a game, had the Crimson Tide at No. 4.

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chris.dufresne@latimes.com


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