Many fans and critics were disappointed when it was announced that Alabama would rematch against LSU in the BCS National Championship Game. Critics believe that Bama already had their shot at LSU, and since they lost the regular season game, they don’t deserve a second chance to face them. However, 42 of the 59 coaches (71%) voting in the Coaches’ Poll disagree and voted Bama second in the country. Quite surprisingly, David Shaw and Chris Petersen were among the 42.
Shaw is the head coach of Stanford whose team is 11-1. The Cardinal started off the season 9-0 before losing to Oregon 53-30. Oregon lost its season opener to LSU 40-27, and LSU beat Bama 9-6, if you want to play the transitive game. Stanford has only beaten three ranked opponents, all of whom were ranked 20th or lower. Still, the Cardinal have arguably the best quarterback in the country, and they have some argument for playing in the National Championship Game. It’s surprising that Shaw is saying his team is not as good as Alabama, or not as qualified to face LSU. He did have his team ranked third ahead of Oklahoma State.
Petersen is the head coach of 11-1 Boise State, which has a similar argument for the title game. Boise State began the season 8-0 before losing to TCU 36-35 thanks to some more kicking problems. Their only win against a ranked opponent came in their season opener against Georgia at the Georgia Dome. They beat everyone they faced except TCU, and they’re also 11-1. Petersen ranked his team 5th, behind LSU, Bama, Oklahoma State, and Oregon.
Oklahoma State was the consensus No. 3 team in the country, though they were ranked fourth on five ballots and fifth on one. Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy changed his stance and believed his team deserved a shot in the title game. But given Gundy’s perspective last week, it’s not a huge surprise to see Shaw and Petersen also put Bama ahead of their own teams.
A few interesting notes about the voting (as published by USA Today):
- All six SEC coaches put Alabama second, including rival coach Gene Chizik of Auburn.
- 4 of the 5 Big 12 coaches put Oklahoma State second. Gary Pinkel, whose Missouri squad is moving to the SEC, voted Alabama second.
- 5 out of 6 ACC coaches had Bama second
- All four Big East coaches voted Bama second
Here is the full breakdown of who voted Alabama second and third (click twice to enlarge):