News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Texas coach votes for ... Trojans
Tuberville ranks Auburn 4th on his coaches' poll ballot

The Associated Press

Texas coach Mack Brown has been calling Southern California the No. 1 team all season and it wasn't just talk.

Brown voted USC first in the final USA Today coaches' poll — and so did his brother.

Auburn was No. 7 in the poll, and Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville had his team fourth.

The ballots were made public Monday, a first for the coaches' poll, which is used by the Bowl Championship Series in its standings formula.

The BCS had urged the coaches to remove the secrecy in their poll after the 2004 season, when Texas made a late surge in the polls to earn a Rose Bowl bid over California.

The coaches decided to release only their final ballots, which were printed in Monday's editions of USA Today.

The Harris Interactive poll, which was introduced this season to replace The Associated Press Top 25 in the BCS formula, also released its final ballots. The Harris panel is comprised of former college football players, coaches and administrators, plus some media members.

The AP media poll has always had transparency in its voting.

Brown had his Texas team No. 2, behind USC. The Trojans and Longhorns will play for the national title in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4.

UAB coach Watson Brown also had the Trojans first and his younger brother's team second.

USC coach Pete Carroll is not on the 62-member voting panel. Twenty coaches voted for their own teams, with none straying too far from the consensus.

Among the notables, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano gave the Scarlet Knights (7-4) their only vote, putting them 25th on his ballot.

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis had his team fourth, two spots ahead of Oregon (10-1). The Fighting Irish (9-2) were ranked No. 6.

Oregon coach Mike Bellotti put the Ducks fourth and Notre Dame ninth. Oregon finished No. 5 in the final regular season poll, but Notre Dame earned a bid to the BCS and Oregon did not.

Texas received seven first-place votes to USC's 55.

Three of the seven coaches who voted for the Big 12 champions were from conference rivals — Colorado's Gary Barnett, whose team has lost twice to the Longhorns this season by a combined scored of 112-20, Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy and Iowa State's Dan McCarney.

The others who had Texas on top were San Jose State's Dick Tomey, who was defensive coordinator at Texas last season, TCU's Gary Patterson and Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.

Penn State was No. 3 on all but two ballots. Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione had Notre Dame third and the Nittany Lions fourth. Arkansas coach Houston Nutt had Auburn third, just ahead of Penn State.

Other votes that went against the norm were:

  • SMU coach Phil Bennett had Oregon 15th.
  • Ohio coach Frank Solich placed LSU fifth, 10 spots ahead of Georgia, which beat the Tigers 34-14 in the Southeastern Conference championship Saturday.
  • South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier had Notre Dame 14th, his own team 21st, and in-state rival Clemson 24th. The Tigers beat Spurrier's Gamecocks 13-9 to close out the regular season.

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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