Who Didn’t Vote UNC #1 in the Coaches Poll?Posted by KCarpenter on October 24th, 2011
Ed. Note: It has come to our attention that the list of coaches we relied upon originally was incorrect. Williams does not have a vote in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll this year. We regret the error and have deleted that section as appropriate.
The ESPN/USA Today coaches poll released it’s preseason rankings last week, unveiling a list that contains no surprises at the top: North Carolina received thirty of the thirty-one first place votes. The final remaining first place vote, and apparently most of the second place votes, went to Kentucky. With the amount of talent that’s been assembled in Lexington, a first place vote for Kentucky is a reasonable position, and I don’t think anyone would begrudge the voter for putting the Wildcats at the top spot. Of course, when it comes to coaches essentially grading their fellow coaches’ work, things can get kind of weird. Normally, the identity of a lone dissenting voter in an otherwise unanimous poll isn’t of much interest. This time though, it’s kind of funny.
While the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll doesn’t release and publish the ballots of each voter, the identities of the voting coaches are public. So when looking at the list of voters, it can be fun to try to guess where a dissenting voice comes from. There’s something funny about a team that would be the unanimous number one coaches pick if not for one coach going rogue this preseason — who could it be?
UPDATE: According to the folks at Kentucky Kernel, Jerry Tipton of the Lexington Herald-Leader has the scoop: Donnie Tyndall of Morehead State cast the dissenting vote.
Sadly, outside of North Carolina, the ACC has a fairly meager showing in this early poll, with only one other team making the Top 25. Unsurprisingly, that team is Duke, coming in at #6. Florida State just barely missed the cut, coming in at #26, narrowly falling behind #25 Missouri. The only other ACC school to receive any votes was Virginia, who finds itself at the very margin of the “Others Receiving Votes” list. Florida State not making the cut is a bit of a surprise, especially considering the softness at the bottom of the poll (hello again, Missouri). Beyond the omission of Florida State? It’s hard to name any other ACC snubs. I suppose that the fan bases of Miami and Virginia Tech could make a case for their two teams, but given last season’s results and this season’s rosters, it’s understandable why the coaches didn’t give them the benefit of the doubt, and honestly, that’s okay: preseason polls are forgotten the instant actual games start. Teams that feel snubbed will have plenty of opportunities to make a case for themselves on the hardwood.
Bonus: For those keeping score at home, the only one ACC coach is on the ESPN/USA Today poll panel for this season: oddly enough, it’s Steve Donahue of Boston College.