How coaches voted Georgia in final poll

semerson@macon.comDecember 2, 2012 

ATHENS - Georgia fell from third to fifth in the final pre-bowl USA Today coaches poll. But people like Mark Richt, Nick Saban and some surprising names did their best for the Bulldogs - while others did not think much of the SEC championship runner-up.

The coaches poll is one-third of the BCS formula, along with the Harris poll and the computer averages. The result of the coaches poll pretty much erases any chances of Georgia finishing ahead of Florida and getting a BCS bid. The Bulldogs, however, have apparently attracted the eye of the Capital One Bowl, which as of Friday ESPN had reported was going to take Texas A&M.

Much of the fun of the final coaches poll is that the ballots are all public, for the first time this season. That's how we know Richt voted his team No. 3, after Notre Dame and Alabama, and ahead of Florida.

Alabama's Saban, who said Saturday it would be a "crying shame" for Georgia not to play in a BCS bowl, backed up his assertion on his ballot: Saban voted Georgia third, one spot ahead of Florida.

But that almost paled in comparison to another SEC coach: Vanderbilt's James Franklin voted Georgia second - after Alabama, and just ahead of Florida. Franklin voted Notre Dame fourth.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, whose team opens with Georgia next season, was another coach showing Georgia love: Swinney had the Bulldogs third.

Other notables who had Georgia third included Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and Joker Phillips, who still gets a vote despite no longer being Kentucky's coach. (The same goes for several other fired coaches, such as Gene Chizik and Ellis Johnson. Chizik, by the way, voted Georgia fourth.)

Then there was Steve Spurrier. The South Carolina head coach placed Georgia fifth on his ballot, two spots behind his alma mater Florida, with Oregon in between.

Some other notables:

Bo Pelini of Nebraska, whose team may very well play Georgia in the Capital One Bowl, voted Georgia sixth.

Brian Kelly, whose Notre Dame is headed to the BCS title game, voted Georgia sixth.

Gus Malzahn of Arkansas State (for now of Arkansas State) voted Georgia fourth.

Oklahoma's Bob Stoops had Georgia at No. 8. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema voted Georgia ninth.

But not big fans of Georgia were Baylor's Art Briles and Washington's Steve Sarkisian. They each had the Bulldogs at No. 11.

Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, whose team beat Georgia in last year's Outback Bowl, voted Georgia fourth and Florida fifth.

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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