Road to Nationals (the new official NCAA gym ranking site, so you can finally let yourself forget how to spell troester) has released the annual coaches poll, and it did not disappoint, mostly because of one special hero’s first place vote.
(Full results at the link above.)
Obviously, the biggest story and only thing I care about is that some snarky little sass monster voted for Boise State as the #1 team and won the coaches poll along with all of our hearts. Well played, stranger. Next year, all of the coaches need to do comedy rankings and just vote for the University of Texas and Madeleine Albright. You have your instructions.
If we have to care about something else, I guess it’s worth noting that Oklahoma is the #1 team in a bit of an upset over three-time defending champions Florida. Oklahoma is a completely worthy choice for #1 and will be right there competing for the top spot all season long, so it’s hardly a scandal or even much of a question. It’s not Boise State. But it is interesting. My first instinct was that K.J. has clearly taken over as the new Rhonda and general beloved leader of the coaching sorority, while Florida didn’t get near the same number of first-place votes as Oklahoma because of the change in head coach. Realistic possibility. (Although Georgia did still manage the #1 ranking the year after Suzanne left.)
But checking out the number of voters this season might tell a different part of the story. Major kudos to RTN for getting a whole 66 coaches to vote in the poll this year instead of the usual barely 4. The last couple years, 31 coaches participated, so the sample is greater than double this year. (PROOF OF ADDITION SKILLS!) With a lot more coaches voting and not just the usual suspects, perhaps there was a desire from them to support the team that isn’t from the big SEC/Pac-12 powers, all other things being pretty much equal at this point in the year. Perhaps. Last year, Oklahoma got 8 first-place votes and this year 29, so something clearly changed. Whether it’s perception of Florida, perception of Oklahoma, or voting demographics, the world may never know.
Elsewhere, there’s not that much to report. The coaches have Utah higher than I did, which is understandable given the finish last season, and UCLA is perhaps a little high based on last year’s performance + losing Peszek. But also the Valorie Factor. Illinois is a few spots lower than I had (and therefore obviously under-ranked duh), but the Illini didn’t make nationals last year. It’s always hard to get a good ranking after not making nationals. At least the coaches have hopped onto the Cal wagon with the rest of us.