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Posted on Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 10:55 a.m.

How they voted: Brady Hoke ranks Michigan higher than Michigan State, Mark Dantonio does the opposite

By Nick Baumgardner


Brady Hoke (left) and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio hugged it out after the teams met in October, but agreed to disagree on their teams' final rankings. file photo

The Michigan football team is headed back to a BCS bowl, and Michigan State is not.

Not surprisingly, Wolverines coach Brady Hoke and Spartans boss Mark Dantonio slightly disagreed on which team was more deserving.

USA Today released the ballots of the final coaches poll of the season Monday, and as expected, Hoke and Dantonio had a difference of opinion.

Hoke's final ballot slotted the Wolverines at No. 11 and the Spartans coming at No. 13, with Virginia Tech -- Michigan's Sugar Bowl opponent -- at No. 12.


San Diego State coach Rocky Long (left) --Brady Hoke's former defensive coordinator -- ranked Michigan No. 18, lower than any other coach in the country ranked the Wolverines. file photo

Dantonio, meanwhile, had Michigan State ranked No. 12 and Michigan right behind at No. 13. Virginia Tech was rated at No. 11 in Dantonio's final poll.

The final Bowl Championship Series standings, which factor in the coaches poll, had Michigan at No. 13 and Michigan State at No. 17.

Michigan's highest spot on any ballot was No. 8, as selected by Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, Fresno State coach Pat Hill and LSU coach Les Miles.

The lowest the Wolverines finished on any ballot was No. 18, as selected by Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe and San Diego State coach Rocky Long -- who served as Hoke's defensive coordinator in San Diego last season.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 8:48 p.m.

The Sugar BCS bowl is not about who is the better football team. It's about money, bought and paid for.


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 6:31 a.m.

Sounds like Rocky Long has a grudge of some sort. Wanted to come to Michigan? Resentments against his old boss. Bad move on his part. Now his ex boss and everyone knows and it makes him look bad.


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 5:44 a.m.

Thank goodness for the BCS and the way the polls work. It is a given that we would finish ahead of whoever lost the last five minutes of the Wisconsin - Michigan State championship game. If that makes sense to anybody please advise. So we are so much better than MSU that we deserve a BCS game, but if the MSU guy doesn't run into the punter, then we are now better than Wisky and should go to a BCS game over them for the same reason? wow.... if you don't know who the best two teams in the Big Ten are, I'm sorry. Again, the system is hugely flawed, and I for one am grateful with no misconceptions about where we really stand in the pecking order. If you don't agree, stand by for Alabama.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 2:30 a.m.

Lorain...Fershure! C'mon. State blew it. Next story.

Lorain Steelmen

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 8:54 p.m.

aarox.Sorry, I have a hard time believing that the Wolverines could not have beaten either team, on saturday night.


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 4:29 a.m.

It makes no sense in the world. Michigan State went to the big ten championship, Michigan did not. Michigan State had a better record, how in the world does a very poor football team compared to Michigan State make it to a BCS bowl and Michigan State does not.The University of Michigan is farly inferior to Michigan State, everybody knows it. Whoever is in charge of deciding this stuff, shame on you, shame on you.

Little Brother

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 11:04 p.m.

Just sayin'


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

Congrats to Michigan.But after seeing all these Votes by Coaches.Coaches need to be completly out of the voting.They don't watch the games anyway.They have a SID vote for them most of the time anyway.Plus Saban was on TV for 2 hrs Sunday begging for his team.If they played LSU 10 times,the would lose 10 times.Brad Edwards said tonight,there are THE WEAKEST ONE LOSS TEAM EVER TO PLAY IN A NC GAME.The beat ONE RANKED TEAM.ARK Ranked Number 15.LSU has Played and Beat 10 Ranked Teams this year.I don't know if anybody,ever in College Football has done that.Good Luck against the Virginia Tech Chokies.They are a Very Dirty Football Team.Have a very Good DC. Coach Bud Foster,one of the Biggest QB's you have ever played against,very good Skilled people,and Very Fast Running Back.David Wilson.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

The Hokies are a very dirty team? Well, guess what...that's why we played prepare for a game against a very dirty team.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

I liked the photo for this article because it shows the great sportsmanship Coach Brady Hoke displayed after a humiliating loss. Given all the comments made about who's whinning in the article about Kirk Cousins' comments on being worthy of a BCS bid after their loss to WI on Saturday. I also liked the revealing votes cast by some of the relevent coaches toward Michigan. Dissappointed in Rocky Long and impressed with the Les Miles vote. Brady Hoke is very proud of this Michigan team and how much they progressed this year. It is also great to see how much our fan base has come together. All of this in one year. What was topic number one, one year ago? I dare not say.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 2:24 a.m.

Maybe Rocky really wanted to be a Michigan Man.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:24 p.m.

The final BCS poll has Stanford ranked 4th, right ahead of #5 Oregon... who beat them by more then 3 touchdowns and won the Pac-12. Go ahead. Tell me the system isn't completely borked.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

I'll never understand why the Coach's Poll even exists. You're asking a bunch of men who have no time during their week to watch any football games to vote on who is better than who? Come on.

1st Down

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

I hope Coach Hoke deloused after that hug...

cat mckenzie

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

I hope he deloused before that hug.

Terry Star21

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 2:43 a.m.

The michigan state coach sure has grayed quickly.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

MICHIGAN MSU Nick Saban 9 17 Brett Bielema 9 15 Les Miles 8 16 Ron Zook 9 11 Brady Hoke 11 13 Dantonio 13 12 interesting that we have been fighting off sparty fans for a couple of days,and this is how the coaches voted ! numbers don't lie.. Les Miles votes are interesting also.. GO BLUE..


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

The way.. I was simply pointing out how these coaches voted !! its interesting if you add up the years of coaching between these coaches,and they're votes were very close,at least how they voted for Michigan!! You used the phase "We're " are you an x-player? Alum ? coach ? because I'm going to trust the coaches opinion before a poster on this thread...


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 3:24 p.m.

Good post Blu-dogg. I would say those coaches know a thing or two about what is going on in college football these days. And they certainly know a whole lot more than all of us posters on this site.

cat mckenzie

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

And I'm sure Saban had no axe to grind with MSU, right?


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:23 p.m.

numbers don't lie? So Saban, Bielema, Miles... coaches who didn't play us and probably didn't even have time during their busy weeks to watch more than a few highlights here and there... those votes mean something? And I'm sorry, but votes shouldn't be given out based on who you like and don't like (I'm looking at you, Les. No way we're the 8th best team in the country.)


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

1) First, congrats to Hoke & the Blue players on the Sugar Bowl invitation. Blue fans have been saving for a long time. Go to New Orleans, spend big, and help a city still struggling after Katrina. Oh yeah, bring home a B1G victory too. 2) Now is the time for all the B1G fans to unite behind our 6 bowl-bound teams. I'm sick of hearing how great the SEC is. Purdue should handle W. Mich and Illinois better handle UCLA. The other 4 games are pretty even. Pretty ironic that the Buckeyes will play Florida in the Gator Bowl. 3) Now to the article... All this vote does is provide further proof that the system is broken. If I was voting, I'd rank the Buckeyes over the Wolverines and the Spartans, despite seeing them lose to both. Coaches MUST support their own teams, esp if the info is public. The system needs a well-developed overhaul. Not a patchwork of duck-taped repairs. Over course, we can always count that the NCAA will fail us again in this endeavour.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

Don...It depends also on the extent of the thumping, I think.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Dec 7, 2011 : 2:15 a.m.

Thanks, The! Very kind. I agree that it's time to support all BIg Ten teams and show the country something special. I just hope everyone puts aside the petty whining and stuff and gets to work preparing to kick posterior bigtime. What if? If only? Shoulda? Come on. Let's get ready at all ten schools and do the job. Go BIg Ten. Go Blue. (Couldn't stop. Sorry. Well, sorta.) lol


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

The OSU, there are 10 B1G teams going to bowl games, not 6. Good comments on # 1 and # 2 ... # 3 not so much. Yeah, 6-6 and loser of The Game OSU should be rated above 10-2 UM.


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 6:33 a.m.

A nice Buckeye. Wow now I've seen everything.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

Thanks for your first two comments. Most of the third was OK excpet for one sentence about ranking the Buckeyes higher. That was true one year ago.

1st Down

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

point whatever


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

Amen ... let's hope the Big 10 shows well in all the games. That's why I assert MSU's draw of Georgia has a higher prestige level than Michigan's draw of VT. Set the issue of money or the label "BCS" aside ... an MSU thumping of Georgia will send more of a message than Michigan thumping VT.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

A few that I found interesting were Nick Saban, Les Miles and Bret Bellema, all of whom picked U-M in the Top Ten. The Wisconsin coach picked U-M #9 and MSU #15. What's up with that? MSU beat them once and played them real close the other night so I wouldn't have expected that. It's nice to get respect from coaches whose teams are ranked so high in the polls.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 5:42 p.m.

Rocky Long obviously has a bone to pick with Hoke. Not sure why. Thanks, Les. And BTW, that picture of Hoke and Dantonio makes me squirm. They're a little bit too close to each other for my comfort.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 6:16 p.m.

That's Hoke ... he's just that way. It may make *us* squirm, but my sense is players and recruits come to appreciate the genuineness of Hoke and his affection for the players. That's what you heard from David Molk recently when he described how much he cared for Hoke and how he (Molk) would "do anything for him."


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

I don't think it is right to be able to vote for your own team. Surprised about Rocky Long, but maybe he views Michigan's shut out as a fluke. Les Miles showing some love. I imagine that Dantonio will use Hoke's vote for future motivation.

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 5:28 p.m.

Doesn't matter what Rocky Long voted. Michigan is where they are, and his vote didn't make the slightest difference.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

Actually, it DID "make the slightest difference." As did each of the individual votes. That's what voting is.

Lorain Steelmen

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 5 p.m.

I'm obviously disappointed in Rocky Long's vote Does anyone know where Brian Kelly ranked the the two teams, UM/MSU, ditto Luke Fickel. I would find those two VERY interesting.....


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

What the heck is Rocky Long's problem? Was there bad blood between him and Hoke?

1st Down

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

what was funny was those signs/placecard photos of the staff that left for Michigan, that SDSU held up during the game to send signals to their defense...


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

I'm guessing he had an assistant or GA do the voting which shows how ridiculous the poll can be to begin with.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

Obviously Rocky knows Hoke and his team a little better than most.