This is weird.
Bret Bielema is a voter in the Coaches Top 25 Poll. The final ballots for all the coaches are released to the public. Bret Bielema did not include Virginia Tech, Arkansas’ opponent in the Belk Bowl, in his final ballot. You can view Bielema’s ballot by going here and clicking on his name.
Bielema was asked about this at his press conference Sunday night, shortly after finding out the Hokies would be Arkansas’ opponent in a few weeks, and apparently was surprised to find out they were not on his ballot. Arkansas issued this apology in a press release Sunday night:
“When submitting Head Football Coach Bret Bielema’s top 25 poll this morning, our Communications Director inadvertently omitted Virginia Tech from Coach Bielema’s ballot. After watching last night's ACC Championship Game, Coach Bielema indicated he wanted to move Virginia Tech up from its No. 17 position in the poll he submitted last week into the top 15 this week. Neither our Communications Director or Coach Bielema were aware of the oversight until tonight’s press conference. Coach Bielema takes great pride in being part of the coaches’ poll and thoroughly goes over the national results every week before developing his vote. The Arkansas Razorbacks sincerely apologize to the Virginia Tech football program and the coaches’ poll for the mistake in submitting that vote this week."
So Bielema wanted to move the Hokies into the Top 15 after narrowly losing to Clemson. Fine. But is this really necessary? Is it really worth an apology? Apparently so.
A funny thing about this is that Bielema finished his ballot by putting 7-5 Kentucky at #24 and Bob Petrino’s Louisville at #25. Bielema is the only coach in the country to include UK on their ballot (even Bob Stoops, whose brother is the head coach at UK, didn’t include the Wildcats). So is Bielema suggesting leaving Louisville completely out? That would be kinda funny.
It’s sort of surprising that if Bielema was going to include a 7-5 SEC team, he might include his own, but whatever.
Virginia Tech ended up 19th in the coaches poll and 22nd in the committee rankings.