Putting a rubber stamp to Alabama’s Monday night domination, the final release of the USA Today coaches’ poll saw the Tide sitting atop the 2011 college football mountain at No. 1. It also saw some history-making conference company for the team from Tuscaloosa.
The SEC had three teams in the Top Five of the last poll: in addition to the Tide, title-game runner-up LSU was No. 2 and Arkansas came in at No. 5. It marks the first time three teams from the same conference had occupied such lofty positions in the coaches’ poll.
Not only that, but the SEC had four in the Top 10 — South Carolina at No. 8 — and five in the Top 25 — Georgia at No. 20.
The Big Ten and the Big 12 were amply represented as well with four each in the final release for the 2011 season — Michigan (No. 9), Michigan State (No. 10), Wisconsin (No. 11) and Nebraska (No. 24) for the former conference, and Oklahoma State (No. 3), Baylor (No. 12), Oklahoma (No. 15) and Kansas State (No. 16) for the latter.
The ACC had three teams in the Top 25, although none higher than Virginia Tech at No. 17. Conversely, the Pac-12 had just two ranked teams but both were inside the Top 10 — Oregon at No. 4, Stanford at No. 7. In fairness, USC was ineligible for the coaches’ poll, or else there would’ve been three teams from the Left Coast conference inside the Top 10.
The Big East, Mountain West and Conference USA each had two ranked teams as well.
Penn State (then-No. 23) was the only team to fall out of the rankings, replaced by independent BYU (No. 25).