Six Big Ten coaches participated in the poll this season: Wisconsin's Bret Bielema, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, former Indiana boss Bill Lynch, Michigan's Rich Rodriguez, Ohio State's Jim Tressel and Illinois' Ron Zook.
Only four coaches didn't have Stanford in their top 6, and three of those coaches hail from the Big Ten (Bielema, Dantonio and Zook; Middle Tennessee's Rick Stockstill was the other).
Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh returned the favor by ranking no Big Ten teams in his top 6. Harbaugh had Ohio State at No. 7, Wisconsin at No. 8 and Michigan State at No. 10. Zing! If this guy ever gets in this league, there will be some fireworks.
Michigan State's lowest vote didn't come from Harbaugh, but rather Nebraska's Bo Pelini, who listed the Spartans at No. 11, three spots below his 3-loss Huskers. The Spartans and Huskers, by the way, will be in the same division beginning in 2011.
Zook was one of five coaches who ranked Wisconsin at No. 3 (the Badgers received no votes for No. 1 or No. 2). Zook also gave TCU its lowest vote (No. 6) of any coach.
Dantonio gave his Spartans their highest vote (No. 4) of any coach. Zook was the only other coach to have Michigan State in the top 5.
Is anyone else surprised to see Tressel rank Michigan State at No. 7, below Stanford? Tressel is tight with Dantonio, but he didn't let his loyalty get in the way of his voting. That's refreshing to see.
Only three coaches ranked Ohio State outside the top 6: Harbaugh, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly and Iowa State's Paul Rhoads.