TCU was slighted by the BCS computers but human voters also helped prevent the Horned Frogs from earning their third consecutive BCS bowl berth.
Some coaches ranked TCU particularly low, including LSU's Les Miles, who voted the Frogs (10-2) No. 21 in Sunday's USA Today coaches' poll, which accounts for one-third of the BCS formula. Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora, who lost to Marshall and Alabama-Birmingham but demolished Houston in the Conference USA championship, voted his team 16th and TCU 20th. Even more curious is Boise State's Chris Petersen, who lost at home to TCU 36-35 on Nov. 12. He put the Frogs 18th, while ranking his Broncos fifth. Four coaches -- Skip Holtz (South Florida), Larry Porter (Memphis), Jeff Quinn (Buffalo) and Bob Stoops (Oklahoma) -- all had TCU at No. 19.
TCU coach Gary Patterson was most annoyed with Petersen's vote. Petersen was arguably doing what every other coach does in the poll: trying to help his team's cause in the BCS sweepstakes. But the idea that Petersen doesn't think TCU deserves to be ranked higher than 18th despite two early losses mystifies folks around TCU, especially Patterson.
"I'm more disturbed by Petersen voting us 18th when we beat him at home," Patterson said. "And defensively we didn't even play that well. You're not supposed to show bias."
But Petersen was honest about why and where he voted for teams Monday. He told the Idaho Statesman that he hadn't looked at how other coaches had voted.
"I know how I voted and I know what I'm trying to do, which is make the best case for Boise State to get in there," said Petersen, whose Broncos finished eighth in the final BCS standings, one of four top 10 teams shut out of BCS bowls. "So I probably shouldn't be a voter.
"Why are we even voting if they're all left out of games like that? It doesn't make any sense... I don't know who it makes sense to. I haven't heard anybody say, 'This is pretty good.' Everybody goes, 'This is really bad.' "
In 2009, the last year Patterson voted in the coaches' poll, TCU and Boise State were in the top 10 and among five undefeated teams trying to earn a BCS title berth. Patterson voted his Frogs No. 2 (behind Alabama) and the Broncos No. 5. Petersen voted TCU at No. 3 and his own team No. 4. They ended up pitted in the Fiesta Bowl, the first BCS game featuring two non-automatic qualifying teams.
Ten coaches ranked TCU 17th, the second-most common placement behind No. 15 on the 59 ballots. TCU moved up two spots to No. 15 in the coaches' poll, but remained 18th in the final BCS standings. The Frogs would have earned an automatic BCS berth if they had finished in the top 16.