The first round of the new head coach poll round-robin contestish-thingamaboby is over, and we have two candidates ready for the next round. (Voting is still ongoing for the final matchup in the first round, so second round voting for the other two will begin later today.) Here are the candidates, along with the usual Wiki links:
Some very quick observations:
Mike Leach beat out Lane Kiffin, Will Muschamp and Steve Sarkisian in the first matchup with over 500 total votes cast. There were some definite differences of opinion on these characters, as 3 out of the 4 are among the more heavily discussed names (Sarkisian being the odd man out). Leach's "victory" was beyond the margin of error, but that does get sketchier when you start comparing more than 2 options. But all in all, head coaching experience seemed to win out in this group, with Leach and Kiffin placing #1 and #2. This seems to jive with early speculation that the next coach will have head coaching experience, but that still falls under speculation.
Chris Petersen won over Brian Kelly, Gary Patterson and Skip Holtz, again beyond the margin of error. This one intrigued me in particular because Petersen's name hasn't received as much mention as others, including Kelly. But his bowl win over Oklahoma and sustained success seemed to have resonated among the voters. Graysnail is undoubtedly a little disappointed that Kelly didn't win despite his campaigning, but the 'Snail can take comfort knowing that our voting has a value somewhere between nothing and zero with regards to the coaching search.
So with that, let's vote! This poll will close at noon Eastern on Monday.