Mike Smith of the Falcons has been named the Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, beating Miami‘s Tony Sparano by one vote. Smith took over Atlanta after a tumultuous 2007 season that included the incarceration of former franchise quarterback Michael Vick and the mid-year defection of coach Bobby Petrino, and led them into the playoffs with a rookie playing behind center – an accomplishment that deserves plenty of kudos. Of course, what Sparano did was no mean feat either – he took a team that finished 1-15, installed a completely new offense with a new quarterback, and went 11-5 and won the highly competitive AFC East. At least one voter couldn’t choose between the two coaches at all, and split his vote to give Smith 23 1/2 total and Sparano 22 1/2. And what of Vikings head coach Brad Childress who improved the team by two games over 2007 and got them into their first playoffs since 2004? Not a single vote. Not even half a vote. The only coaches who got votes besides Smith and Sparano were Jeff Fisher and Bill Belichick. Maybe the national media also think the Vikings made it to 10-6 in spite of Chilly more than because of him?