Blog Entry

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:41 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Just as predicted by numbers guru Phil Steele back in February, Oklahoma will begin the 2011 season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Sooners grabbed 42 of a possible 59 first-place votes in the coaches' preseason ballot, released Thursday morning, but still hold just a 40-point lead over second-place Alabama. The Tide took 13 first-place votes, with the remaining four split evenly between No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 LSU (who just so happen to be playing in Dallas on the season's opening Saturday). Florida State rounds out the top five, further cementing Jimbo Fisher's program as the new ACC favorites. (Virginia Tech is the next-highest ACC team at No. 13.)

Conference-by-conference, the poll features eight teams from the SEC, five from the Big Ten, five from the Big 12, two each from the Pac-12, ACC and Mountain West, and one independent in Notre Dame. The Big East went unrepresented in the top 25, with West Virginia finishing "No. 27" as part of the "Also Receiving Votes" category.

Some immediate reaction:
  • When it comes to getting the benefit of the doubt, it still pays to be the biggest-name program possible. Georgia, Florida, Texas and Penn State combined for a whopping 25 losses last year, but all four still find their way into the preseason ballot as teams Nos. 21-25.
  • Despite the SEC's lofty reputation, it's the Big 12 with the top billing in the top 10. In addition to Oklahoma edging the Tide for top spot, both Oklahoma State and Texas A&M squeeze into the top 10 while only LSU joins Alabama from the SEC. The Cowboys and Aggies will have a lot to prove, as recent Big 12 dark horses like Nebraska last season and the '09 Cowboys have failed to live up to their preseason ranking.
  • Ohio State's off-season turmoil has left Wisconsin and those same Cornhuskers as the only Big Ten teams in the top 15 of the poll. Given the league's apparent parity -- the Huskers were recently named the league favorite despite coaching turnover and major losses on defense -- even that may be generous.
  • The top two teams in the final poll of 2010 slid a combined 31 spots, with national champion Auburn coming in No. 19 and No. 2 TCU checking in at No. 15. Auburn may be ranked entirely too low if you subscribe to the "champions until they lose" doctrine, and entirely too high if you believe the combination of a brutal schedule and extremely young roster will result in a struggle to even make the top 25. Which means they're probably ranked about right for a poll like this.
  • With USC ineligible and Arizona State and Utah each finishing in the "Also Receiving Votes" category, no team from the new Pac-12 South was included. Guess the "Sun Devils = divisional favorite" offseason chatter didn't mean a whole lot to the voters, just as West Virginia's status as the presumptive Big East favorite didn't. But should it really have meant less than Penn State's expected running-in-place season after a 7-6 season a year ago?
  • For that reason, this blogger will go with the Nittany Lions as the poll's most overrated team, and a tie between Nos. 13 and 14 -- Virginia Tech and loaded Arkansas -- as the poll's most underrated.


Since: Jan 26, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2011 8:57 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

Oklahoma has an easy schedule and no Big 12 Championship. Should their ranking really be about their easy schedule?

Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 7:39 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

Here is an example:  2003  LSU vs. Oklahoma and not LSU vs USC    

Since: Aug 20, 2009
Posted on: August 5, 2011 5:17 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

Chokelahoma n Bama are clear cut Favs!!  If you wanna find out, watch the season.....No Playoffs, Long live the BCS......

Since: Sep 21, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2011 4:30 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

Loving the hate fest on the sooners. Love the same old remarks too. Chokelahoma. Uconn wasn't a worthy win. Plays nobody. I especially love it from Bama fan (OU won the conference last year, how did u do, fair well in that bcs game? Oh, and what was that record?). Or Osu fan (how was the fiesta bowl last year, oh right, you lost in Stillwater....again. Pheonex was georgeous just in case you were wondering, and I am sure your curious considering your team has NEVER been there in January) I would figure to see a Boise fan in the mix but I guess I haven't scrolled down far enough. Oh, and I love the ohio st fan calling for a playoff game against an sec foe, because we all know how those games go. Hate all you want guys, I love listening. Me personally though, I don't care about the first poll, I care about the last.

Since: Aug 20, 2009
Posted on: August 5, 2011 4:20 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

Give me an example, when the 2 bests teams did'nt play under BCS rules?  and don't say Boise St.!

Since: Apr 9, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 3:57 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

It must be a slow time of the year, they are talking about who is #1 and yet their own precious BCS poll is 2 months away from coming out. Why then go through this nonsense of who is #1 if you wont change the poor excuse for a football system. Why dont you talk about the BCS as the most crooked, overrated, flawed system EVER.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:19 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

Of course Penn State is overrated and that Arizona State should have been in the top 25 but that's only on run down USA Today not the other ones.

Since: Jul 4, 2011
Posted on: August 5, 2011 1:00 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

As long as Oklahoma fans don't go bragging about their preseason number 1 ranking in any Applebees.  Hate to see anyone get stabbed. 

Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:51 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

to thechamp22:   IMAGINE THAT, an OSU fan whose team has never made it to a BCS bowl or even won the Big 12 Conference talking trash about the school that has an 82-16-7 record against you. By the way, Oklahoma went 12-2 last year, including beating you, yet again.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:42 am

Oklahoma tops preseason Coaches Poll

You gotta love the Cheatin Ducks ranked #3 in the nation.  I guess Nike has told the NCAA not to sanction the ugly green or they will pull their sponsorship dollars.  Nice power move by the swoosh.

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