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Blog Entry

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1

Posted on: February 11, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 5:47 pm
 
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Each year, preseason magazine guru Phil Steele releases what he expects to be the preseason AP top 10 come August. And so even though it's mid-February (or rather, because it's mid-February, and what else is a college football diehard going to talk about?), it's already time for the 2011 version, now available here .

The headline? Steele expects Oklahoma to open next season at No. 1 after the Sooners thumped UConn in the Fiesta Bowl and saw Ryan Broyles elect to return for his senior season. He writes (in his usual unique fashion):
This year OU will be ranked #1 in the pre-season by nearly everyone as they return 15 starters on off/def including QB [Landry] Jones, WR Broyles and LB [Travis] Lewis. Their schedule sets up nicely with a bye before their road trip to Florida State (a team they dominated [last year] 47-17). In Big 12 play naturally there is the Red River Rivalry game vs Texas who is coming off a 5-7 season and the only other huge hurdle could be the season finale at Oklahoma State but the Sooners have won the Bedlam rivalry 8 straight times and have an overall mark of 82-16-7 vs their in-state rivals. With their key returning starters back and a favorable schedule, the Sooners should get the nod as the Preseason AP #1 team!
Following the Sooners are No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 7 Boise State, No. 8 Florida State, No. 9 Oklahoma State, and No. 10 South Carolina.

If Steele is accurate (and he predicted nine of 10 each of the past two seasons), that will be as about an outsider-dominated preseason top 10 as you could imagine, a fitting follow to a season that saw the lowest-ranked preseason team ever (Auburn) make the BCS title game. Sure, there's the Sooners, Tide, and LSU, but it's only been recently that teams like the Ducks and Broncos have become top-10 institutions, it's been years since Florida State or Texas A&M enjoyed that much hype, and it's more-or-less uncharted territory for the Cowboys, Cardinal, and Gamecocks.

Unfortunately, for the Cowboys, Cardinal, and Gamecocks, those kinds of expectations don't always pan out; just ask the Cowboys from two years ago, when the most heavily-hyped team in school history went a ho-hum 9-4, lost 27-0 to the Sooners, and fell to Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl. For their sakes, the fans at those three schools (not to mention A&M, which, seriously, hasn't seen these kind of expectations in a while ) had maybe better hope Steele's got this one wrong.
Comments

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:07 pm
 

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1

Schedule will be fine, Texas will be in top 15, which by the way is 100 times tougher than Aggy in Norman, Tech will probably be ranked, Mizzou will be somewhere around top 15, and they will get a massive bump IF they win @ FSU.  Possibility that they will play several ranked teams.  Now that's not to say they will be tough games, especially at home, but they will look good to the computers.   It is a bit off to say Aggy at home is big but leave out the rrs, Texas may not be all the way back but they are still Texas.  I didn't even mention the Bedlam game, there is a possibility that they will bookend their season with games against top five teams win those games and nobody will argue them playing for all the marbles. 



Since: Oct 17, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2011 5:45 pm
 

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1

However, I will say the Sooners path got a lot easier without Nebraska or a Big 12 Championship Game to play.
  Didnt seem to be a problem last year. Although it does make it easier but getting past Nebraska hasnt been to much of a problem lately.



Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1

BOOMER SOONER!



Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2011 12:49 pm
 

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1




Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1

This is like deja vu all over again. I am pretty sure "expert" Phil Steele picked Oklahoma #1 last season as well.
However, I will say the Sooners path got a lot easier without Nebraska or a Big 12 Championship Game to play. They basically have a three game season with an early test at Florida State, a home game with Texas A&M and an away game at Oklahoma State. Beyond that Oklahoma has a pretty weak schedule. That might hurt them.



Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2011 11:32 am
 

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1

Preseason and early-season polls are the problem with college football.  At least official ones.  They become self-fufilling prophecies of epic proportions.  I have no problems with fans and writers ranking teams for the sake of discussion and fun, but IMO no polls that have an actual bearling on the BCS should be released until at least week 4 or 5.



Since: Jun 27, 2007
Posted on: February 12, 2011 9:50 am
 

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1

Isn't that the idea? To come up with a preseason top 10 list that will be accurate...I'd say. No long shot needed for it to be a realistic list.



Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2011 9:25 am
 

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1

This is a rather ho-hum list from Steele.  Usually he has at least one long shot in his Top 10, but this list is pretty standard.  The only surprise I see is South Carolina at #10, and the absence of any Big 10 team.  Other than that, this is a pretty run of the mill type Top 10 list.


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