Phil Steele's top 25 was released today in the advanced copy of his annual college football preview magazine. His choice for the No. 1 team in the country is sure to send shock waves throughout the country.
His choice? The Oklahoma Sooners.
I personally was a little taken aback when I heard the news. Even as a very devout Sooner fan and student, I would never have imagined that anyone would rank the Sooners No. 1 going into the 2010 season.
There is plenty of reason to be high on Oklahoma. Many key pieces of the offense return, including quarterback Landry Jones, running back DeMarco Murray, and wide receiver Ryan Broyles.
The Sooners also have a much stronger offensive line than a year ago. After shuffling many different players in and out of the starting lineup last year in an effort to form some sort of cohesive unit, the Sooners have a lot of game experience and will be much better as a whole in 2010.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Sooners return defensive ends Jeremy Beal and Frank Alexander, as well as linebacker Travis Lewis, and a slew of young talent in the secondary surrounding senior safety Quinton Carter.
However, is that enough to put the Sooners at the top of the rankings after an 8-5 year?
Logically, it does make a bit of sense to be high on the Sooners. There is a lot of talent there and let's be honest, expectations are always extremely high in Norman.
It's not wrong to think that Oklahoma could be back in the national title picture one year after a mediocre season.
However, there are several teams that have a lot more returning who accomplished a lot more than Oklahoma did in 2009. Teams like Alabama, Ohio State, Boise State, TCU, and Big 12 foes Texas and Nebraska, just to name a few.
I feel that preseason polls do not tell us anything about how the season could turn out and actually, they don't serve a great purpose.
If things could be discerned purely on paper, there would be no need to play games.
That's not the way things work, though, and that's why they play the games...to determine the best team in college football.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and obviously Steele has researched and feels this way.
I say hold your horses and let's see how things play out. There are too many questions, though they be few, about this team to give it such a lofty honor of being the best team coming into the season.
So is this a logical pick? I think so. Is it the right pick? I don't think so.