Oklahoma Football: Ignorant Critics, Sooners Deserve Their No. 8 Ranking

Luke McConnellCorrespondent IAugust 8, 2010

The 2010 preseason coaches poll was released on Friday, and honestly, I thought there were very few problems with the way the poll had shaken out.  

Boise State definitely deserves a top three ranking, Georgia and Florida State don't deserve rankings at all, and a couple of other teams need to be shifted around. Besides that, I thought it looked like a solid poll.  

One problem I certainly didn't have was a No. 8 ranking for the Oklahoma Sooners. After an offseason where the Sooners were ranked anywhere from No. 12 to No. 1, the coaches' ranking seemed quite reasonable.  

It appears that I am one of the only ones who feels as such, at least on this website.  

Two articles in particular caught my attention on calling out the fact that Oklahoma at No. 8 was overrated.  

The first one said that Oklahoma was the number one overrated team in the poll based SOLELY on the fact that they didn't defeat Texas last year and have lost three of four to the Longhorns.  


Can someone please tell me how the success of Texas last year has anything to do with the potential success of Oklahoma this year?  

Anyone?  Anyone?  


They don't have anything to do with them.  Sure, the path to the Big 12 South title is going to go through the Cotton Bowl on October 2nd this year, but that doesn't mean that Oklahoma can't be ranked high in the polls.

Oh and Texas is at No. 4, four spots ahead of the Sooners.  Isn't that what the author was trying to illustrate anyway?

The second article at least listed some different, more plausible, but still faulty reasons for why Oklahoma was overrated.  

The first reason was simply the fact that there is a lot of love for Oklahoma amongst the coaches.  

That is the case with any team that is good year in and year out.  I mean, look at Florida.  They are ranked No. 3 without Tim Tebow.  This article did point that out as well, so kudos there.

However, coaches and media both tend to lean a little bit on the side of history when things are up in the air on where to rank teams.  If the team has been perpetually good in the past, chances are they will get a higher ranking than a team who has not had as much success.

Living in Texas the past six years has opened my eyes to the world and obsession of Texas high school football.  This principle of reputation really holds true there.  I remember one year, Highland Park was ranked in the top 10 despite only having ONE returning starter.


Reputation goes a long way in these polls, more than you would probably think.  

The other reason was losing Sam Bradford.  

I don't know if you watched football last season, but Oklahoma played all of one game, one half and 3 minutes with Sam Bradford as the starting quarterback.  

And don't forget that tight end Jermaine Gresham didn't even play that much last year. Losing players to the draft is not a reason why OU should be ranked lower.

So having dispelled those reasons, let's look at why OU SHOULD be ranked eighth.  

It's more of a hope than anything, but there is just no way that Oklahoma can suffer the amount of injuries again like they did in 2010.  But that's just something to keep your fingers crossed on in reality.  

Second, Landry Jones is not an inexperienced quarterback.  Jones was the guy in 2009 when he filled in for Sam Bradford and so he has plenty of game experience.

That experience has also helped him figure out what he has needed to do in the offseason to get better and all reports from coaches, players, and Jones himself have said that he has improved by leaps and bounds, both as a player and as a leader.

Third, while the OU defense lost several key cogs from their stellar 2009 defense, they have plenty of talented players ready to step into starting roles that have been vacated.


It's interesting; Oklahoma has to replace some talent and everyone worries.  Texas has to replace some players and people just shrug and say, "They'll be fine.  They're Texas."  (Note: This has merely been my observation from the many articles I have read over the offseason.)    

Well, news flash people.  Oklahoma is Oklahoma and the players they recruit aren't exactly chopped liver.  There is more than enough talent to replace the players who have left.  

Oklahoma has more than enough talent to be among the elite teams in the country and on the short list of teams competing for a national title.  A lot has to happen for them to be in position to win championships though.

Players have to step up and stay healthy.  However if that happens, good things are going to happen in Norman.

I'd definitely say that Oklahoma is deserving of a No. 8 preseason ranking.  

Could be a lot higher by the end of the year too.