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Sooners In Prime Position After Initial Coaches Poll Release

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The Sooners are the only college football team in the last twelve years to be in the top 10 of every preseason poll.

US PRESSWIRE

Expectations couldn't be lower for Oklahoma this season...well actually they could but work with me on this. The Sooners have been among the top of the college football elite for the last dozen preseasons or so. However, in today's release of the initial 2013 USA Today Coaches Poll Oklahoma is not found in the top ten. You'd have to look all the way down to #16 (two spots below O-State at #14 and one spot below Texas #15).

Big 12 Schools In The Initial USA Today Coaches Poll

OSU #14
Texas #15
OU #16
TCU #20

Oklahoma hasn't been ranked this low in the preseason since 2000 and we all know how that season turned out. Truth is, there's a lot of mystery surrounding the 2013 Sooners. We all assume that Blake Bell will take the reigns at quarterback but if you can peg the starting defensive line, linebackers and secondary then I'll give you some mad props.

For a program that consistently lives under the pressure of high expectations (occasionally unrealistically high) the 2013 Sooner team appears to be entering the season without one major piece of baggage...pressure. There's no target on their backs, they're not picked to win the conference championship, and the role of the underdog is in full effect. This is where Bob Stoops has been at his best previously.

Will the Sooners will it all in 2013? Its highly unlikely, but with low expectations going into the season they are primed to achieve a lot more than most think they can. Now...about that defensive line.

Notes

* TCU is the only other Big 12 school in the Top 25 (#20) meaning that the defending champs, K-State, are left from the poll.

* With Alabama in the top spot, the SEC comprises of 50% of the Top 10.

* The Sooners are one spot lower than the final coaches poll of the 2012 season.

* After having five teams ranked in the Top 10, LSU (#13) is the only SEC school not in the Top 10

* Seven teams appear in the initial coaches poll that were unranked at the end of last season. The highest of those is Ohio State at #2

RANK TEAM RECORD POINTS FIRST PLACE VOTES PREVIOUS RANK
1 Alabama 13-1 1545 58 1
2 Ohio St. 12-0 1427 3 NR
3 Oregon 12-1 1397 0 2
4 Stanford 12-2 1262 0 6
5 Georgia 12-2 1250 0 4
6 Texas A&M 11-2 1215 1 5
7 South Carolina 11-2 1136 0 7
8 Clemson 11-2 1047 0 9
9 Louisville 11-2 1010 0 13
10 Florida 11-2 930 0 10
11 Notre Dame 12-1 872 0 3
12 Florida St. 12-2 844 0 8
13 LSU 10-3 797 0 12
14 Oklahoma St. 8-5 726 0 NR
15 Texas 9-4 622 0 18
16 Oklahoma 10-3 620 0 15
17 Michigan 8-5 589 0 NR
18 Nebraska 10-4 426 0 23
19 Boise St. 11-2 420 0 14
20 TCU 7-6 400 0 NR
21 UCLA 9-5 202 0 NR
22 Northwestern 10-3 186 0 16
23 Wisconsin 8-0 172 0 NR
24 USC 7-6 165 0 NR
25 Oregon St. 9-4 135 0 19
Schools Dropped Out
No. 11 Kansas State (11-2), No. 17 Utah State (11-2), No. 20 Vanderbilt (9-4), No. 21 San Jose State (11-2), No. 22 Cincinnati (10-3), No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-2), No. 25 Tulsa (11-3).
Others Receiving Votes
Kansas State (11-2) 113; Miami (Fla.) 101; Michigan State 89; Baylor 80; Virginia Tech 65; Fresno State 62; Arizona State 51; Mississippi 32; Vanderbilt (9-4) 29; Utah State (11-2) 23; Brigham Young 20; North Carolina 19; Northern Illinois (12-2) 19; Tulsa (11-3) 9; Ohio 8; San Jose State (11-2) 8; Arizona 5; Cincinnati (10-3) 3; East Carolina 3; Kent State 3; Mississippi State 3; Washington 3; Central Florida 2; Arkansas 1; Arkansas State 1; Rutgers 1; Tennessee 1; Toledo 1.