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Oklahoma Sooners Football Labeled 2014's Best In The Land By Sporting News

Andy Lyons

The 2014 preseason rankings are all over the map when it comes to the Oklahoma Sooners. After finding success in what many labeled a "rebuilding year," the stock continues to rise for Bob Stoops and his crew. In the upcoming publication of the Sporting News College Football magazine, OU finds themselves as the top dog ahead of programs like Florida St., Oregon, and Alabama.

Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World poses the question as to why Oklahoma is poised to be the nation's best team. In response, Matt Hayes of Sporting News had this to say:

"...quality on both lines of scrimmage, as well as strong skill players and a schedule that includes big games at home gave OU the edge. [The Sooners also have] a quarterback (Trevor Knight) who looks confident and ready to have a breakout season. Also, I think that Bama win gave the program a shot of swagger it lacked in the last few years."

While the magazine clearly contradicts their Sporting News website rankings, there may be an explanation...

"This was one of the most difficult years to forecast a Top 10 because there's truly not a lot of separation among them. A team like Ohio State, that we had ranked No. 9, could have easily been much higher. So much depends on how each team's schedule sets up." - Scott Smith | Sporting News Yearbooks editor via Tulsa World

Regardless of the ranking, one thing is for sure...the nation is vying for one of four spots in a playoff. Can Oklahoma continue to perform at a high level in order to earn a spot in the aforementioned playoff? Only time will tell.