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The Dean's List On Preseason Rankings

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SOONERS STRONG IN RANKINGS UNDER STOOPS

Following the first year of the Bob Stoops era, the Sooners stamped themselves as a program to be reckoned with – one that would ultimately be voted the best in the nation from 2000-2010.

Today, the coaches voted Oklahoma No. 19 in the preseason rankings. The last time OU was ranked that low was before the 2000 season when they were Preseason No. 19 and won the national championship. If you’re into such things, perhaps 19 – one of my favorite numbers because it was worn by one of my childhood heroes, Lance ‘Bambi’ Alworth, who played at Arkansas and with the San Diego Chargers in those baby blue uniforms – will be a good luck charm for the Sooners. However, it’s safe to say teams that are ranked No. 1, 2 or 3 win a lot more titles than teams that start out No. 19.

Oklahoma has been ranked in the Top 25 every year of the Stoops era except his first season in 1999.

Before today, the only times OU was ranked in double-digits (No. 10 or worse) was 2000 (No. 19), 2006 (No. 10), and 2013 (No. 16).

The strongest five-year run of preseason rankings came following the 2000 national title. Beginning in 2001, OU’s preseason ranking by Associated Press was No. 3, 2, 1, 2, 7. Even though those were successful seasons, each of those seasons OU finished the season ranked lower in the final poll than in the preseason: Beginning in 2001 they finished No. 6, 5, 3, 3 and 22.

Beginning in 2000, OU was a preseason top 10 selection 13 out of 16 years, and top five in nine out of 16 seasons.

OU was Preseason No. 1 in 2003 and 2011. They finished those seasons ranked No. 3 and 16, respectively.

GUNDY HAS COWBOYS IN UNCHARTED TERRITORY   

While Cowboy Nation has a right to be optimistic about the future, most of the football record books don’t list them with the top teams of the past 15 years and frankly, before the Les Miles/Mike Gundy run, it was leaner still. However, as the following info will testify, things are heading in the right direction.

Except for the 2003 season when OSU was ranked before and after the season at No. 24, the Cowboys were unranked in the preseason and postseason in the time span we reviewed from 2000-2008. They broke into the rankings in 2008 going from unranked in the preseason to No. 16 in the final poll.

OSU has been ranked five times in the preseason since 2000: 2003 (No. 24), 2009 (No. 9), 2011 (No. 9), 2012 (No. 19), and 2013 (No. 13).

OSU has been ranked in the final rankings four times since 2000: 2008 (No. 16), 2010 (No. 13), 2011 (No. 3), and 2013 (No. 17).

TIME FOR A GOOD SURPRISE

So it’s time for some good news! I don’t know if OU has the hosses or can get the QB play to reach the heights where their forefathers regularly sat perched. But you never know. And I don’t know if OSU is good enough to take advantage of a good-schedule season, but we’re about to find out.

I sure hope so, because 2014 was an ugly year for football in this state. And looking back, it set the tone for the worst Thunder season since our OKC Thumpers began being taken seriously.

Go, fight, win! Or don’t come back!

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