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The Fisher Files On Exceeding Expectations

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College football released its annual preseason coaches' poll Thursday.  I think OU and OSU are both in a good spot. 

The Sooners are No. 19 in the opening coaches' poll, and the Cowboys are not in the top 25 (they'd be No. 28 if the poll extended that far).  OU doesn't need the heavy weight of a high ranking to start the year.  The Sooners have some good players, but they are not among college football's elite.  In 2011, OU was No. 1 in all the preseason polls and wound up finishing No. 15 in the coaches' poll, and No. 16 in the AP.  I remember that season well, because it was my first year in Oklahoma.  OU was good, but not great.  Sooners weren't even the best team in their own conference.

OSU was the class of the Big 12 that season.  The Cowboys began 2011 No. 8 in the coaches' poll, and No. 9 in the AP.  They were loaded, and should have played for the national title.  Before the season, not many gave them a chance to end up where they did (within an eyelash of playing LSU for all the marbles).

It seems easier to start out under the radar and work your way up.  Exceeding expectations is easier than meeting lofty ones.  The Sooners and Cowboys have an opportunity to build and grow early, without a bullseye on their backs. 

Both OU and OSU have a big opportunity.  If they win the games they're supposed to win, and maybe pull off a surprise or two, there could be a lot more riding on Bedlam in Stillwater on Nov. 28 than there appears to be right now.

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