OKLAHOMA CITY— The Oklahoma Sooners are the preseason favorite in the Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll released Thursday.
Oklahoma received 42 of the possible 59 first place votes from head coaches at subdivision schools across the country making them the nation's overwhelming favorite.
"It's an honor to be ranked No. 1 any time, but we understand that the preseason ranking means very little compared with what it will mean months from now," said OU head coach Bob Stoops.
The Sooners went 12-2 last season and finished with a No. 6 ranking at the end of 2010.
Meanwhile the Oklahoma State Cowboys came in at No. 8 on the preseason list. OSU's ranking is the second highest for a Big 12 school listed.
A total of five Big 12 schools made the list including Texas A&M at No. 9, Missouri at No. 21 and Texas at No. 24.
OU's second opponent of the season this year, the Florida State Seminoles, are the highest ranked opponent the Sooners will face according the newly released poll. Florida State is ranked No. 5 heading into the season.
"Like a lot of other teams, we face the challenge of preparing for a difficult schedule," said Stoops. "Our aspirations are clear in that we want to compete for the national championship, and we're flattered to be considered by others as a program that has an opportunity to reach that goal."
The Sooners travel to Tallahassee on Sept. 17 to face the Seminoles for an early season matchup between top five teams.
The other 17 first place votes were split between Alabama, Oregon and LSU.
Bob Stoops was one of the 59 coaches on the 2011 coaches board as well as Missouri's Gary Pinkel, Baylor's Art Briles and Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville.
Aug. 4, 2011 USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll:
1. Oklahoma (42)
2. Alabama (13)
3. Oregon (2)
4. LSU (2)
5. Florida State
7. Boise State
8. Oklahoma State
9. Texas A&M
12. South Carolina
13. Virginia Tech
16. Ohio State
17. Michigan State
18. Notre Dame
20. Mississippi State
25. Penn State