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Sooners Ranked Number 2 In Week 14 AP Poll

Oklahoma finds itself behind Clemson by a narrow margin entering championship weekend.

Getty Images - Richard Rodriguez

Oklahoma entered the weekend at number three in the AP rankings, but they only climbed to number 2 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 Poll despite the top two teams in the country going down. The Clemson Tigers managed to jump the Sooners after their 34-10 road win over rival South Carolina. The vote was extremely close however as the Tigers received 27 first place votes against 24 for the Sooners. Wisconsin was named to number three, after receiving 10 first place votes, followed by Auburn and Alabama. TCU still sits at number 10 and was jumped by Penn State this week after they trounced a bad and beat up Maryland squad. Oklahoma State is the only other Big 12 team in the rankings at number 18. Kansas State and Iowa State each received a vote as well.

The Clemson or Oklahoma for best team debate is very interesting. A reasonable argument can be made for either team as the best, which explains why the vote was so close. The AP Poll rankings for one and two match the Strength of Record (SOR)rankings, and Clemson has a decided advantage in Strength of Schedule (SOS), 9 versus 34. However, Oklahoma has the better wins with two victories over top 10 opponents, including the decisive road win at Ohio State. The Sooners have three wins over top 25 teams, with the third win being at Oklahoma State. Clemson only has two such wins with their other being at Virginia Tech. Unfortunately for the Sooners, they have three teams dragging down their Strength of Schedule: winless UTEP and 1-win teams in Baylor and Kansas. Oklahoma State inexplicably dropping a game at home to Kansas State also hurt Oklahoma’s resume. If the Cowboys had pulled off the win, the Sooners would have had three wins in the top 10.

Meanwhile, the Big 12 gauntlet has taken its toll on the conference. The regular season concluded with four teams tied for fourth place at 5-4 in league play. The conference also has eight bowl-eligible teams, which gives the Big 12 the highest percentage of bowl-eligible teams. Not to mention, Texas Tech finished only 3-6 in league play despite going undefeated in the non-conference with wins over Houston and Arizona State. This is great for the quality depth of the conference, but it also results in less teams being ranked in the polls.

The Big 12 had the highest percentage of ranked teams in seven rankings this season. The league only finished with three teams ranked in the AP Poll. However, anybody paying attention knows that the Big 12 was extremely deep this season and holds its own compared to any other conference. The league has a very important bowl season ahead to prove its mettle and to complete the bounce back year from the disastrous 2016 season.

Week 14 AP Poll

  1. Clemson
  2. Oklahoma
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Auburn
  5. Alabama
  6. Georgia
  7. Miami
  8. Ohio State
  9. Penn State
  10. TCU
  11. USC
  12. UCF
  13. Washington
  14. Stanford
  15. Notre Dame
  16. Memphis
  17. LSU
  18. Oklahoma State
  19. Michigan State
  20. Northwestern
  21. Washington State
  22. Virginia Tech
  23. South Florida
  24. Mississippi State
  25. Fresno State

Others Receiving Votes: NC State 56, San Diego State 46, Louisville 16, Boise State 14, Toledo 13, Michigan 12, Virginia 4, Missouri 3, Florida Atlantic 2, Troy 1, Kansas State 1, Iowa State 1


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