AP Poll: Who Liked The Cowboys, Who Didn't?

OK, the best news is that the Oklahoma State Cowboys survived preseason camp without any major injuries. Head coach Mike Gundy put his team through a second huge scrimmage on Saturday, this one lasting nearly 150 plays and the Cowboys came out of it with the usual bumps and bruises.

The hitting and phyiscal play in camp was high, but the most serious injuries were a knee to middle linebacker Tyler Johnson and a concussion to freshman star linebacker/safety Lyndell Johnson.

Gundy called the scope procedure to Tyler Johnson a "clean-up scope," and he should be back later his upcoming week. Johnson had a big hit the first day in pads and he has already been eased back into practice.

The other great news in camp was the overall improvement and increased depth on defense. The defensive coaching staff of coordinator Bill Young, co-coordinator Glenn Spencer, Joe DeForest, and Jason Jones saw the defense get better and provide key answers with play at defensive tackle, middle and weakside linebacker, and added depth in an already strong secondary.

The final answers on that side of the ball have to come during the season against opponents, but they showed up better every day going against one of the best offensive units in the nation that is loaded with top skill talent and a veteran offensive line. You would like to think that is a strong indicator.

Before we get to our grades, the grades are out nationally as the Associated Press and its panel of writers and broadcasters joined the coaches in the USA Today Coaches Poll by voting the Cowboys a preseason top 25 team for 2011.

Oklahoma State was voted No. 9 in the AP poll after being eighth in the coaches poll, which does not release individual voters ballots. The AP poll does release the voters ballots, except for Kirk Herbstreit. For some reason the ESPN Gameday mainstay analyst and ABC game analyst had his ballot missing.

Some trends from the national voting, which I always find interesting, because human polls are voted with bias of some sort or another.

The highest vote for the Cowboys appeared to come from Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times as he voted Oklahoma State as No. 5. Anthony Gimino of The Tucson Citizen, Mark Anderson of The Las Vegas Review-Journal and John Werner of The Waco Herald-Tribune each had the Cowboys ranked No. 7.

John Clay of The Lexington (Ky.) Hearld-Leader and Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News were the pollsters placing the Cowboys the lowest in their ballots at No. 18.

Brett McMurphy of CBS Sportsline is an Oklahoma State graduate and appeared to be fair by ranking OSU at No. 10. He had Texas A&M at No. 7 and Oklahoma on top, but did not put Missouri on his ballot.

Nationally, Chris Fowler of ESPN thinks less of the Cowboys than most, placing them at No. 13 and A&M at No. 12. He has Missouri at No. 25 and does rank the Sooners at No. 1. ABC's studio host and ESPN Thursday night analyst Craig James has the Cowboys at No. 10 with OU No. 1, Texas A&M No. 7, and Missouri at No. 21.

Some interesting trends showed Kyle Ringo of The Boulder Camera and Sam McKewon of The Omaha Herald voting with the new company line. Both had Oregon at No. 1 and Ringo had OU No. 3, while McKewon had the Sooners at No. 4.

Here's a look at the Big 12 voters, who for the most part favored Texas A&M over the Cowboys in their ballots with an exception being John Shinn of The Norman Transcript.

Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman: LSU 1, OU 2, A&M 7, OSU 10, MIssouri 20
Robert Cessna, Bryan/College Station Eagle: Alabama 1, OU 2, A&M 8, OSU 10, Missouri 19
Dave Just, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: OU 1, A&M 10, OSU 11, Missouri 22
Dave Matter, Columbia Daily Tribune: OU 1, OSU 11, A&M 15, Missouri 18
Austin Meek, Topeka Capitol-Journal: OU 1, A&M 15, OSU 17, Missouri 18
John Werner, Waco Herald-Tribune: OU 1, OSU 7, A&M 10, Missouri 19, Texas 25

Two writers from towns in which former Mike Gundy had been an assistant coach at the school they cover had the Cowboys voted this way:

Mitch Vingle, who covers West Virginia, had OSU No. 13 and Dana Holgorsen's West Virginia Mountaineers at No. 17. Matt Markey of The Toledo (Ohio) Blade, where former Gundy defensive coordinator Tim Beckman is head coach of the Toledo Rockets, had OSU No. 7 on his ballot.

Just some interesting fodder when it comes to the human poll and this one by writers and broadcasters.


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