The Disadvantages of Three

It's never wise to put too much stock into any of the preseason Top 25 polls, but let's assume the voters virtually hit the nail on the head with their early predictions in the USA Today/Coaches poll.

Previously, Sooners Illustrated provided you with the three advantages of OU's No. 3 spot in the preseason USA Today/Coaches Top 25.

Now, it's time for three of the possible disadvantages of it.

3. OU isn't the highest-ranked team in the conference:
Yes, at this point it's petty, but it's true. It's nice to go into the season knowing you're the clear-cut favorite to win the conference. Although the Sooners and Longhorns tied in the Big 12 Coaches poll, this virtually swings the expectations Texas' way. The Sooners sit at No. 3, while the Longhorns, who beat OU 45-35 in Dallas last year, own the No. 2 spot and officially control their own destiny.

2. With a loss and a loss for each of the teams above, OU might still not make the title:
Let's assume a scenario. Florida loses to someone in the SEC throughout the longevity of the season but wins the rest of its games. Texas beats OU, but also loses once throughout the year. And the Sooners win all of their games except against the Longhorns. Sound familiar? That's because all of the following happened last year, and even though the Longhorns won the Red River Rivalry game, OU ultimately went to the Big 12 Championship and the National Championship game. Now also realize this. The Sooners began the season No. 4, while Florida was No. 5, and Texas sat at No. 10 starting 2008-09. Final BCS results before the title game ironically had those teams in the same order: No. 1 OU, No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Texas. It's a major assumption that all the major BCS-conference teams below the top three could lose and a mid-major wouldn't be given a chance as an undefeated team, but it's a possibility. And if it went like a year ago, the Sooners would be the third team in the order.

1. The Sooners are behind their arch-rival:
Considering the slim chance that the situation above could happen again and the fact that although the Sooners aren't the clear-cut favorite in the conference but are certainly one of the top two, this is definitely the biggest downside of the preseason Top 25. Teams don't like to be behind their arch-rival in anything, but since it's only the preseason poll, don't look for the Sooners to think twice about it.


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