Dissecting the preseason media poll

August, 20, 2012
8/20/12
9:00
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The Associated Press preseason poll was released on Saturday, and that means a little detective work needs to be done.

Up until the final poll, the coaches' ballots are private. The media ballots, however, are public all season long. You can see them all with Pollspeak.com's PollStalker feature.

Before we begin, a note: I don't have a problem with outlier votes as long as people can defend them. I'm not necessarily attacking anyone, I'm just pointing out the outliers. Right or wrong, they're always interesting.

Here's a closer look at the poll before we enter the season:

No. 4 Oklahoma
  • Appeared on all 60 ballots.
  • Received a first-place vote from Kyle Meineke, who covers Michigan for AnnArbor.com. Four more voters picked the Sooners No. 2 in the poll.
  • The Sooners were lowest on the ballot of Kirk Bohls, a columnist for the Austin American-Statesman. He was the only voter of the 60 who pegged the Sooners at No. 10. Two more voters -- SI.com's Andy Staples and the Bryan-College Station Eagle's Robert Cessna had Oklahoma at No. 9.
  • Nobody placed OU at No. 8. Five voters had the Sooners at No. 7 and four had them at No. 6.
  • The most common ranking? No. 5. Seventeen voters had the Sooners one spot lower than the No. 4 spot where OU debuted.
No. 11 West Virginia
  • Appeared on all 60 ballots.
  • The Mountaineers were as high as No. 7 (four ballots, including Bohls.)
  • WVU was as low as No. 23, courtesy of Ray Ratto, a columnist for Comcast Sports in the Bay Area.
  • Kyle Ringo, who covers Colorado for the Boulder Daily Camera, had WVU at No. 22.
  • Eric Hansen of the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune had the Mountaineers at No. 20.
  • Two more voters had WVU at No. 19.
No. 15 Texas
  • Appeared on 56 of the 60 ballots.
  • Appeared as high as No. 7 on two ballots (Ratto, John Clay of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader).
  • Four voters had the Longhorns off their ballot, but none were in the Big 12 footprint or cover Big 12 teams.
  • No one had Texas at No. 25, but Doug Doughty of the Roanoke (Va.) Times had the Longhorns at No. 24.
  • Harry Plumer, who covers UMass for The Republican in Springfield, Mass. had Texas at No. 23. Two more voters had the Horns at No. 22 and No. 21.
  • The Longhorns appeared most frequently at No. 13. Eight voters placed them there.
No. 19 Oklahoma State
  • Appeared on 54 of 60 ballots.
  • One voter (Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram) had OSU at No. 25.
  • Oklahoma State appeared most often in a staggering five different spots. Six voters each had Oklahoma State unranked, No. 15, No. 17, No. 18 and No. 19. So weird.
  • Three voters, including Staples and Bohls, had OSU at No. 24.
  • The Cowboys biggest proponent looks like Rob Long, who works in radio in Baltimore. He had Mike Gundy's squad at No. 7, three spots higher than any other voter.
  • Bob Asmussen of the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette had OSU at No. 10, higher than everybody but Long. Asmussen gained some notoriety over the weekend for being the only voter with Michigan at No. 1.
  • Ratto had OSU at No. 11.
No. 20 TCU
  • Appeared on 52 of 60 ballots.
  • The eight that left TCU unranked were the most popular spot. TCU's mode was being left off the poll, despite being ranked 20th. Odd.
  • The Horned Frogs were as high as No. 10, courtesy of Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune sports editor and columnist Joe Walljasper.
  • Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer cast his vote for TCU at No. 11. Two more, including Long, had TCU at No. 12.
No. 22 Kansas State
  • Appeared on 49 of 60 ballots.
  • The 11 who left K-State off their ballots were the mode for the Wildcats.
  • K-State showed up as high as No. 11, courtesy of Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News.
  • Two more voters, including Bohls in Austin, had K-State at No. 12.
  • Interesting note: None of the 11 voters who left K-State off their ballots are in the Big 12 footprint, and only Chris Fowler of ESPN covers college football for a national outlet.
Baylor (received 31st-most votes)
  • Appeared on only three of 60 ballots.
  • Bohls had the Bears at No. 23.
  • John Werner, who covers BU for the Waco Tribune-Herald, had Baylor at No. 24.
  • Chad Crippe of the Idaho Statesman had BU the highest, at No. 22.

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