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Thursday, August 4, 2011
OU starts No. 1; TCU tumbles to No. 15

By Jeff Caplan



The USA Today Coaches Poll has just been revealed and to no surprise the Oklahoma Sooners are ranked No. 1.

Alabama, Oregon, LSU and Florida State round out the top five. That's good news for Jerry Jones since Cowboys Stadium will feature the Sept. 3 ABC primetime matchup pitting No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 LSU.

Oklahoma State starts the season at No. 8 and Texas A&M certainly has plenty to be excited about at No. 9, its highest preseason ranking since 1999. The Aggies return to Cowboys Stadium once again against No. 14 Arkansas on Oct. 1. A&M opens the season on Sunday, Sept. 4 at home against June Jones' SMU Mustangs, a favorite to win Conference USA.

Perhaps a bit of a surprise is the tumble of TCU to No. 15 -- one spot ahead of Ohio State. The Rose Bowl champion Horned Frogs capped last season's 13-0 record with a win over Wisconsin in Pasadena and finished No. 2 in the nation behind national champion Auburn. But, the graduation of quarterback Andy Dalton and some other key starters on both sides of the ball apparently has coaches across the land a bit skeptical that TCU can quickly reboot in its final season in the non-BCS Mountain West Conference. TCU joins the Big East Conference in 2012.

According to the TCU athletic department, the Frogs' streak of being ranked in 42 consecutive polls is the longest in school history and fourth-longest currently in the nation.

Boise State, TCU's new MWC counterpart, starts the season where it ended last season at No. 7. The Frogs play at Boise on Nov. 12, a game originally scheduled to be played at Fort Worth, but moved by the MWC because of TCU's exit.

Texas, one of two teams to crack the top 25 that finished with a losing record last season (Georgia), opens at No. 24. The Bulldogs are No. 22.