Monday, August 19, 2013
Breaking down the Big 12 and the AP poll
By David Ubben
You may remember our friends at Pollspeak from this little exercise, but they also provide the individual ballots throughout the season with their "Pollstalker" function on the website that looks at which voters have teams in extreme places and where each team sits on each voter's ballot.
Four Big 12 teams made the preseason poll, which included a pair of interesting notes: The lowest-ever spot for the Big 12's top team (Oklahoma State at No. 13) and the first time ever the Cowboys had started a season ahead of Oklahoma in the AP poll. Two more Big 12 teams earned votes. Let's have a closer look at each Big 12 teams and how the poll voters placed them where they landed.
No. 13 Oklahoma State
No. 15 Texas
- Oklahoma State showed up at No. 6 on John Clay of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader's ballot, two spots higher than any other voter. Three more voters had OSU at No. 8. Two cover SEC teams and the other covers Notre Dame.
- Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star had Oklahoma State at No. 9, the highest of any voter in Big 12 country.
- Eleven voters had OSU at exactly No. 13, their most common place on ballots.
- The Cowboys were in the top 20 on 58 of 60 ballots, but Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer had them at No. 21 and SI.com's Andy Staples was the lone voter to leave the Cowboys off his top 25 poll. He's already addressed the issue on his Twitter account. He was skeptical of the coordinator changes and had this to say: "I have 8-4 in my Big 12 preview because I think Texas, OU, TCU and Baylor will be better. But 10-2 is easy to believe," he wrote. "There’s a great chance I’m wrong. Poll always looks very different after week 1."
No. 16 Oklahoma
- A rousing six voters had Texas in their top 10, led by Rob Long in Baltimore, Md., who had the Longhorns at No. 3. The Omaha World-Herald's Samuel McKewon had Texas at No. 4 and the Reno Gazette-Journal's Chris Murray had Texas at No. 7.
- No writer who covers the Big 12 or a Big 12 team had Texas in the top 10. The Austin American-Statesman's Kirk Bohls had Texas at No. 12, higher than any writer in Big 12 country.
- Of the 60 voters, 55 had Texas in the top 20. Two voters had Texas at No. 22, but the Longhorns appeared on every ballot. Mitch Vingle of the Charleston Gazette covers West Virginia and was one of the voters who had the Longhorns at No. 22.
No. 20 TCU
- Amazing that the Sooners didn't make the top 10 on a single ballot, but were outside the top 20 on just one ballot. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News had Oklahoma at No. 23, three spots lower than any other voter.
- Two voters (Gary Smits, Florida Times-Union; Tom Murphy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) had Oklahoma at No. 11, the highest of any voters.
- Only two voters from Big 12 country (Tim Griffin, San Antonio Express-News; Mitch Vingle, Charleston Gazette) had Oklahoma in the top 15. Both had the Sooners at No. 15 on their ballot.
- TCU didn't make any appearances in the top 10 of any ballots, but Bohls from the Statesman had the Frogs at No. 11, higher than any voter.
- The Frogs were left off of nine of 60 ballots. No voters covering the Big 12 or a team from the league left TCU off their ballots.
- The Bears' 92 points in the poll had them at 27th overall, just 37 points behind No. 25 Oregon State. (And almost 200 points behind UCLA, who the Bears beat, 49-19 just a few months ago in the Holiday Bowl.)
- Vingle from the Charleston Gazette had Baylor at No. 11, four spots higher than any voter. Joe Giglio of the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer had the Bears at No. 15.
- Baylor appeared on 18 of 60 ballots, including five votes at No. 25 and four more at No. 23.
- The Wildcats earned 43 points in the poll, good for 31st overall in the poll.
- K-State was on 12 of 60 ballots, led by McKewon at the World-Herald, who had the Wildcats at No. 16, two spots higher than any other voter. Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman also had the SnyderCats at No. 18, four spots higher than the next-highest voter.
- Interesting note: Five of the 12 ballots including K-State feature writers who cover current or former Big 12 teams.