Oklahoma debuted at No. 9 Monday in the 2022 Associated Press Preseason Top 25.
It's the lowest ranking for OU to start the season since 2015, when the Sooners were coming off an 8-5 season and Bob Stoops brought on Lincoln Riley from East Carolina to coordinate the offense. Oklahoma finished that season ranked No. 5.
There is similar skepticism about OU's chances this season as Brent Venables takes over for Riley.
OU is ranked as high as No 5 and as low as No. 21 in this year’s preseason poll, but does appear on all 63 ballots.
The Sooners have been ranked in the top seven in each of the previous six preseason polls. OU hasn’t been outside the top seven since 2015, when the Sooners started the season ranked No. 19. OU also started No. 16 in 2013.
Before that, OU’s only recent start outside the top 10 came in 2000, when Stoops’ second team began at No. 19 and went on to win the national championship.
In its history, OU has been ranked No. 1 in the AP preseason poll 10 times — more than any other program, just ahead of Alabama with nine — and the Sooners went on to win the national championship four times in those seasons (1956, 1974, 1975, 1985).
Oklahoma also won national titles when they started at No. 6 (1950), No. 2 (1955), and No. 19 (2000).
The Sooners also debuted at No. 9 last week in the USA Today Coaches Top 25.
Alabama received 54 first-place votes in the AP Top 25 and is the overwhelming pick for No. 1 in the nation. Ohio State got six first-place votes and comes at No. 2,. And Georgia got three first-place votes to open the season at No. 3
Clemson, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Utah and Michigan come in ahead of OU as well. Baylor rounds out the top 10, while Oregon is No. 11 and Oklahoma State is the only other current Big 12 team at No. 12.
Riley’s USC team — 4-8 last season — is ranked 14th.