Cowboys Get A Fair Shake in the Preseason Coaches Poll?
STILLWATER -- My answer is basically, yeah, Oklahoma State got a fair shake. Don't kid yourself, though. If Oklahoma State had a completely quiet summer with no off the field t-shirts or Twitter messages they would have been ranked higher. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has always preached to his teams that less waves in the summer means more smooth sailing during the season. In other words, avoid distractions as much as possible. There is a case to be made that the events of the summer with corrections applied by Gundy and some of his leadership among the players could make the team bond stronger. We'll have to see if that evidence shows up on the field in games.
In the meantime, the coaches that make up the Amway Board of Coaches that vote on the poll, all 65 of them likely took the headlines in June into consideration and Oklahoma State was still voted No. 16 in the poll. In points there was a casm between Michigan at No. 15 and Oklahoma State as the Wolverines had 687 points to the Cowboys 524. USC was No. 17 and they had 521 points and frankly, I think there is a big difference between Oklahoma State and Southern Cal.
The Cowboys return of Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace on offense along with second-year starter at quarterback Spencer Sanders and 10 returning starters on defense also had the coach's attention. The Pokes were one of just four team in the Big 12 to make the Top 25 with Oklahoma No. 6, Texas came in at No. 14 and Iowa State was No. 25. Baylor garnered 66 points, TCU had seven, and K-State got a single point or vote.
Most prognosticators believe Oklahoma State and Texas are a toss up for second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma. They are close in the poll, but I think Oklahoma State is better. Texas won last season and they will get to prove who deserves to be ranked ahead of the other when they play, if they play on Nov. 27.
For at least the third season in a row Mike Gundy is not voting on the poll as the Big 12 voters are Neal Brown of West Virginia, Matt Campbell of Iowa State, Tom Herman of Texas, Chris Klieman of Kansas State, Gary Patterson of TCU, and Matt Wells of Texas Tech.
Here is the complete list of the coaches/voters.
The board for the 2020 season: Dino Babers, Syracuse; Craig Bohl, Wyoming; Neal Brown, West Virginia; Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Matt Campbell, Iowa State; Steve Campbell, South Alabama; Jason Candle, Toledo; Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina; Paul Chryst, Wisconsin; Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech; David Cutcliffe, Duke; Butch Davis, Florida International; Manny Diaz, Miami (Fla.); Dana Dimel, Texas-El Paso; Sonny Dykes, Southern Methodist; Luke Fickell, Cincinnati; Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern; James Franklin, Penn State; Hugh Freeze, Liberty; Willie Fritz, Tulane; Scott Frost, Nebraska; Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech; Todd Graham, Hawaii; Jeff Hafley, Boston College; Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois; Bryan Harsin, Boise State; Will Healy, Charlotte; Clay Helton, Southern California; Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky; Tom Herman, Texas; Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech; Mike Houston, East Carolina; Brian Kelly, Notre Dame; Chris Klieman, Kansas State; Lance Leipold, Buffalo; Tim Lester, Western Michigan; Seth Littrell, North Texas; Mike Locksley, Maryland; Scot Loeffler, Bowling Green; Chad Lunsford, Georgia Southern; Gus Malzahn, Auburn; Doug Martin, New Mexico State; Jeff Monken, Army; Dan Mullen, Florida; Billy Napier, Louisiana-Lafayette; Ken Niumatalolo, Navy; Jay Norvell, Nevada; Ed Orgeron, LSU; Gary Patterson, TCU; Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee; Nick Saban, Alabama; Scott Satterfield, Louisville; Jeff Scott, South Florida; Kirby Smart, Georgia; Lovie Smith, Illinois; Jonathan Smith, Oregon State; Frank Solich, Ohio; Jake Spavital, Texas State; Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee; Kevin Sumlin, Arizona; Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Mel Tucker, Michigan State; Matt Wells, Texas Tech; Kyle Whittingham, Utah.