We're speeding down the highway, closing in on the start of the 2011 college football season. The first sign that things are getting closer to reality is the first coach's poll of the season, which was released today.
Big 12 fans had a lot to like there. Well, except for Texas fans. It seems the other coaches weren't as sold on Malcom Brown being the savior of the world. Oklahoma, however, has seemingly sold everyone on how good they are, garnering the top spot in the poll heading into the season.
Oklahoma State also saw itself in the top 10 at No. 8 while Texas A&M also debuted highly at No. 9. TCU sits at No. 15 while Missouri is at No. 21. Closing out the local/Big 12 representatives in the poll are those lovable Longhorns at No. 24.
Houston, with its returning six-year quarterback Case Keenum, garnered 13 votes and is unofficially sitting at No. 38 in the nation. No other teams that we're concerned with showed up in the poll. The most surprising omission? Baylor was nowhere to be seen, even with electric quarterback Robert Griffin III still around.
It's a long season, but these poll results suggest a national verification of the Big 12 preseason predictions, who saw Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M as the top three teams in the newly-small conference. Texas was picked seventh in the conference, but obviously benefited greatly here. Realistically, A&M won't have as good as season as this rank and Texas won't have as bad a season as they did last year, but I wouldn't expect a huge jump in performance either.
Here's the poll in its entirety:
Team (first-place votes) Points
Others receiving votes
Arizona State 158; West Virginia 149; Utah 50; Miami (Fla.) 49; Iowa 41; Northwestern 30; Arizona 28; Central Florida 22; Michigan 19; Air Force 15; North Carolina 14; Houston 13; South Florida 9; Hawaii 8; Clemson 7; Tennessee 7; Southern Miss 6; Brigham Young 5; North Carolina State 4; Northern Illinois 4; Oregon State 4; Pittsburgh 3; Washington 3; Georgia Tech 1; Nevada 1