If you are an Oklahoma football fan, you are not going to be happy with the Sports Illustrated’s 2017 college football preview issue. In fact, it might –and probably should — make you fighting mad.
The highly popular weekly sports magazine unwittingly may have sent the first shot over the bow in advance in the annual Bedlam brawl on Nov. 4 between in-state archrivals Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
The writers and editors of Sports Illustrated have ranked Oklahoma in the No. 6 slot in the magazine’s 2017 Preseason Top-25 rankings. That’s the good news if you’re a Sooner fan. The bad news is that the other Big 12 school from Oklahoma — the Cowboys of Oklahoma State — are ranked two spots higher, at No. 4.
Two factors that the chiefs and Indians at SI apparently placed strong emphasis on in their highly subjective analysis — and might I add, flawed — analysis of the forthcoming college football season were where the 2017 edition of the Bedlam football series will be played (in Stillwater) as well as the fact that of the Sooners’ six regular season games against potential top-25 teams, including No. 3 Ohio State on the second weekend of the season, only two of them will be play at home in Norman.
Alabama gets the nod at No. 1 in Sports Illustrated’s version of the top-25 teams heading into the 2017 college football season. With Florida State at No. 2, the stage has been set for a classic 1 vs. 2 showdown on the opening week of the season. Rounding out the top 10 in SI’s preseason poll are No. 3 Ohio State, Oklahoma State, USC, Oklahoma, Clemson, Penn State, Washington and Auburn.
Five Big 12 teams are ranked in SI’s preseason top 25, including OU and Oklahoma State in the top 10. That is the second most, tied with the Atlantic Coast Conference, of any Power Five conference. The SEC has six teams in the SI Preseason Top 25 to lead all conferences. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 each placed four teams in the SI top 25.