The Sooners were picked by Big 12 media to win the South but are ranked below the Longhorns in the ESPN coaches' preseason poll that was released on Friday. OU debuts at No. 8. Texas is ranked No. 4.
Receiving 55 of 59 first-place votes, Alabama was ranked No. 1 followed by Ohio State and Florida. Boise State is ranked fifth ahead of Virginia Tech and TCU. Nebraska is ranked ninth, Iowa No. 10.
Two of OU's non-conference opponents — Florida State (No. 20) and Cincinnati (No. 26) — might be ranked when they play the Sooners.
Only three Big 12 teams cracked the top 25. Carrying out the voting, Missouri was No. 37, Oklahoma State No. 39, Texas Tech No. 44 and Texas A&M No. 46.