Sooners move up to #2

Thus sayeth

Sam Bradford threw for five more touchdowns. No. 3 Oklahoma again reached half-a-hundred points. The Sooners won big, again. Bradford completed 18 of 21 passes for 304 yards, matched his career high with five touchdowns and ran for a sixth score to lead the Sooners easily past Washington 55-14 on Saturday night.

Our Pride of Oklahoma pep band didn’t show up much on ESPN’s coverage (I first saw them in the third quarter), but we heard them pretty clearly starting with OU’s first touchdown and from then on. There was a lot of what the sportscasters euphemistically call “extra-curricular” activity before and during the game, and there may be some repercussions for Washington players who punched DT Marcus Granger on the play in which he was injured, but the Sooners come home 3-0 and ranked #2 in the nation.

That’s right: #1 USC dominated Ohio State 35-3, and the AP headline describes #3 OU as “trampling” Washington 55-14, but #2 Georgia struggled against unranked South Carolina, going up 14-7 in the third quarter and holding it there for the win. That prompted both the sportswriters (in the AP poll) and the Coaches (in the ESPN/USA Today poll) to move OU ahead of Georgia, making the Sooners the #2 team in the country. Ohio State fell from #5 to #13 or #14, depending on the poll.

However, as Jerry Palm’s indispensable tables point out, OU would probably only be #4 in any BCS rankings that existed. Two of the six computers will not publish results until about the time of the first BCS rankings on October 19, because those computers start from scratch each season and need 5-6 games to build up enough data on past and future opponents to provide meaningful results. (If you start fresh every year, then after week one, half the teams in Division I are tied for #1, and the other half are tied for #61, since 60 teams win and 60 teams lose each week, give or take the odd game with the I-AA schools.)

Of the four computer rankings already released, two put OU at #2, one at #12, and one at #30, for a computer ranking average of #5, weighing down OU’s poll average of #2. It’s early, so you see these things: one of the computers has USC as #36! Also, the Harris poll used in BCS rankings doesn’t start until October 19, so these preliminary calculations use the AP poll because it’s similar. Nonetheless, the computers really like Florida right now, ranking it ahead of OU. In fact, the four computer rankings available today put Florida as #1 when averaged together. (USC would be #2, Utah would be #3, Missouri #4, and OU ties with Georgia for #5.)

It’s still early in the season. The Sooners rest this weekend with a “bye” week, then host TCU at home on September 27 for Pride Parents’ Day. They then travel to Baylor (the Bears beat Washington State last night 45-17), and then to Dallas for the Red River Rivalry in the newly slightly renovated Cotton Bowl.

And then, just one month from now, it’s Homecoming 2008 week! Those registrations are due this week, so make sure you get yours in now! Homecoming is against Kansas, and despite losing a squeaker to South Florida on Friday night, the #19-ranked Jayhawks will be a formidable Big 12 foe this year, a strong contender for the Big 12 North title and perhaps the conference title itself. You won’t want to miss it, so make sure you send in your registration this week! You can’t use “preparing for the game” as an excuse since the Sooners have a bye weekend, so take a few moments to get it done. That way we can see you on the field on October 18!