NORMAN — Coming off back-to-back Big 12 titles, the Oklahoma football team begins the Lincoln Riley era ranked eighth in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, which was was released Thursday.
This marks the 15th time in the last 17 seasons that OU has opened the season ranked eighth or higher in the annual preseason coaches poll.
The Sooners are one of four Big 12 teams in this year's preseason Amway Coaches Poll. Oklahoma State came in three spots behind OU at No. 11, while West Virginia was ranked 20th and Texas was placed at No. 23. TCU was third among teams receiving votes.
In addition to those conference foes, OU also travels to No. 2 Ohio State in the second week of the 2017 season.
The rest of the top 10 consists of Alabama at No. 1, Florida State No. 3, Southern California No. 4, Clemson No. 5, Penn State No. 6, Washington No. 7, Michigan No. 9 and Wisconsin No. 10.
Oklahoma, which opened fall camp Monday, was the preseason pick to win the Big 12 Conference by the media and boasts five players on the 2017 Preseason All-Big 12 Team.
Leading the way was senior quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was chosen as the Offensive Player of the Year. He was joined by junior tight end Mark Andrews and junior tackle Orlando Brown on the offense. On the other side of the ball, OU was represented by senior cornerback Jordan Thomas and senior linebacker/defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.
OU opens the 2017 season by hosting UTEP on Sept. 2 at 2:30 p.m. CT at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.