For the first time since week 4 of the 2017 season, the Oklahoma State Cowboys are inside the top 10 of the AP top 25; moving up three spots on their bye week from #10 to #7. Here at Heartland College Sports, we will take you in depth of the AP rankings and let you, the casual fan, see why the ranking is the way it is and possibly call out some strange things we see from the AP registered voters. With that being said, let’s check out who gets free cheese fries at Eskimo Joes the next time they’re in Stillwater and who will be overpaying for parking near Boone Pickens Stadium on gameday.
Last week the focus was on Neill Ostrout, a writer from Connecticut, who had the Pokes ranked #24 behind Mississippi State, LSU and Texas who all had at least one loss. Let’s give our new friend Neill the benefit of the doubt as this week he must have seen something in Mike Gundy’s group because he jumped the Cowboys 14 spots on their bye week. Yes, Neill voted the Cowboys 10th this week after having little faith and putting the Cowboys #24 after routing Kansas last week. Let’s chalk that one up to him maybe meaning to vote #14 last week, right Neill?
Moving on, let’s focus on this week and Lauren Brownlow, a radio personality from Durham, North Carolina. Lauren is nothing if not consistent in her voting (even if she hasn’t watched any college games this year) because she had the Cowboys ranked nineteenth last week and moved the Cowboys up to 18 this week on their bye week. Lauren is the lowest ranked voter of the Cowboys and one of two voters that have the Pokes outside of the top 15.
Looking at Lauren’s poll for week six is where we see some confusing votes however. Some of the teams that Lauren has ahead of Oklahoma State in her rankings include #16 SMU, a team that beat Texas State by 7 points at home and #9 Cincinnati; wins for the Bearcats include Army and AAC basement dweller USF. Those two alone aren’t too bad, they’re both undefeated and everyone can have differing opinions.
Where it all falls apart is Lauren’s 11-13 rankings. Brownlow ranked Texas A&M #11, Florida at #12 and Miami at #13. All three of those teams have one loss where the Cowboys are still undefeated. Miami is 3-1 after getting throttled by Clemson on the road, but Miami hasn’t beaten anyone. Miami has wins over 1-3 Louisville and 1-3 Florida State along with their opening win over UAB.
I will say this; everyone can have different opinions and sometimes the eye test can play a critical role in ranking teams or who you think is the “better” team. However, it seems obvious Lauren Brownlow hasn’t watched much football, because I’m not sure how many “experts” would tell you confidently that Miami is a better team than Oklahoma State right now.
I always invite Lauren (or anyone) to explain their AP ballots on twitter or any other medium, so all we can hope for is some accountability or an explanation of her ranking four one-loss teams above undefeated OK State. Lauren will have a good chance to see the Pokes for the first time this year on her tv this Saturday when the Cowboys travel to Waco to play Baylor at 6:30pm CST on ABC.
At the end of the day it is simple for Oklahoma State football fans; win the games in front of you and don’t worry about the outside noise or rankings on a given week. If the Pokes are undefeated, they will be playing in the college football playoff. Let the fans worry about the rankings and weird AP votes. It worked last week, maybe Lauren will have a change of heart next week and give the Pokes a boost like Neill did this week.
Editor’s note: Please do not send any ill-will to Lauren or any AP voters. This is meant to be a fun article highlighting some discrepancies amongst the AP Top 25 voters.