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OU football: Thoughts on the Sooners’ No. 5 CFP ranking (plus how much did plant-flagging and Bedlam wins matter?)

November 8, 2017

Oklahoma was ranked No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday night.

The top five remained unchanged from last week, and the Sooners are behind No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 4 Clemson.

CFP chairman Kirby Hocutt was asked about Oklahoma and the difference about the Sooners having a high-scoring offense and a defense that ranks 87th nationally.

“We look at Oklahoma as an entire team. We look at them for a complete body of work. They’re very talented,” Hocutt said. “They’re very good this season. You know, as we talk about Oklahoma, we talk about the team, we don’t necessarily get into breaking down the defense. Obviously we’re aware of their defensive efficiencies and productions, and obviously Oklahoma on offense is at the highest end and their defense is not quite at that same level.

“But as a team, we believe they’re the No. 5 team in the country.”

Quick thoughts from Tuesday night’s CFP poll:

Oklahoma continues to be in a good spot

No news basically means good news for the Sooners, who maintained their position at No. 5. Proving that it is a week-by-week process, Oklahoma stayed strong at their position following last week’s win over Oklahoma State. OU can also gain some important traction with a victory over No. 6 TCU on Saturday night and could either gain on the top four or distance themselves from the rest of the field.

Those trips to Columbus and Stillwater were big. Very big.

The weight of road wins at Ohio State (31-16) and Oklahoma State (62-52) is important in the Sooners’ No. 5 ranking. Hocutt said, “There’s only four teams higher than they are right now, so obviously the selection committee thinks Oklahoma is a very talented team. It has built an impressive resume with some quality road wins that others in the country don’t have at this particular time.”

How far off are the Sooners from the top four?

Hocutt said last week that the difference between numbers 3-7 was very close. This week, he said the difference between No. 4 (Clemson), No. 5 (Oklahoma), No. 6 (TCU) and maybe No. 7 (Miami) “was a close margin of separation in that range of teams within our rankings.”