OK UT DEC 02

Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra (center-left) celebrates with offensive lineman Dru Samia after scoring a touchdown last season. 

IAN MAULE/Tulsa World file

Oklahoma discovered its starting point in the Associated Press Top 25 preseason poll released on Monday.

The Sooners are No. 4, which is the first time they’ve started inside the top five since checking in at No. 3 in the 2016 preseason poll.

OU has now been ranked inside the AP preseason top five poll a record 35 times, which equals half of the 70 AP preseason polls. Alabama and Ohio State (28 times each) are behind Oklahoma.

It is the fourth consecutive season Oklahoma has started inside the top 10. In 2017 and 2018 — Lincoln Riley’s first two seasons as head coach — OU was ranked No. 7 in the preseason poll.

Clemson was selected to defend its national championship. The Tigers were followed by Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State.

OU now has been ranked in the top 10 in 16 of the last 18 preseason polls.

Oklahoma finished No. 3 in 2017 and No. 4 in 2018, the first time it had consecutive top-five finishes since the 2002-2004 seasons.

The Big 12 was also represented in the Top 25 poll by Texas (No. 10) and Iowa State (21).

The Sooners were No. 4 in the Amway Coaches Top 25 preseason poll released earlier this month.

The College Football Playoff selection committee — which determines the four schools to play for a national championship — will release its first Top 25 poll on Nov. 5.

OU opens the season with a Sept. 1 game against Houston. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

Eric Bailey

918-581-8391

eric.bailey@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

Sports Writer

Eric covers the University of Oklahoma football and men’s basketball teams. A Haskell Indian Nations University graduate, he has been a member of the Tulsa World sports staff for 12 years. Phone: 918-581-8391