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College football preseason rankings: Sporting News rank Oklahoma Sooners No. 1

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In what has to come as a shock to college football fans in and out of Oklahoma, the Sporting News released their pre-season rankings for the 2014 season on Wednesday. In those college football preseason rankings, the magazine named the Oklahoma Sooners the number one team in the nation. They ranked the Sooners over the defending champion Florida State Gators, who were ranked third.

The Sooners had a successful 2013 season, despite a plethora of injuries. However, one of the Sooners big problems was at the quarterback position where Blake Bell, Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson all played some. By the time the Sugar Bowl rolled around, head coach Bob Stoops named Knight the quarterback for the game. It was a questionable call since Knight had not played well all season.

Knight finished that game by completing 32-of-44 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns. It was Knight’s best game of his college career and he beat the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide by two touchdowns. That is one of the reasons the Sporting News put the Sooners in first in their college football preseason rankings.

The magazine called Knight a quarterback who looks confident and predicted a breakout season for the sophomore. The Sooners have to hope he does, because they moved Blake Bell to tight end and the backups for Knight are even more inexperienced than he was last season. Oklahoma also continues to try to improve a defense that has had one too many lapses the past two seasons.

Florida State, who won the National Championship in 2013 by beating the Auburn Tigers, ranks third behind the Pac-12 Oregon Ducks. Alabama will try to rebound from their loss to the Sooners and rank fourth in the Sporting News college football preseason rankings. Rounding out the top 10 are Auburn, Stanford, Baylor, UCLA, Ohio State and South Carolina. The Oklahoma Sooners open their 2014 college football season on Aug. 30.

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