1

OU is No. 5 in the coaches preseason poll.

Oklahoma’s firmly in the mix for a College Football Playoff run, at least according to the preseason Amway Coaches Poll.

The Sooners are No. 5 in the rankings, which were released Thursday.

Of course, many chips have to fall into the right place to reach either the Orange or Cotton Bowl, sites of this year's national semifinals.

"The good thing about Oklahoma, is if you feel like you do it right and some things go your way that you are always going to have a chance to do some special things," OU coach Lincoln Riley said.

OU returns six offensive starters and six on defense — plus 40 total lettermen on both sides of the ball — following its CFP run in 2017, but must replace Heisman Trophy quarterback Baker Mayfield.

There are usual concerns about OU's defense, but in coaches' minds, those were outweighed by the team's deep stable of returning skill players.

The Sooners return 70.1 percent of their rushing yards, 58.5 percent of their total offensive yardage and 68.4 percent of their scoring from a year ago.

This is the 17th time in 19 previous seasons that OU has been ranked eighth or better in the coaches poll. In 13 of those years the Sooners have been ranked in the top five. The team begins fall camp Friday.

Other Big 12 teams ranked in the coaches poll are No. 16 TCU, No. 20 West Virginia, No. 21 Texas and No. 25 Oklahoma State.

The Associated Press preseason Top 25 will be released August 20 at noon.

Oklahoma opens the 2018 season on Sept. 1 at home against Florida Atlantic (11 a.m., FOX).

1. Alabama (61)

2. Clemson (3)

3. Ohio State (1)

4. Georgia

5. Oklahoma

6. Washington

7. Wisconsin

8. Miami

9. Penn State

10. Auburn

11. Notre Dame

12. Michigan State

13. Stanford

14. Michigan

15. USC

16. TCU

17. Virginia Tech

18. Mississippi State

19. FSU

20. West Virginia

21. Texas

22. Boise State

23. UCF

24. LSU

25 Oklahoma State

AP poll to be released Aug. 20.