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Analyzing the AP Poll: Oklahoma State loses voters but gains points in Week 5 Poll

Some voters came away more impressed by the Cowboys despite the loss

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to sound weird, but after a 36-30 loss to Texas on Saturday Oklahoma State actually improved its standing in the Top 25.

While the Cowboys remained at what essentially amounts to No. 27, they picked up six points despite appearing in the polls of eight fewer voters.

Week Rank High Low High %
Preseason 42 23 NR NR - 61
Week 2 33 23 NR NR - 59
Week 3 33 20 NR NR - 56
Week 4 27 20 NR NR - 40
Week 5 27 15 NR NR - 48

Matt Brown of the Atheltic — the only voter that have OSU in his poll every week — kept the Cowboys at No. 20. In all eight voters moved the Cowboys up in their polls, four voters added OSU to theirs. Two moved OSU down but kept them ranked.

The voter who was most impressed by the Cowboys’ performance was Don Williams, Sportswriter at Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. He explained why he moved OSU up from No. 24 to No. 15, the highest ranking they’ve had this season.

“It appears to me the Cowboys have some big-time skill-position talent that’s going to make them a handful for everyone they play. Spencer Sanders has been impressive, especially for a guy in his first month to play college football. How scary can he be as he gains experience? We already knew about Tylan Wallace, and now Chuba Hubbard is really emerging.”

“Outside of OU, who has a better QB/RB/WR combo in the Big 12?”

“OSU obviously could have won that game Saturday with some better execution in the red zone. The fact it was a one-score game in Austin tells me there’s not a great deal of separation between the two teams and so, given that both teams were unbeaten going in, I don’t think there should be that much separating them in the polls.”

I don’t believe a team should be dropped just because it lost. I had Texas at No. 8 last week and Oklahoma State at No. 24, but the gap on the field wasn’t that great. Playing a top-10 team down to the wire on its home field is more impressive than beating a cream-puff 49-0.

“I think it’s telling this week that, even though Kansas State is No.22/No. 24 and Oklahoma State is unranked, OSU is a 4 1/2 to 5-point favorite. That’s how about how I see those two teams.”

“With that said, beyond the top 14 teams, it took me a while to put Nos. 15 through 25 in order this week. I think the bottom half of the Top 25 could take a while to settle out.”

Every voter is different, and at this point you can make an argument for a lot of teams ranked No. 15 through No. 30. Too many teams with the same record, too many games against lower tier competition. It’s hard to take partiality out of it.

OSU has another opportunity to impress voters this week against No. 24 Kansas State. That said, I don’t think voters will keep giving the Cowboys the benefit of the doubt if they drop a second straight game.