Trivia question: What do Booker T. Washington head boys’ basketball coach Shea Seals and veteran Florida State University head football coach Bobby Bowden have in common?

Answer: You can take both of their latest team rankings with a grain of salt.

Bowden’s final Top 25 ballot that was part of the USA Today NCAA Division I coaches poll had the University of Oklahoma listed in the No. 10 spot. That in itself would be a mystery to some, but when you consider Bowden had Missouri ranked No. 6 and Kansas ranked No. 7, Bowden’s poll becomes idiotic at best.

No one can argue ranking two other Big 12 schools behind the Big 12 champion, can they? I mean the Sooners whipped the Tigers twice for goodness sakes and the Tigers handed the Jayhawks their only loss.

But Bowden’s rankings weren't the most ludicrous of the bunch. Before I reveal the voter, let me show you his Top 10 list: 1. Ohio State, 2. Kansas, 3. Hawaii, 4. Missouri, 5. LSU, 6. Virginia Tech, 7. Oklahoma, 8. Georgia, 9. West Virginia, 10. Boise State.

And the Biggest Loser is: former OU head coach Howard Schnellenberger. I know, I know, consider the source. But give me a physical break.

This year, the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association has put in place a coaches poll for high school basketball rankings that will carry heavy weight when it come to playoff pairings.

Each week, coaches in every class are asked to rank teams online at www.okrankings.com.

In the latest rankings, Ada head coach Scott Lowrance found his Cougar squad occupying the No. 12 spot in the 5A rankings with 433 points, just behind No. 11 Bixby which totaled 441.

But Seals listed the Cougars at No. 26 on his latest ballot. Ugggg.

Still, Lowrance says the new rankings system is worth a try. In the past, rankings by the Tulsa World and Daily Oklahoman were highly regarded when it came to playoff seedings. Now, it is in the hands of the coaches.

“I think 60 percent will do it right. But there will be guys that don’t do their homework and don’t have a clue,” Lowrance said. “We’ll have to see. In essence it’s a good idea. Sometimes it hard for teams in this area to get recognition from those guys in the city. We were anywhere from No. 6 to No. 12 on most of the ballots. But then, Tulsa Washington has us at No. 26.”

It will be interesting to see how things change in the coaches poll as the season progresses.

———o———

Impressed by Bixby

The Bixby Spartans made an impressive run through the Class 5A football playoffs, before falling to top-ranked Guthrie 16-3 in the championship game.

But one 5A onlooker wasn’t surprised by the Spartans’ run to the championship game.

“Bixby’s a well-coached football team and they play hard,” said Ada head coach Steve Dean. “They got hot at the right time and had to have some breaks along the way.”

Ada defeated Bixby 6-3 Oct. 5 at Norris Field. The Spartans then reeled off seven straight wins — including knocking off defending state champion Carl Albert in the playoffs.

“The thing you appreciate about them the most is the fact that they didn’t have a bunch of superstars,” Dean said.

Bixby’s defense, which held Guthrie to its season low in points scored, was what stood out to Dean.

“From their defensive standpoint, they were the most frustrating team we played. They were by far the best defense we played against all year long,” he said. “They just did what they did and weren’t real, real flashy.”

Dean said Bixby was also fortunate it stayed away any significant injuries.

“Not only do you have to be talented, You have to have some luck to get to the state championships game. You can’t have four to five people that didn’t get to play for different reasons. You have to avoid the injury bug,” he said.

This Week's Circulars