For the third year in a row and the sixth time in Barry Switzer's 15 years as head coach, the Oklahoma Sooners are the preseason choice to win college football's national championship, according to the Associated Press poll.

The Sooners were picked by an overwhelming margin over Nebraska, their annual rival for the Big Eight championship. It is only the fourth time since The AP began a preseason poll in 1950 that teams from the same conference were ranked one-two.

Iowa and Ohio State of the Big Ten were atop the 1961 preseason poll, Nebraska and Colorado held the top two spots in 1972 and Nebraska and Oklahoma led the way in 1983.

Oklahoma is the first team to finish first in the preseason poll three consecutive years.

Defending national champion Penn State is No. 11 in this year's balloting.

Oklahoma received 55 of 60 first-place votes and 1,193 of a possible 1,200 points from a nationwide panel of sports writers and sportscasters. The Sooners finished third last year after winning the national championship in 1985.

Nebraska, which finished fifth last year, received three first-place votes and 1,005 points. UCLA, No. 14 in last year's final poll, is third this time with one first-place vote and 935 points. The other first-place ballot went to Penn State.