There's no surprise at the top with Oklahoma being tabbed as the favorite to win the Big 12 tallying 32 first place votes. West Virginia came in second collecting seven first place votes. While neither team is a slam-dunk to finish one and two, the real debate begins in spots 3-7.
Big 12 Preseason Poll
||Team (1st place votes)||Pts.|
|2||West Virginia (7)||339|
|6||Kansas State (1)||257|
We can debate all day long whether Kansas State will replicate last year's 10-3 season, but I'll go out on a limb and say they'll finish above sixth in the league.
Yes, they won eight of their nine game decided by seven points or less last year but the fact is, they won them. The Wildcats return the bulk of their offense and several off the best players in the league at their position on defense (LB Arthur Brown, CB Nigel Malone). Not to mention they happen to be led by one of the best coaches in the country.
The media tabbed K-State 8th in the preseason poll last season and they went on to finish second by themselves so take the poll for what it's worth.
So where do the Wildcats belong? I'd put them fourth ahead of both Oklahoma State and TCU and maybe even third ahead of Texas who they've beaten four straight times.
Baylor is another team still looking for respect after a 10 win season. The Bears being ranked seventh is understandable, however, considering the offensive firepower they lost from last season to go along with a suspect defense. That said, I wouldn't be shocked to see the Bears somehow creep into the top of the conference come December.
A couple other thoughts/predictions:
- Team most likely to win the Big 12 not named Oklahoma or West Virginia: Texas followed closely by Kansas State.
- Texas Tech will finish higher than ninth.
- TCU will struggle more than some people think during the inaugural season in the Big 12.
- Toughest team to predict: Oklahoma State. Loads of talent but pinning your hopes on a true freshman QB in the Big 12 could make for an up-and-down season.
- Biggest surprise team: Kansas State (not that it should really be a surprise to anyone).