The Big 12 media has voted, and the preseason rankings have been released, just ahead of the Big 12 Media Days taking place next week. Oklahoma sits at the top (shocking, I know), followed by Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and Texas rounding out the top four.
TCU, receiving 202 points, sits fifth in the preseason poll, ahead of West Virginia and Baylor. Tech, Iowa State, and Kansas round out the bottom three.
Interestingly enough, Oklahoma claimed 19 of the first place votes, while OSU took 12, and Kansas State got one member of the media to nod in their direction.
I saw a lot of folks posting their votes on Twitter over the past few days, and I have to say, I don’t necessarily disagree with placing TCU right in the middle of the pack. After all, the Frogs are coming off of a mediocre 6-7 season in 2016, while entering 2017 with big questions at quarterback and wide receiver.
That being said, here’s what my preseason ranking would look like:
2. Oklahoma State
3. Kansas State
5. West Virginia
8. Texas Tech
9. Iowa State
I think the top three picks are solid. OU and OSU are, in my opinion, the two best teams in the conference. Kansas State gets the nod over TCU because I watched them dismantle the Frogs in person last year, and they return quite a bit from that squad. The Wildcats won six of their final seven games last season, including a bowl win over Texas A&M, and they lost to WVU and OSU by a total of 7 points.
I would move TCU up to fourth, simply because I don’t think Texas should be ahead of them. Texas is a young team, with a new coaching staff, and a transitioning offense. Could they break out this year, ala TCU in 2014? Sure, anything is possible.
West Virginia lost some key bodies on both sides of the ball, but they’ll still be better than the bottom half of the league. Baylor and Tech are both trending down, and they’ve struggled to recruit top talent the past few years.
Iowa State and Kansas, well, yeah.
Honestly, I think the preseason rankings are fair and accurate, based on the information people are working with. Of course, they’re a fun bit to do in July, but they have no bearing on how the final standings will actually look.
Prior to the 2014 season, TCU was picked to finish 7th, and they won a conference championship. Prior to the 2016 season, TCU was picked to finish second in the league, and the Frogs finished 5th.
But, at least we’re talking about football again, so that’s nice. We’re just 8 Saturdays away from TCU football taking the field.