The Big 12 has asked media members to submit their preseason football polls by the end of the week.
That means Media Days (July 22-23 in Dallas) are right around the corner. It also means that it is time for us all to start speculating on the upcoming season (less than two months away). The conference will reveal an official preseason media poll next week, but you can take a look at how I voted right now.
I expect there to be tremendous parity in the media poll. The Big 12 doesn’t have a slam-dunk favorite. Heck, it doesn’t even have a legitimate preseason Top 10 team. But it does have significant depth. Maybe even as much as it did last year when it sent nine teams to bowl games.
As I looked over each team’s roster, I could imagine six teams (Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas) winning the league. Most years, that number doesn’t hit three.
There is a lot of guess work in every preseason poll, but there will be more than usual this summer. With that in mind, here is how I voted:
1. Oklahoma Blake Bell gives the Sooners new options and balance on offense. That should work to their advantage. Question is: How strong will they be on defense? Several starters are gone from a unit that wasn’t all that great last year. There are reasons for concern. Still, nobody wins games in this conference more consistently than Bob Stoops.
2. Texas Is Texas back? I don’t know, but I like what the Longhorns have coming back (17 starters) on paper. David Ash should be improved. Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown are quality running backs. The defense has to get better, though. I think we will know more about the Longhorns by late September. If they can end their losing streak to Kansas State in their first conference game, maybe they have what it takes for a conference title run. (more…)