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Stoops not buying preseason Big 12 picks

6/7/2013

PLANO, Texas -- When the Big 12 preseason poll is released next month, it might be one of the most divided in the league's history.

Texas is the league's only team who had a season-long starter in 2012 return for the 2013 season, and teams like Baylor (Nick Florence), West Virginia (Geno Smith), Kansas State (Collin Klein), Texas Tech (Seth Doege) and even Bob Stoops' Sooners (Landry Jones) are trying to replace franchise quarterbacks.

Most prognosticators see the league as one that's wide open for more teams to take home the title than ever, but Stoops, who houses eight Big 12 title rings in his office, isn't buying the idea that the Big 12 could be up for grabs.

"Most people picked West Virginia last year, so what does everybody know?" Stoops said earlier this week.

In fairness, just seven of 41 voters picked the Mountaineers to win the Big 12 in their first year in the league, but West Virginia was well ahead of Texas as the Big 12's No. 2 team behind Oklahoma. The Sooners received 32 first-place votes and ended up sharing the Big 12 title with Kansas State, which received just one first-place vote and was picked sixth in the poll.

West Virginia, meanwhile, stumbled to a 7-6 finish after a five-game losing streak marred a season that began with a 5-0 start and a top-15 ranking.

For Stoops, it comes down to the same thing it does every year.

"I see every year about the same in my eyes. It’s what you do, how you develop, and what you end up accomplishing," he said.