- David Ubben, College Football
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The Big 12 released its media preseason poll last week, as voted on by a panel of 41 media members.
I had my disagreements, and here's how I voted.
1. Oklahoma: Looking at the depth chart on offense and defense, Oklahoma is the best and deepest team in the league from top to bottom. The Sooners aren't without weaknesses (defensive line, and receivers for now), but they're the best team on paper.
2. West Virginia: I've got big questions about WVU's defense, but the offense is going to pass to set up the run and it's going to work very, very well. Nobody in the Big 12 has a QB-WR trio as good as the Mountaineers have in Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Kenny Stills and Trey Metoyer might prove to be close by season's end, but they've got a lot to prove.
3. Kansas State: The Wildcats were picked sixth by the media, but I had them at No. 3. The defense is solid, and the offense is sneaky frustrating. Kansas State may not win the Big 12, but I'd be pretty surprised if it wasn't very involved in the conversation. Sixth place? Come on.
4. TCU: Texas and TCU are pretty interchangeable here, but I've got more faith in Gary Patterson to string together a decent defense with what he's got than I do for Texas to have a productive offense with uninspiring QB play. In this league, you win with points, too.
5. Texas: Might come to regret this one, but I'm not fully on board with the Longhorns just yet, though Texas was picked third in the league by the media. Mack Brown's boys have huge upside, but if David Ash isn't a lot better, Texas won't be a lot better. Wait and see with this group.
6. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys should be productive, but may have to defend well and outweigh mistakes that Wes Lunt makes in his first season. That's just how it is with true freshmen, unless Lunt is a prodigy. Is he?
7. Baylor: The Bears are still going to be pretty good, but the top six teams in the Big 12 will just be better. It's a deep league, but Baylor would surprise a lot of people by finishing in the top half, yours truly included.
8. Texas Tech: I feel bad sliding the Red Raiders ahead of Iowa State, which swept the last two meetings against Tech, but the injuries just can't happen every single year. Texas Tech has a lot of upside and a good chance to surprise and finish in the 4-6 range of the Big 12.
9. Iowa State: The battle for the last bowl spot or two is going to be absolutely brutal. Iowa State, Baylor and Texas Tech can beat anyone in the league, but I'm not sure about either team's depth to win more than seven games. Thus, it's a race to six games, but simple math means at least one of those three teams won't be making the postseason. We'll see who it is. Iowa State's got the least dangerous offense and the worst situation at quarterback. Points will get you a long way in this conference. Iowa State doesn't score enough of them.
10. Kansas: The gap between Kansas and the rest of the league has been vast the past two seasons. Can Charlie Weis change that? If nothing else, he's a whole lot more interesting than his predecessor. We'll see how much more he wins than Turner Gill.
7dJake Trotter and Brandon Chatmon
19dBrandon Chatmon and Max Olson
21dSam Khan Jr. and Edward Aschoff