Texas was labeled a Big 12 title "pretender" in our poll this week, despite winning nine games last season and bringing back the second-most starters in the Big 12.
Our readers, however, are much more sold on the prospects of TCU, which went 7-6 in its first year in the Big 12, despite suffering more personnel losses and injuries than any team in the league. In our poll, 55 percent of you say TCU is a Big 12 title contender. Just 45 percent voted for "pretender."
For me, I take that as a vote of confidence in quarterback Casey Pachall. Trevone Boykin gave some fantastic effort as a redshirt freshman who wasn't quite ready to step into the role of starter, but I don't really buy TCU's title chances with him at the helm in 2013. With Pachall, I do.
The defense? It's easy to believe in them as the league's best. They were the league's No. 1 defense a year ago with a bunch of freshmen and sophomores all over the place, and return two of the league's impact players on that side of the ball: Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Devonte Fields at defensive end, and Jason Verrett at cornerback.
Honestly, I'm a little surprised at the poll results. I'm definitely a believer in TCU's chances, but from the time the Frogs made their new conference union official, I've sensed a ton of skepticism from the league's fans about TCU's program proving itself as one of the Big 12's best.
Considering how the vote went, it looks like that first year in the Big 12, despite the average finish in the win-loss column, really did make an impression.