Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oklahoma picked No. 1 in Big 12 preseason football poll; KU last


Losing a couple of teams in the offseason apparently has done nothing to change the landscape of the race for the Big 12 football title.

Wednesday, the Big 12 released the results of its preseason poll, and, for the 10th time since the inception of the conference, Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma football team has been picked first.

This, of course, marks the first time that the Sooners have been voted as outright champions, something made possible by the departure of Nebraska (to the Big Ten) and Colorado (to the Pac-12) earlier this year. During the other nine seasons when the Sooners saw a No. 1 next to their name, they simply were selected to finish first in the South. But with the conference moving away from the divisional format, all 10 members now make up one conference, and the Sooners are overwhelmingly the favorites to win the first such conference crown.

OU received 41 first-place votes — including all four from Journal-World staff members who voted — and totaled 428 points to easily finish ahead of Texas A&M; in the voting.

The Aggies came in second with 362 points, edging out Oklahoma State by just two points. A&M; and OSU each received one first-place vote. They were the only two schools other than OU to do so.

Missouri (281) and Texas (265) rounded out the top five, with Baylor (194), Texas Tech (191), Kansas State (140), Iowa State (93) and Kansas (51) finishing off the list.

Kansas being picked to finish last comes as little surprise. Its 51-point total indicates that voters had nearly as easy a time penciling in their 10th-place team as they did their first-place squad.

KU enters 2011 after a 3-9 season in which its only conference victory came against Colorado in a wild, 52-45 victory that went down as the greatest comeback in school history. Eight of the other nine teams that remain in the conference won at least three league games last year with only Texas (2-6) coming close to matching KU’s 1-7 mark.

While most are quick to say that preseason polls don’t mean much, Oklahoma has shown during the Big 12 era that it takes the cream-of-the-crop status seriously. The Sooners lead the Big 12 with seven conference football championships (2010, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2002 and 2000) and have finished first at the end of the season during six of the nine years in which they were picked to win the South division.

With the conference having done away with divisions, this year’s preseason poll also shows just how difficult winning the conference might be for the four teams that remain from what was known as the Big 12 North.

Only Missouri (fourth, 281 points) was picked to finish in the top half of the league, with KSU, ISU and KU filling out the bottom three spots.

In years past, the teams in the North only had to beat out each other to earn a spot in the conference title game, where they would take on the South champion in a winner-take-all game in which the victor automatically advanced to a BCS bowl.

The road to BCS glory certainly has gotten a lot bumpier for those four as well as the rest of the conference.

Big 12 preseason poll

  1. Oklahoma (428 points, 41 first-place votes)

  2. Texas A&M; (362, 1)

  3. Oklahoma State (360, 1)

  4. Missouri (281)

  5. Texas (265)

  6. Baylor (194)

  7. Texas Tech (191)

  8. Kansas State (140)

  9. Iowa State (93)

  10. Kansas (51)


nuleafjhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Needless to say - not a big Tx fan, but I would be surprised to see them finish at 5 or lower when it's all said and done.

David Atchley 11 years, 2 months ago

Hmmmm...all the apologists for Turner Gill have Kansas picked last in the Big 12. Meanwhile, Missouri has solidified themselves as a football "program" Oklahoma State has solidified themselves as a "program" and catapulted up to the top tier of the conference. As pointed out in previous comments, UT has slipped in the rankings, but did a complete overhaul of coaching staff and regardless of rankings, still finished their football recruiting this year as ranked number 1 for the 2012 class so far. You see, the difference between a UT football program and the hot mess of a "team" that Kansas is attempting to field, is UT will "slip" to 5 on occasion, but still have their pipeline full of the top recruits in the State of Texas. The new coacheing staff at UT that have been hired are predominately from the SEC and were the cream of the crop of coaching talent. This is bringing Texas for the first time a more national reach in recruiting and more specifically, the top talent in the SEC conference. Meanwhile, the have-nots fight over the recruits that either athletically or academeically don't qualify to attend UT. You see, Kansas had a "program" and one that was gaining a lot of traction and credibility with Mark Mangino, that was giving kids in states like Texas "pause" to contemplate going to Kansas. However the brain trust of the search commiittee and the crooked athletic department elected to run Mangino out of town, and in the process, decides to wipe away the entire Kansas football program and bring in some football genius from the University of Buffalo. It may be a surprise to find a UT ranked at 5....Kansas is lucky there's only 10 teams in the conference this year or they wouild be 2 places lower. Congratulations Search Committee and Kanas brain trust, job well done!

vd 11 years, 2 months ago

Really? With MM we threatened for a conferemce title 1 year. The other 7 years we finished in the bottom half of the conference. Keep smoking and living in a dream world.

nuleafjhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

hahahahahaha - are you going on Letterman or Leno first?

Ludwig Supraphonic 11 years, 2 months ago

We have two Orange Bowl appearances in 40 years. Lots of lean years before and several since. I was delighted to be playing after New Years. I'm not sure how one Orange Bowl trip left anyone the impression that we have turned the corner and should instantly contend with established programs. Through the years marginal success at KU has put coaches in the discussion when positions open up at winning programs. We are not a destination for an elite coach to consider in the prime of their career. I hope we can build a program with a developing coach who views putting our program on the map as an ongoing career opportunity. I hope to live long enough for KU to be a coaching destination, rather than a stepping stone for higher aspirations. ( I know how naive that sounds. Who but a homer would not be upwardly mobile?) Coach Gill came on the ESPN radar quickly and fit the bill as a person of interest with his NC pedigree. He has a midwest/southwest connection and was viewed as a potential heir to an elite program (Yeah, we can hate them but I won't argue their 5 decades of football success). I'm not suggesting anyone overlook evidence of poor preparation or ill-advised game decisions. Give this Coach a chance to build a program. We have no other viable options.

vd 11 years, 2 months ago

Had MM been successful and built a contending program, would he have stayed at KU? Doubt it.

Funhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Yet, after the Orange Bowl win, no other school came knocking. Hornhawk is the fun realist of the day. I have seen the two Jayhawk Orange Bowl games and lots of lean years and I still love KU football and trust in HCTG. He is the man!

Phoggin_Loud 11 years, 2 months ago

No where to go but up!! Who cares what "They" say?

Go get 'em, "Hawks!!

texashawk10 11 years, 2 months ago

I can see KU finishing 8th this year as Iowa St. and KState are both going to be pretty bad this year. ISU's defense should be slightly improved this year meaning they should be a middle of the road defense nationally, but their offense will be the worst in the Big 12 this year. I still wouldn't make KU a favorite in that game right now though because the game is in Ames and unless KU shows they can compete on the road, I don't know if they could beat ISU at their place. KSU is going to be bad this year. Bryce Brown is nowhere near as talented as Daniel Thomas and they will have almost no passing game this year. On defense, KState will be terrible again this season and Arthur Brown will not be a savior for them on defense. He had 17 total tackles in 2 seasons with Miami and for a top 10 national recruit has been an absolute bust of a player.

squawkhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

"All of the programs are projected to finish in the bottom half this season. Of the group, Baylor has the best quarterback, Kansas State the best coach, Iowa State the best attitude and Kansas the longest way to go." Blair Kirkhoff, KC Star

Read more:

squawkhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

By saying KSU will be "bad" do you mean to imply they will only beat us by 30 points this year? I'll have a little of what you've been smoking.

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