Big 12 football power rankings: Preseason polls should be worthless


Dec 1, 2012; Waco, TX, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy watches his team prepare to face the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears defeated the Cowboys 41-34. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason rankings are the worst thing that’s ever been invented.

With college football’s current postseason formula, that will (thankfully) finally become extinct after this season, preseason rankings mean absolutely everything to the sport. Yet, they are pointless because no one knows anything about these teams.

There are certainly things to gauge, as in the Iowa State Cyclones losing a large number of starters. Obviously Jake Knott and A.J. Klein will be missed, but how big of an effect will it have on the team? No one can accurately predict what a certain player will do until they strap on a helmet and get on the field.

But thanks to preseason rankings, the chase to a national championship lies in the top 10 teams in these polls. Unless a school is Notre Dame, Florida State, or an SEC school outside of the top 10, there is just about no chance to squeeze into the race.

That pretty much leaves every Big 12 team out of it entering into the 2013 season. The Oklahoma State Cowboys are plenty of peoples’ number one pick for the conference, but they’re currently 14th in the USA Today poll. That’s one part of the BCS equation that actually matters.

There’s six SEC teams above them.

For those that hate the SEC, it’s going to be downright insufferable this year. With ESPN heading under the covers even further with the 81-year-old conference, to the point of having its own gameday preview show, they’ll receive even more focus than what they’ve been given these past eight or so years. The first game that ESPN shows that doesn’t involve an SEC team is the night game with Notre Dame and Michigan in week two.

Hopefully nobody in the Big 12 has a goal to reach the national championship.

Now that I’ve had my annual spiel on how meaningless preseason polls should be, here’s the official Clones Confidential Big 12 preseason rankings.

  1. Oklahoma State Cowboys – They won’t miss Wes Lunt with two quarterbacks returning, and they’ll just reload at running back with another big guy in Jeremy Smith.
  2. Texas Longhorns – The team returns 19 starters and likely have the best quarterback in the conference with David Ash.
  3. Oklahoma Sooners – Having a redshirt freshman could hurt early on, but this team overall will be vastly improved from a season ago.
  4. TCU Horned Frogs – Needing to rely on Casey Pachall at quarterback could be tough, and their schedule is very demanding with both Oklahoma schools on the road early.
  5. Kansas State Wildcats – If Bill Snyder is still coaching, this team is still winning.
  6. Baylor Bears – Art Briles proved last season that he has a system in place on offense, but that defense still remains in question.
  7. West Virginia Mountaineers – After falling off the face of the earth in the second half of last year, it’s hard to expect what will happen in their second Big 12 season.
  8. Iowa State Cyclones – There’s potential if stability is made at quarterback and less injuries happen at running back, but Paul Rhoads’ history of overachieving will be really tested.
  9. Texas Tech Red Raiders – It’s hard to really grasp this team with an unproven head coach in Kliff Kingsbury.
  10. Kansas Jayhawks – Well, Charlie Weis called them a pile of crap, so…