Big 12 Media Days are a few short days away, giving us the signal that football is right around the corner. Soon we’ll talk about fall camps and breaking down actual games. But first, let’s rate all the conference teams.
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I have a little bit of variance from the media preseason poll, but we do agree with the Iowa State’s ranking. Here is Clones Confidential’s official Big 12 preseason football poll.
- Oklahoma Sooners
- Baylor Bears
- Kansas State Wildcats
- TCU Horned Frogs
- Oklahoma State Cowboys
- Texas Longhorns
- West Virginia Mountaineers
- Texas Tech Red Raiders
- Iowa State Cyclones
- Kansas Jayhawks
For those that read the blog or follows CC on Twitter, you’ll know that I was extremely high on Baylor last season. They lived up to expectations outside of a beatdown to Oklahoma State and giving up a ton of points to Central Florida in their BCS game.
This year, Oklahoma should get back to the cream of the crop. The defense is stout — more of the reason why I liked the Bears last year. Everybody can have success on offense in the Big 12, but it’s what teams do on defense that will separate the pack. And that’s where the Sooners have a slight edge over the Bears.
However, don’t Baylor out. Their defense will still be good, and the offense will just be as lightning fast as it was last year. Those two teams are on one tier by themselves — actual contenders for the conference title.
Next up is a mish-mash of mid-tier teams in the conference. Kansas State is flirting as a contender, especially with some serious weapons on both sides of the ball. Plus, Bill Snyder is an incredible coach — he can literally make any Wildcat team a contender.
Last season went completely wrong for the Mountaineers with injuries and an offense that should have been a lot better.
I actually have TCU slighly higher than most people. While they only hit seventh on the media poll, I think that the Horned Frogs may have the second-best defense in the conference. Their offense is still a mystery, but they should at least be in every game. Plus, last season they came close to toppling teams like Oklahoma and Baylor.
Oklahoma State gets the edge over Texas because of the offense. Tyreek Hill is an absolute freak and his projection could be better than any weapon the Longhorns have on offense — including both of their veteran running backs. The quarterback situation is also a big question mark for Texas.
After that, we have the bottom tier of the conference — Texas Tech, West Virginia, Iowa State, and Kansas. Unless things really bounce their way, I don’t believe any of these teams will get to a bowl game.
The Red Raiders’ complete fall-off has me a bit worried coming into this season. It’ll be on Davis Webb‘s shoulders at quarterback, not to mention the offense is a bit retooled and they lose their big receiving weapons. To be quite honest, this team could do a lot worse than the majority of people think.
This is why, contrary to most, I have West Virginia all the way at seven. Last season went completely wrong for the Mountaineers with injuries and an offense that should have been a lot better. They’re still looking for a quarterback, but they have all the weapons, especially on the ground, to be at least in a bowl berth consideration.
Iowa State and Kansas round out the 10. Trust me, I tried every scenario to put the Cyclones above eighth being a homer and all, but there’s nothing. There’s enough upside on the eight teams ahead of them, plus the defense is about as fragile as rolling a water balloon over a floor of spikes.