The Big 12 preseason rankings are out, and PFB had a vote this year. We disclosed our All-Big 12 team yesterday, and we wanted to do the same with our rankings today. At our summit last weekend, we put together a team ballot for both the All-Big 12 team and the preseason poll. Here’s what we came up with.
Media Preseason Football Poll
1. Oklahoma State: Future NFL quarterback Mason Rudolph returns to lead the charge for what could be the most prolific passing attack in the country, headlined by the Rudolph-to-Washington connection. We labored over OU vs. OSU in this position for a long time. There was much debate. It’s tough to go against the two-time defending champs of the conference, but when you take into account how much OU lost (including its coach) and the schedule they face (at OSU and KSU), we ultimately settled on the Pokes.
2. Oklahoma: Losing Perine and Mixon in the backfield raises questions about potential production out of the backfield, but Heisman contender Baker Mayfield won’t let the Sooners fall far from Big 12 title contention.
3. Kansas State: Bill Snyder returns senior quarterback Jesse Ertz, a 1,000-yard rusher in 2016-17, along with a pair of future pros on its defensive line and secondary. It should scare everyone that KSU is consistently (and almost exclusively) picked lower than they finish.
4. Texas: The Longhorns have all the talent in the world on defense, and their skill talent is far from lacking. But concerns about the quarterback position—is Shane Buechele an elite quarterback?!—have us cooling on Texas in Tom Herman’s inaugural season at the helm. Some members of our team tried to drop them to 6th (or lower!) and we probably would have if Charlie Strong was still the coach.
5. TCU: Similar to Texas, Kenny Hill doesn’t seem to be built to lead the Horned Frogs to Big 12 title contention.
6. West Virginia: If Dana Holgerson can fine tune transfer quarterback Will Grier into a rich-man’s Skyler Howard, the Mountaineers might have something special. Running back Justin Crawford is a lock to rush for 1,000-plus yards in Holgerson’s ground-and-pound offensive scheme. (Who thought those words would be typed five years ago?!)
7. Baylor: New head coach Matt Rhule has plenty to sort out in his first year as head coach. On the field, that starts with the quarterback position. With Seth Russell gone, that leaves sophomore Zach Smith set to presumably fill the role as the starter. It won’t be the same spread offensive attack Baylor has been known for, our own Thomas Fleming bemoans.
8. Iowa State: If there’s a team that could stun us next season, it’s the Cyclones. Matt Campbell’s squad showed marked improvement last season, and with quarterback Jacob Park returning with experience, he has something to build off from a 3-9 season. They were competitive last year, so winning those close games could be the difference between eighth place and a bowl game.
9. Texas Tech: Replacing Patrick Mahomes is easy on paper given Tech’s air-raid offensive attack, but we don’t feel it will be a seamless plug-and-play situation. We don’t expect the Red Raiders to field a competitive defense. Shocking, I know.
10. Kansas: Dorance Armstrong Jr. is a future NFL talent coming off the defensive line, but Kansas’ roster on the whole is still void of talent ready to compete in the Big 12. But hey, at least it is recruiting at a high level.