It should come as no surprise that Oklahoma was once again picked to finish atop the Big 12 Conference. For the fifth consecutive year, representatives from the media crowned the program as the preseason favorite despite a new quarterback entering the equation. Clearly, the offensive line combined with the a stellar running back is enough to carry this group in conference play. Behind the Sooners, things get a bit interested though.
Despite a fourth year starter under center and numerous Preseason All-Big 12 Selections, the Longhorns fail to secure the second spot on the list. Gaining four first places votes, Texas falls into the third slot and just out of contention for the Championship. Subsequently, the college football playoff dreams are likely smashed in the process.
Instead, Oklahoma State assumes the roll of challenger above all others. With a three-headed monster in Spencer Sanders, Tylan Wallace, and Chuba Hubbard leading the charge, the offense is up to par. Opposing defensive coordinators will have their hands full with such a potent lineup which warranted six first place votes. That means the defense will likely need hold opponents below the average if the Cowboys hopes to claim the title this season.
For now, it appears as though it’s a four horse race with Iowa State entering the mix by garnering more than 600 points in the initial vote. All other programs in the Big 12 fell below the 500-point mark. Yet, a dark horse candidate could easily emerge from below the line.