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Berry Tramel

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Big 12 preseason poll not so accurate in 10-team format

by Berry Tramel Published: July 18, 2014
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OU quarterback Kendal Thompson tries to escape the grasp of OSU defensive end Jimmy Bean in the 2013 Bedlam game. (Photo by Bryan Terry)
OU quarterback Kendal Thompson tries to escape the grasp of OSU defensive end Jimmy Bean in the 2013 Bedlam game. (Photo by Bryan Terry)

The Big 12 preseason media poll is out, and the Sooners are an overwhelming pick to win the conference title. So what does that mean?

This is the 19th Big 12 preseason poll. In the previous 18, 15 included years in which the league was split into two divisions. So there have been 33 first-place finishes on the line.

The prognosticators weren’t bad when picking division winners. But they’ve not been good since the league went to the 10-team, round-robin schedule.

In 2011, voters picked OU to win it. The Sooners tied for third. OSU, picked third in the preseason, was the champion.

In 2012, voters narrowly picked OU over West Virginia. The Sooners tied with Kansas State for the title (though KSU went to the Fiesta Bowl, by virtue of its victory in Norman) and West Virginia tumbled into a four-way tie for fifth. K-State had been picked sixth.

In 2013, OSU was the preseason choice. The Cowboys tied for second. Baylor, picked fifth, was the champion.

But in the divisional days, the voters fared better.

In 15 years of divisional play, the preseason media poll correctly picked the North winner 13 times — seven times the choice finished first outright, and six times it tied for the division lead. That’s fairly strong.

During those years, the South was not quite so easy. Six times the outright South winner was correctly picked. Four times, the choice tied for first place. And in 2009, OU and Texas finished in a deadhead in the preseason; Texas did indeed finish in first place.

And that’s how it should be. A six-team division is much easier to select than a 10-team conference.

Here are the Big 12 preseason media polls, starting with the inaugural in 1996, and how the teams fared:

 

1996

North

1. Nebraska (finished first)

2. Colorado (finished second)

3. Kansas State (finished third)

4. Kansas (finished fifth)

5. Iowa State (finished sixth)

6. Missouri (finished fourth)

South

1. Texas (finished first)

2. Texas A&M (finished third)

3. Texas Tech (finished second)

4. Baylor (finished sixth)

5. Oklahoma (finished fourth)

6. Oklahoma State (finished fifth)

 

1997

North

1. Nebraska (finished first)

2. Colorado (tied for fourth)

3. Kansas State (finished second)

4. Missouri (finished third)

5. Kansas (tied for fourth)

6. Iowa State (finished sixth)

South

1. Texas (tied for fourth)

2. Texas A&M (finished first)

3. Texas Tech (tied for second)

4. Oklahoma (tied for fourth)

5. Oklahoma State (tied for second)

6. Baylor (finished sixth)

 

1998

North

1. Nebraska (tied for second)

2. Kansas State (finished first)

3. Colorado (finished fourth)

4. Missouri (tied for second)

5. Kansas (tied for fifth)

6. Iowa State (tied for fifth)

South

1. Texas A&M (finished first)

2. Oklahoma State (tied for fourth)

3. Texas (finished second)

4. Texas Tech (finished third)

5. Oklahoma (tied for fourth)

6. Baylor (finished sixth)

 

1999

North

1. Nebraska (tied for first)

2. Colorado (finished third)

3. Kansas State (tied for first)

4. Missouri (tied for fifth)

5. Kansas (finished fourth)

6. Iowa State (tied for fifth)

South

1. Texas A&M (tied for second)

2. Texas (finished first)

3. Texas Tech (tied for second)

4. Oklahoma State (finished fifth)

5. Oklahoma (tied for second)

6. Baylor (finished sixth)

 

2000

North

1. Nebraska (tied for first)

2. Kansas State (tied for first)

3. Colorado (finished fourth)

4. Kansas (tied for fifth)

5. Iowa State (finished third)

6. Missouri (tied for fifth)

South

1. Texas (finished second)

2. Oklahoma (finished first)

3. Texas A&M (finished third)

4. Texas Tech (finished fourth)

5. Oklahoma State (finished fifth)

6. Baylor (finished sixth)

 

2001

North

1. Nebraska (tied for first)

2. Kansas State (tied for fourth)

3. Colorado (tied for first)

4. Iowa State (finished third)

5. Missouri (tied for fourth)

6. Kansas (finished sixth)

South

1. Oklahoma (tied for first)

2. Texas (tied for first)

3. Texas A&M (tied for third)

4. Texas Tech (tied for third)

5. Oklahoma State (finished fifth)

6. Baylor (finished sixth)

 

2002

North

1. Colorado (finished first)

2. Nebraska (finished fourth)

3. Kansas State (finished second)

4. Iowa State (finished third)

5. Missouri (finished fifth)

6. Kansas (finished sixth)

South

1. Oklahoma (tied for first)

2. Texas (tied for first)

3. Texas Tech (tied for third)

4. Texas A&M (finished fifth)

5. Oklahoma State (tied for third)

6. Baylor (finished sixth)

 

2003

North

1. Kansas State (finished first)

2. Colorado (tied for fourth)

3. Nebraska (finished second)

4. Missouri (finished third)

5. Iowa State (finished sixth)

6. Kansas (tied for fourth)

South

1. Oklahoma (finished first)

2. Texas (finished second)

3. Oklahoma State (finished third)

4. Texas A&M (finished fifth)

5. Texas Tech (finished fourth)

6. Baylor (finished sixth)

 

2004

North

1. Kansas State (tied for fifth)

2. Missouri (tied for third)

3. Nebraska (tied for third)

4. Colorado (tied for first)

5. Kansas (tied for fifth)

6. Iowa State (tied for first)

South

1. Oklahoma (finished first)

2. Texas (finished second)

3. Texas Tech (tied for third)

4. Oklahoma State (finished fifth)

5. Texas A&M (tied for third)

6. Baylor (finished sixth)

 

2005

North

1. Colorado (finished first)

2. Iowa State (tied for second)

3. Nebraska (tied for second)

4. Missouri (tied for second)

5. Kansas State (finished sixth)

6. Kansas (finished fifth)

South

1. Texas (finished first)

2. Oklahoma (tied for second)

3. Texas A&M (finished fourth)

4. Texas Tech (tied for second)

5. Oklahoma State (finished sixth)

6. Baylor (finished fifth)

 

2006

North

1. Nebraska (finished first)

2. Iowa State (finished sixth)

3. Colorado (finished fifth)

4. Kansas (finished fourth)

5. Missouri (tied for second)

6. Kansas State (tied for second)

South

1. Oklahoma (finished first)

2. Texas (finished second)

3. Texas Tech (finished fourth)

4. Texas A&M (finished third)

5. Oklahoma State (tied for fifth)

6. Baylor (tied for fifth)

 

2007

North

1. Missouri (tied for first)

2. Nebraska (tied for fifth)

3. Kansas State (finished fourth)

4. Kansas (tied for first)

5. Colorado (finished third)

6. Iowa State (tied for fifth)

South

1. Texas (finished second)

2. Oklahoma (finished first)

3. Texas A&M (tied for third)

4. Oklahoma State (tied for third)

5. Texas Tech (tied for third)

6. Baylor (finished sixth)

 

2008

North

1. Missouri (tied for first)

2. Kansas (finished third)

3. Nebraska (tied for first)

4. Colorado (tied for fourth)

5. Kansas State (tied for fourth)

6. Iowa State (finished sixth)

South

1. Oklahoma (tied for first)

2. Texas (tied for first)

3. Texas Tech (tied for first)

4. Oklahoma State (fourth)

5. Texas A&M (tied for fifth)

6. Baylor (tied for fifth)

 

2009

North

1. Nebraska (finished first)

2. Kansas (finished sixth)

3. Missouri (tied for second)

4. Colorado (finished fifth)

5. Kansas State (tied for second)

6. Iowa State (finished fourth)

South

1. Texas (finished first)

1. Oklahoma (tied for third)

3. Oklahoma State (finished second)

4. Texas Tech (tied for third)

5. Baylor (finished sixth)

6. Texas A&M (finished fifth)

 

2010

North

1. Nebraska (tied for first)

2. Missouri (tied for first)

3. Kansas State (tied for third)

4. Kansas (finished sixth)

5. Colorado (finished fifth)

6. Iowa State (tied for third)

South

1. Oklahoma (tied for first)

2. Texas (finished sixth)

3. Texas A&M (tied for first)

4. Texas Tech (finished fifth)

5. Oklahoma State (tied for first)

6. Baylor (finished fourth)

 

2011

1. Oklahoma (tied for third)

2. Texas A&M (tied for sixth)

3. Oklahoma State (finished first)

4. Missouri (finished fifth)

5. Texas (tied for sixth)

6. Baylor (tied for third)

7. Texas Tech (finished ninth)

8. Kansas State (finished second)

9. Iowa State (finished eighth)

10. Kansas (finished 10th)

 

2012

1. Oklahoma (tied for first)

2. West Virginia (tied for fifth)

3. Texas (tied for third)

4. Oklahoma State (tied for third)

5. TCU (tied for fifth)

6. Kansas State (tied for first)

7. Baylor (tied for fifth)

8. Iowa State (finished ninth)

9. Texas Tech (tied for fifth)

10. Kansas (finished 10th)

 

2013

1. Oklahoma State (tied for second)

2. Oklahoma (tied for second)

3. TCU (tied for seventh)

4. Texas (tied for second)

5. Baylor (finished first)

6. Kansas State (finished fifth)

7. Texas Tech (finished sixth)

8. West Virginia (tied for seventh)

9. Iowa State (tied for seventh)

10. Kansas (finished 10th)

 

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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