OU, Texas tied atop Big 12 preseason media football poll

JAKE TROTTER Modified: July 23, 2009 at 9:56 pm •  Published: July 23, 2009
A year later, the result is still the same.

One season after Oklahoma and Texas finished in a controversial three-way tie, the two Red River rivals are tied atop the Big 12 South preseason media poll, released Thursday.

Both the Longhorns and Sooners totaled 174 points from 32 media members who voted in the annual poll. Texas held the edge in first-place votes (17-15), but finished with the same point total as OU.

Oklahoma State was picked third in the South with 130 points, followed by Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas A&M.

In the North Division, Nebraska edged Kansas as the preseason favorite. The Cornhuskers received 17 first-place votes and totaled 172 points. Kansas received 12 first-place votes and 164 points.

Last season, the Sooners and Longhorns finished the regular season in a three-team tie with Texas Tech atop the South standings.

Even though Texas defeated OU earlier in the year, the Sooners went on to the Big 12 Championship because they were rated higher in the BCS standings.

To plead their case before BCS voters, that they were more deserving of advancing to the Big 12 title game, Longhorn fans paid for a flyover in Stillwater before the Bedlam game to remind voters of Texas’ 45-35 win over OU in the Cotton Bowl. Texas coach Mack Brown also went on ABC during the game to argue Texas’ side.

The debate led to an eventful offseason.

In April, reporters in Texas discovered the Longhorn football staff had included "2008” with an asterisk on a wall listing their Big 12 titles inside the Moncrief-Neuhaus training facility. Brown claimed he had no knowledge of the asterisk and had "2008*” removed the next day, though by then, the act had drawn the ire of Sooner fans everywhere.

The tiebreaking controversy also later led to an unsuccessful push from Texas officials to have the Big 12 tiebreaker rule changed over the summer.

As for the poll, The Oklahoman tracked down several of the 32 media members who voted. Nearly every media member credentialed for Big 12 Media Days next week in Irving, Texas, was eligible to vote. For that reason, the poll probably had a higher participation rate of Texas media since more Texas media members are being credentialed for the event due to their proximity to the Dallas area.

The consensus explanation among those who picked Texas over OU was concern over the Sooners’ offensive line, which returns only one starter, Trent Williams.

"Basically, both are going to be great. Both have questions. But OU’s offensive line, their question, is going to take longer to answer,” said Blair Kerkhoff, who covers Big 12 football for the Kansas City Star and voted Texas ahead of the Sooners. "I remember leaving spring ball thinking, ‘Sam Bradford is going to be great, but he’s not going to have the same numbers.’ That offensive line (last season) was so good, so dominant.”

Said Big 12 writer Tim Griffin of ESPN.com, "I voted Texas with trepidation. It’s really a flip of the coin.”

League officials will reveal the preseason All-Big 12 team and individual honorees today.

2009 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll

North Division

1.

Nebraska (17)

172

2.

Kansas (12)

164

3.

Missouri (3)

124

4.

Colorado

100

5.

Kansas State

81

6.

Iowa State

33

South Division

1.

Texas (17)

174

1.

Oklahoma (15)

174

3.

Oklahoma State

130

4.

Texas Tech

89

5.

Baylor

75

6.

Texas A&M

33

* First-place votes in parentheses


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