On the heels of a Coaches Poll that saw the Baylor Bears ranked #10 going into the 2022 season, which is set to begin in just a few weeks, the AP Poll released just a few minutes ago also put the Bears at #10, one spot behind current conference mate Oklahoma and two spots ahead of Oklahoma State. With BYU at #25, Baylor has three current opponents ranked in the current version of this poll, and that September 10 matchup looms large in week 2. Also ranked are future Big 12 members Cincinnati (#23) and Houston (#24). Texas received some votes.
Having three teams ranked in the top 12 is a good sign for the Big 12. The SEC, led by Alabama at #1, also has three in that range with Georgia at #3 and Texas A&M at #6, although that last ranking begs the question of what A&M would have to do not to be ranked in the Top 10 in a preseason poll. The B1G, led by Ohio State at #2, has two schools in the top 12, with Michigan being the other at #8. The Pac12 also has 2, neither of them, interestingly, being USC or UCLA (although USC is just outside that group at #14). Their two schools are Utah (#7) and Oregon (#11). The ACC has just 1, Clemson at #4, but NC State is just outside the top 12 at #13.
Before anyone says anything like “rankings don’t matter” or “who cares, just prove it on the field!” know that you are wrong. Rankings do matter for reasons we’ve talked about a thousand different ways here, including recruiting, TV scheduling, media coverage (which feeds back into other things), and, ultimately, future rankings (which, again, feed back into other things). Maybe rankings shouldn’t be a thing this early considering how little we know. Maybe we shouldn’t be forced to talk about them or make note of where we are relative to others. But they are, and we are, so here we are.
EDIT: Another view to save you a click: