clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Baylor Picked 6th in Big 12 Media Pre-Season Football Poll

NCAA Football: Albany at Baylor Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After being selected at the top spot for the first time in program history in 2022, Baylor football has been tabbed as the 6th best team in the conference in the 2023 Pre-season Media Poll. The Bears are considered to be in the top half of the conference during its one and only season with 14 teams. Interestingly, Baylor was the only school voted in the top 7 who did not receive a first place vote.

Coming off of a dissapointing 2022 campaign, where the Bears finished 6th with a 6-7 overall record and 4-5 conference record, this placement makes some sense. Baylor sits in an interesting position in this poll, as they are over 100 points ahead of 7th place, but are over 150 points behind the 5th place school. The voters have put Baylor as a bit of a measuring stick in this poll. If you’re better than the Bears, you’re likely a pretty good team, and if you’re lower, the expectations aren’t likely very high for you.

Texas was selected at the top spot for 2023, hoarding 41 of the 67 available first place votes. And as we all know, Texas never fails with high expectations.

But, even with all those first place selections, the Longhorns only edged out the defending champion Kansas State Wildcats by 48 overall points. This means Kansas State was likely selected at number 2 on most ballots, while voters who did not select Texas at number 1 had them further down the list. One of the biggest surprises has to be at the number 3 spot, where Oklahoma edged out Texas Tech. The Sooners are coming off of one of their most disappointing seasons in recent memory, which saw them finish 8th in the conference with a 3-6 Big 12 record and 6-7 record overall. Voters (like me) have some higher expectations for Venables and staff to have this OU squad closer to a classic, dominant Oklahoma squad, rather than the transitional one that took the field last season.

Texas Tech and TCU round out the top 5, with only 2 points between the two of them. TCU ran the table in the Big 12 regular season last year, and made it all the way to the national title game, but fell short in both that game, and in the Big 12 Championship. With a lot of production lost, a 5th place selection seems right. Texas Tech, on the other hand, appears to be on the upswing, with energetic coach Joey McGuire and his staff tearing up the recruiting trail and keeping people excited about what this team is capable of after an impressive win the Texas Bowl to close out their 2022 campaign.

Behind Baylor, in 7th place, sits Oklahoma State. I picked them much further down my ballot than this, as Mike Gundy has had a rough offseason. Someone gave them a first place vote, something I have some questions about. After the Cowboys comes UCF at 8th, the highest ranked of the new joiners. They have some solid coaching and a solid team. If you’re looking for a big riser in 2023, this may be one of your easy picks.

At 9th, we have the Kansas Jayhawks, coming off of their best season in about 15 years. The Jayhawks don’t appear to be a doormat anymore, but they’ll need more than one season to get the full respect of the voters. Closing out the top 10 is Iowa State. The Cyclones finished dead last in the Big 12 last season, something coach Matt Campbell will do everything he can to avoid happening again. They have some controversy around the team with a gambling scandal this offseason, but if they are able to play at full strength, I think this could truly be a dark-horse for the Big 12 this season, in the mold of what we saw from TCU last year (just no title hopes).

At 11 through 13, we have the rest of the newcomers, as BYU, Houston, and Cincinnati grab those spots respectively. There’s a lot of unknowns here, so I didn’t expect to see this group ranked very highly. Especially from a group of voters who haven’t covered them much. Finally, West Virginia grabs the least coveted bottom spot. No surprises here, as I doubt anyone has high expectations for the Mountaineers. But, on the bright side, you can’t finish lower than your preseason ranking when you’re picked 14th.

What do you think? Who was too high? Too low? Who’s the 2023 sleeper?