Big 12 Media Picks WVU No. 2

West Virginia will enter its first season as a member of the Big 12 Conference expected to immediately compete at the league's highest levels. The Mountaineers were picked to finish second in the Big 12 behind only Oklahoma in the preseason media poll released Thursday.

The Sooners would earn their eighth Big 12 championship if they make good on the media's prediction. They were the overwhelming top choice, garnering 32 of a possible 41 first-place votes.

West Virginia, the defending Big East champion, will begin its time in the Big 12 as one of the favorites. Its seven first-place votes were easily good enough for second-best in the rankings.

The Mountaineers, newcomers to the league, were slotted just ahead of one of the league's traditional stalwarts, as Texas finished in third in the rankings. Defending conference champion Oklahoma State was fourth.

The other Big 12 newcomer, TCU, finished fifth in the poll and received a single first-place vote. The Horned Frogs were just three points ahead of fifth-place Kansas State, which picked up the final first-place vote.

Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Kansas rounded out the rankings of the league's 10 teams.

The lofty pick for WVU comes on the heels of Wednesday's all-conference selections, when quarterback Geno Smith edged out OU's Landry Jones for preseason offensive player of the year and all-Big 12 honors. The Mountaineers' Tavon Austin was also an all-Big 12 choice as a receiver and punt returner.

The full Big 12 preseason poll is as follows, with first-place votes in parentheses and total points also listed:

1. Oklahoma (32) 396

2. West Virginia (7) 339

3. Texas 291

4. Oklahoma State 267

5. TCU (1) 260

6. Kansas State (1) 257

7. Baylor 162

8. Iowa State 121

9. Texas Tech 116

10. Kansas 46

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