West Virginia Picked Eighth in Poll

Staff and Wire Reports

IRVING, Texas – Oklahoma State has been picked as the favorite to win the Big 12 title in a preseason poll of media members who cover the league.

Six different teams got first-place votes in the poll released Thursday in advance of next week’s Big 12 football media days.

The Cowboys got 15 of the 43 first-place votes and 365 points in the poll. Oklahoma, which shared last year’s Big 12 title with Kansas State, was picked second with eight first-place votes and 355 points.

TCU was picked third with nine first-place votes, one more than Texas.

Baylor got two first-place votes for fifth, ahead of Kansas State, which got the remaining first-place vote. Texas Tech, West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas round out the preseason poll.

Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen has plenty of holes to fill has he begins his third season at WVU, the school’s second in the Big 12.

The Mountaineers dropped six of its final eight games in 2012, including a defeat at the hands of former Big East foe Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Among the 22 letterwinners lost are Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Shawne Alston, Josh Jenkins, Tyler Bitancurt and Terence Garvin.

Thirteen starters return, however, including Weirton Madonna alum Connor Arlia at wide receiver.

Three Oklahoma State players were selected to the conferences preseason team by the media Wednesday – receiver Josh Stewart, defensive lineman Calvin Bennett and linebacker Shaun Lewis.

Also Wednesday, Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk and TCU defensive end Devonte Fields were tabbed Big 12 preseason players of the year.

WVU’s Charles Sims, a transfer from Houston, was named newcomer of the year.

Big 12 coaches will gather for the conference’s annual Media Days on Monday and Tuesday in Dallas.

West Virginia opens its season at home at noon Saturday, Aug. 31 against William & Mary. The Mountaineers begin Big 12 play the following Saturday at 7 p.m. at Oklahoma.