The first of our own Kevin Lyttle’s weekly Big 12 power poll, preseason style:
1. OKLAHOMA (11-2, 7-2 last year): The Sooners will recognize Louisiana Tech’s new defensive coordinator Saturday. It’s Manny Diaz. Run, OU, run. This week: Louisiana Tech.
2. BAYLOR (11-2, 8-1): The defending league champs officially break in $260 million McLane Stadium on Sunday, along the banks of the Brazos. This week: SMU (Sunday)
3. TEXAS (8-5, 7-2): All eyes are on Charlie Strong, but it’s the health of fragile QB David Ash that will make or break this season. This week: North Texas
4. KANSAS STATE (8-5, 5-4): Beware, Big 12. The Wildcats tend to out-perform expectations under sly old fox Bill Snyder. This week: Stephen F. Austin
5. TCU (4-8, 2-7): If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Even old-school Gary Patterson is trotting out the fancy spread offense. This week: Samford
6. TEXAS TECH (8-4, 4-5); Take cover, the Air Raid offense poised for another powerful start. But will it have a better ending? This week: Central Arkansas
7. OKLAHOMA STATE (10-3, 7-2): Opening up against the defending national champs is cruel and unusual punishment for the rebuilding Cowboys. This week: Florida State
8. WEST VIRGINIA (4-8, 2-7): OK, what’s worse? Facing the ‘Noles in nearby Jerry World or the Crimson Tide deep in SEC country? This week: Alabama
9. IOWA STATE (3-9, 2-7): If it’s any consolation, Cyclones, the three-time defending FCS champs were gutted by graduation. This week: North Dakota State
10. KANSAS (3-9, 1-8): The idle Jayhawks to give DVRs a workout, perhaps pick up pointers on how to play the game. This week: Off.
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