Despite being tabbed as the likely conference champion by Brian Fremeau in his simulations, the media picked the Texas Longhorns to finish fourth in the conference this season in the preseason Big 12 poll released Thursday.
Fremeau's simulations had the Longhorns with a 39% chance to win the school's first conference title since the 2009 season, while the media only gave Texas eight first-place votes. Oklahoma State was tabbed by the league scribes as the likely top team with 15 first-place votes, while Oklahoma was a surprising second-place finisher with eight first-place votes, and TCU third with nine first-place votes.
The bottom line? The media is understandably reticent to give the 'Horns too much credit for their returning talent level and are skeptical about their ability to find success because of the struggles the last three seasons.
But know this -- if Texas finishes fourth in the conference, a finish that would likely necessitate three or more conference losses, the heat on head coach Mack Brown will be significant by the end of the season, especially if one of those losses comes in the Cotton Bowl to Oklahoma. With the wide-open nature of the conference, as evidenced by six teams with first-place votes, finishing fourth in the Big 12 this season would be unacceptable this year and would likely result in a full-on fan revolt against Brown. And the boosters wouldn't be happy, either.
Here is the entire poll:
2013 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll
|1.||Oklahoma State (15)||365|