Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State and quarterback Clint Chelf—coming off an 8-5 record last season—are picked to win the Big 12 this time around.


DALLAS , Texas — Oklahoma State was unveiled as the media’s preseason pick to win the Big 12 Conference football title, though the top four teams were tightly bunched.

Oklahoma was picked second, with TCU third and Texas fourth. A whopping six teams—more than half the league—received first-place votes.

West Virginia, with its quarterback situation unsettled for the first time in three seasons and needing to repair a defense that was horrid in 2012, was picked eighth.
2013 Big 12 football media preseason poll:
Oklahoma State (15)
Oklahoma (8)
TCU (9)
Texas (8)
Baylor (2)
Kansas State (1)
Texas Tech
West Virginia
Iowa State


While preseason pollsters wield all the accuracy of blindfolded dart-thrower after a dizzy bat race, they are a necessity because they set expectations and afford us a plausible excuse to talk football in July.

With that in mind, here are my top-to-bottom picks:

1. Texas: Loads of talent, albeit drastically underdeveloped talent. Mack Brown isn’t the senile idiot some haters make him out to be, and last year’s super-green team will grow into the league’s best.

2. TCU: Casey Pachall is stepping back into the QB’s role—or more accurately, 12-stepping back into the QB’s role—and the defense is regaining its nasty nature.

3. Oklahoma: If only the Sooners can get past pesky WVU in Week 2 …

4. Oklahoma State: Mike Gundy had a busy offseason, replacing amazing quarterbacks coach Todd Monken and reading all the thank-you emails from Butch Jones.

5. Texas Tech: The Tommy Tuberville bon-voyage party lasted about as long as a Red Raiders huddle. Enter West Texas legend-to-be Kliff Kingsbury, who brings back a zippy passing attack (but alas, no Johnny Manziel).

6. Baylor: The Holiday Bowl beatdown of UCLA fraudulently fueled offseason speculation the Bears could win the wide-open Big 12.

7. Kansas State: Losing Optimus Klein isn’t as bad as this year’s Minimus Defense—whereby the front seven must be rebuilt.

8. West Virginia: Even a Pinstripe Bowl bid might be reason to celebrate this season.

9. Kansas: The Weis Guys open the year aiming to end a 21-game Big 12 nightmare. When the losing streak ends—and it will at some point this season—let’s see the Jayhawks try to carry their coach off the field.

10. Iowa State: Can the best-coached team in the league finish last? It can this year.

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  • Big Fred

    I don't know Jase. I say 6-6 at best.

  • Jase

    Call me crazy but I'm going with a one loss record with the loss coming against tcu. Will play against some unranked team with a three loss record in a bcs game after being snubbed for the national championship game

    • Hop'sHip

      You're crazy.

  • Justin

    gonna be a tough year to watch again folks. however in 2 years we'll see a much better team/program then we've ever seen in mountaineer history..

  • Matt

    Still rather be picked # 8 in the Big 12 than the # 2 or 3 in the Big East.

    • Allan Taylor

      Agreed, Matt, and you've got ample company on that one. WVU football would've sunk into recruiting and financial oblivion had it remained in what has become the AAC. A schedule chock full of Tuesday/Wenesday games and few tie-ins to bowls you've actually heard of. Forget any grousing over long trips to play Texas and Texas Tech—imagine traveling that far only to face Houston and SMU.

      • Big Fred

        Thank you Matt and Allan! Finally someone on this message board that makes sense. The Big 12 was the best thing that happened to WVU. The Big East in the early '90s is gone. So to all of those saying we should have stayed what became the AAC I say get over it.

  • leroy jethro gibbs

    wvu does extremely well when they are the underdog. i believe this year will suprise alot of people

  • lee arthur

    They need to get in a league where they can compete.

    • Jase

      Did you not watch any games last year? There were 3 top tier games that could have gone either way, compete are u kidding me???? And that was with the worst d in the league, this year they are guaranteed too be better on d, and maybe on offense too. Those 3 games by the way were Oklahoma, tcu, and Oklahoma st, although the osu game got out of hand late in the game

    • Charles

      And you sir need a new team to root for. Competitive conference is what all real fans have wanted for over the past decade. This is it. Big boy football. I want to be the best. To be it you have to beat the best. We have to learn to compete every week again like the 90's. can't just show up. Causes us to compete on the field and in the facilities wars. Instead of competing against Rutgers, and syracuse's crap facilities we now have ou, osu, and texas to catch up too. We will. A mountaineer should never want the easy way out!!!!

  • wvajoker

    You may think Jordan Thompson is a joke, and I hope our opponents think that too, because he will burn them. I think he is the real deal, BUT that is my personal opinion because I am a Mountaineer fan. Goooooo

  • Justin

    Doesn't this article confirm that last season was a bust?

  • 1BigWVUFan

    Perhaps, I am too much of an optimist, but I can see WVU going 10-2 and playing in a BCS Bowl. Here are the reasons for my optimism and they are in no particular order:
    --- Coaching changes: Patterson is both the Defense Co-ordinator and LB Coach
    --- ---- The addition of the following Coaches: Mitchell, Crook, and Seider
    --- ---- Moving Coach DeForest to Special Teams

    --- The following players:
    Kickers: Scott Lavine, Nick O'Toole, Alex Lauthan
    RBs/Receivers: Andrew Buie, Dustin Garrison, Cody Clay, Charles Sims, Mario Alford, Dreamius Smith, Will Johnson,
    Wendell Smallwood, Sheldon Gibson, Kevin White, Ronald Carswell, Elijah Wellman, Connor Arlia
    Center: Stone Underwood
    OL: Quinton Spain, Tyler Orlosky
    DL: Will Clark, Kyle Rose, Christian Brown, Dozie Ezemma, Shaq Rowell, Eric Kinsey, Korey Harris, Marvin Gross
    LB: Darrien Howard, Wes Tonkey, Isaiah Bruce, Doug Rigg, Garrett Hope, Jewone Snow, Jared Barber, Tyler Anderson,
    Al Rasheed-Benton, Dontrill Hyman, d'Vante Henry, Brandon Golson, Shaq Petteway
    Safety: Karl Joseph, Darwin Cooke, Malik Greaves, Jarrod Harper, Travis Bell, William Marable, Isaac McDonald,
    K.J. Dillion
    CB: Brodrick Jenkins, Terrell Chestnut, Ishmael Banks, Nana Kyeremeh, Brandon Napolean, Ricky Rump,
    Avery Williams, Nana Twum Agyire

    WVU is loaded this season with quality Linebackers, Receivers and Running Backs, while at other positions they weak.

    My biggest concern going into the 2013 Season is the OL, and as good a coach as Crooke is, I just don't think he has the talent and athleticism he needs to produce a quality OL.

    • Charleston,WV

      Much agreed. I do however worry about the chemistry considering that a lot of the players are freshman and sophomores. However you never know how it will play out. I do appreciate your optimism though as it is difficult to find it on these message boards, especially with the three headed monster of Larry, Moe and Curly.

  • Helen5844

    According to the predictions in the SEC these media people are 4-12. Quite a record. I do not care what they think I believe we will do just fine if we play our best each and every week. No one thought we had a chance against Clemson either. Our guys need to play with a chip on their shoulders every week. No one even says how good Joseph is. He will show them all this coming year.
    I am very proud to have seen Will Clarks name listed on the Good Works nomination.
    Also congrats to Jordan Thompson who is on the Belinickoff Award Watch List. LETS GOOOO MOUNTAINEERS

    • big tom

      what,,, jordan caught 8 passes last yr. and is on the Belin. list,,, that's the biggest joke of the yr.

      • Allan Taylor

        These preseason watch lists aim to market themselves on every website/newspaper from coast-to-coast by including almost anyone who can buckle a chinstrap at the appropriate position. (That said, Squirt might still be polishing up his Spring Game Biletnikoff ...)

      • JS

        No, Tom. That "biggest joke of the yr." award goes to YOU. Please visit your own fan blogs at Marshall or Pitt and spew your negativity.

  • wvrefugee

    What's most interesting to me is that I predicted that if we went .500 in the conference last year I said it would be a great season with the conference change and all. I was labeled a negative Nellie. Look what happened??????
    I predict at least 1 game under .500 in the league this season and the non-conference record is a toss up.
    Who will get a raise or get fired after this season??????????

  • Moon

    Ha! Dana Holgs offensive production remains the same the year after he loses a quarterback. So if the offense is good and the defense is just bad.....then we should be 9-3. Nobody in our league is all that. We will beat OK in Norman 41-27.......again....LOL

    • big tom

      why would anyone think that we can replace of offense what we lost and still be as productive as last yr.... be realistic,, it ain't gonna happen,, quit dreamin...tavon austin comes along once in a generation,,,, stedman had great hands and ran routes well,, and Geno just may be the best qb ever at wvu.... so where do we find a qb and two recievers with these skills,,, they certainly aren't on this falls roster...get real man.

      • Shawn

        Dana Holgorsen's system made Geno the best QB at WVU. It also made Bailey and Austin the best to come out of WVU in a long time. Its not different than Rich Rod's system making Pat White one of the best to ever play at WVU.

      • Tom

        IMHO, Geno is not the best QB to play at WVU. Pat White and Major Harris were better. Geno had some outstanding games, but at other times (e.g. Texas Tech, Pinstripe Bowl) fell flat on his face. In his defense, the OL was not very impressive either. If they are not improved this year, your bleak prediction may come true.

      • Charleston,WV

        You obviously haven't done your homework regarding the offensive production of Dana's offensive schemes through the years. The linchpin of last years team was our horrid defense. If there is a slight improvement of our defense and special teams we should have a much better record. To boot you must say that all the returning defensive players have a chip on their shoulders. Don't lose the faith brother.

        "If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome."(a quote from Michael Jordan). Let's Gooooooooooooo

  • big tom

    those who say 9-4, 8-5 etc. simply are stupid.
    we have new coaches, we have new players filling in new positions, we don't have a kicking game , we don't have a def. , our off line will be extremely young,,, and we aren't playing a bunch of patsies like the big east.
    this past recruiting yr wasn't bad, wasn't great, but not bad,,, we need to step it up, for three yrs, and when deforest leaves , have a legit coach to replace him.
    really a 5-7 yr is about on..... 6-6,,, be a far reach,,, i hope so, i hope we get a bowl, but i wouldn't bet the farm on it..

  • Rugger

    Here's a chip for that shoulder.

  • FungoJoe

    4-8 and thats there fate.
    9th in the Big 12, won't be swell.
    No stars to speak of, there's just no love
    For WVU, its deja vue.

    • Allan Taylor

      How about a haiku, Fungo?

      • FungoJoe

        For the Mountaineers
        There'll be no winning season
        And no bowl game flop.

        • Allan Taylor

          Most honorable attempt, Fungo.

          • FungoJoe

            Empty seats abound
            As Mounties take a beat down
            No couches will burn.