FRISCO (KXAN) — The first full weekend of college football is seven weeks away. This week, the Big 12 hits the national stage with Media Days from The Star in Frisco, Texas.
For Texas, Oklahoma and Baylor, there will be a new head coach at the press conference microphone. Each with a unique challenge ahead. Tom Herman is charged with bringing Texas back to it’s perceived spot in college football after three straight losing seasons under Charlie Strong. In eight months on the job, Herman has made changes to facilities and done some damage in the recruiting world. Now, the Longhorns have to prove it on the field.
Lincoln Riley was set to start his second season as Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator before longtime Sooners head coach Bob Stoops stepped down in June. Oklahoma, yet again, is the favorite to win the Big 12 and compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Riley is staring those hefty expectations in the face as a first-time head coach.
Matt Rhule follows in the shadow of Art Briles and the scandal at Baylor. Rhule signed a seven year deal at Baylor with the idea that the Bears rebuild will take an uncertain amount of time.
If Oklahoma were to falter from the top of the Big 12, the likely team to unseat the champion is an hour down the road in Stillwater. Oklahoma State is loaded with offensive talent with returning quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington. The Cowboys don’t have much in terms of defense, but it may not matter because their offense is that good.
Big 12 Preseason Poll (first place votes in parentheses)
1) Oklahoma (19)
2) Oklahoma State (12)
3) Kansas State (1)
6) West Virginia
8) Texas Tech
9) Iowa State