After a 6-4 season in West Virginia head coach Neal Brown’s second year in Morgantown, the Big 12 Football Preseason Poll picked WVU to finish sixth in the Big 12 this season — exactly where they finished last season.
The Big 12 poll, voted on by media representatives, picked Oklahoma as the preseason favorite to win the conference. Oklahoma garnered 386 votes (an overwhelming 35 first-place votes) while second-place Iowa State earned 351 votes (a distant four first-place votes).
Texas (273 votes), Oklahoma State (266 votes) and TCU (255 votes) rounded out the Top 5. WVU received 185 votes in sixth place while Kansas State (163 votes), Baylor (124 votes), Texas Tech (103 votes) and Kansas (39 votes) rounded out the Top 10.
🏈 The 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣1️⃣ #Big12FB Preseason Poll 🏈
— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) July 8, 2021
A sixth straight first place projection for Oklahoma, the ninth time since 2011, is fueled by redshirt sophomore Spencer Rattler’s Heisman hopes and another strong recruiting class while Iowa State is fueled by the potential to build off a loss to Oklahoma in last season’s Big 12 championship game.
This preseason’s poll largely reflects the ending of last season’s regular-season standings, with just a few minor alterations, such as flipping Texas and Oklahoma State and Baylor and Texas Tech.
WVU’s preseason hype isn’t exactly jumping off the page, picked to finish in the middle of the Big 12 pack, but one Mountaineer has picked up some preseason praise.
Senior defensive lineman Dante Stills was the lone Mountaineer with a preseason All-Big 12 mention, racking up preseason All-American and Top Returner status from ProFootballFocus too. One of the leaders of the top defense in the Big 12 last season, Stills and co. will have their work cut out in replacing a few key members across all positions.
With a jump in wins in each of Brown’s first two seasons in Morgantown, WVU’s quest to jump into the top half of the conference begins this season with a Sept. 4 non-conference game against Maryland in College Park. WVU’s Big 12 conference schedule opens this season against Oklahoma in Norman on Sept. 25.