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How Accurate Are Big 12 Football Media Polls?

NCAA Football: Big 12 Football Championship-Texas Christian at Kansas State

As we get closer to kickoff for the 2023 college football season, we still have one more big event left on the calendar. Of course, I am talking about Big 12 Media Days. I always say that Media Days is truly the unofficial start to the season.

Each year media members are given a ballot for a preseason All-Big 12 team and a ballot for the preseason poll. Why they give me one I am not sure because I have never really considered myself a true media member. I like to think of myself as a below-average blogger who likes to have a drink while he punches on a keyboard.

Yet each year, I get one, and each year I fill it out. Some years I feel better about it than others, but I must say that this year may have been the toughest of all. We have four new teams in the conference now with BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF. And in case you have been living under a rock over the last few months, this will also be the last year that Texas and Oklahoma will be on a preseason ballot for the Big 12 Conference.

 

But as I sat there wandering off into space while filling out my ballot, a thought popped into my empty head. Just how accurate are these media polls we do? I know that I can’t control how others think because I am just one vote, but I wanted to look back over the years and see how these media polls panned out. I didn’t want to go too far back so I decided to go from 2017 since that is when the Big 12 championship game came back.

2017

Oklahoma was picked to finish first while Oklahoma State was picked to finish second. The Sooners ended up making it to the championship game and winning but they faced TCU who was picked to finish fifth that year.

2018

Oklahoma was picked to finish first while West Virginia was picked to finish second. Once again, the Sooners made it to Jerry World and won but they ended up playing Texas that year who was picked to finish fourth.

 

2019

To nobody’s surprise, Oklahoma was the favorite in 2019. Of course, Oklahoma won the Big 12 title that year but Texas did not make it despite being picked second. Instead, it was Baylor who played in the championship game and the Bears were picked to finish sixth.

2020

This was just an odd year due to COVID-19. There were no media days that year but there was a preseason poll. Oklahoma was picked as the top dog and Oklahoma State was the second choice. The Sooners won yet another Big 12 title, but they ended up playing Iowa State who was picked to finish fourth.

2021

With Oklahoma being on top for so long, they were the hot pick in 2021 to win the Big 12. The media picked Iowa State to finish second to set up a rematch from the 2020 Big 12 title game. However, neither pick was correct. The championship game ended up being between Baylor and Oklahoma State. That year the Bears were picked to finish eighth while Oklahoma State was picked to finish fourth.

 

2022

For the first time since 2015, Oklahoma was not picked to win the Big 12. However, they were picked to finish second while Baylor was the favorite last year. But neither team made it to the Big 12 title game because TCU and Kansas State were the two to make it to Jerry World.

Thoughts

While the media never picked a correct championship game matchup, they had a good run from 2017 to 2020. During those four years, Oklahoma was picked to win the Big 12 and they did. However, the last two years were a completely different story. The media didn’t get a single team right in the top two. In 2021, neither Baylor nor Oklahoma State was picked to finish higher than fourth. And the same thing happened last season because TCU was picked to finish seventh while Kansas State was picked to finish fifth.

Call me crazy but that’s what makes this conference so fun to watch. It is extremely tough to predict which means anything can happen. Each week is total chaos and as a fan of college football, I love it. This year, the media picked Texas to win the Big 12 and Kansas State as the runner-up. We will have to wait and see how that pick plays out but until then, grab a beer, a snack, and enjoy the season.

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