Iowa State Cyclones

Seven Big 12 Teams Ranked in Phil Steele’s Top 40 of 2024

Sep 17, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Utes quarterback Cameron Rising (7) runs the ball against the San Diego State Aztecs in the second quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Steele, otherwise known as the Godfather of CFB preview magazines (probably), is entering the high point of his work season as the college football season starts to appear on the horizon.

Steele has long been considered one of the most reliable sources of preseason college football information, and that remains the case entering the 2024 season.

The 2024 edition of his college football preview magazine is starting to make its rounds and is in the hands of fans around the country this week.


One of the biggest features in the publication is Steele’s Top 40, which is often compared alongside the official Preseason Top 25, but is released well ahead of the latter.

Seven Big 12 teams made the cut in Steele’s Top 40, and five of them appeared inside the Top 30.

Kansas, which is getting plenty of preseason attention after its 9-4 campaign last season, is ranked No. 37 on the list and is the lowest-ranked of the seven teams, according to Steele.

Just two spots ahead of them at No. 35 is West Virginia, who also won nine games in 2023. They return Garrett Greene and Jahiem White, among several other contributors, and look to be a team that could compete for a Big 12 title.


Jump to No. 30 and you’ll find the first newcomer on this list in Arizona. Despite the loss of head coach Jedd Fisch, the Wildcats retained several stars, including Noah Fifita, Tetairoa McMillan, and Tacario Davis. Arizona should be a team in contention for Big 12 supremacy at the end of the year.

Iowa State is next on the list, checking in just one spot up at No. 29. Matt Campbell’s team returns 85% of its total production from a season ago and is led by a star-in-the-making at quarterback, Rocco Becht.

Now, just inside the Top 25, we find Kansas State, who shows up at No. 23 on Steele’s list. Avery Johnson, DJ Giddens, and Dylan Edwards might just be the most formidable backfield in the entire country, and that alone makes them a problem.


Then, all the way up to No. 15, is Mike Gundy’s Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Pokes went 10-4 a season ago and rank inside the top five nationally among returning production. With Ollie Gordon leading the way, OSU looks the part of a legit Big 12 contender.

Finally, Steele’s frontrunner to win the Big 12 appears to be Utah, who comes in at No. 8 in his Top 40. The Utes return star quarterback Cam Rising as well as the majority of their defensive starters from a season ago. Plus, with the addition of several pass-catchers, namely Dorian Singer, Utah should be a formidable opponent for anyone on their schedule.

There were some very interesting omissions on the list, though, as many Big 12 fans will assuredly point out. UCF is nowhere to be found, and neither are Texas Tech, TCU, and Colorado.

Here’s a condensed list of the Big 12 teams listed.

  • No. 8 Utah
  • No. 15 Oklahoma State
  • No. 23 Kansas State
  • No. 29 Iowa State
  • No. 30 Arizona
  • No. 35 West Virginia
  • No. 37 Kansas

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