The Big 12 was ready to turn the page after the 2014 season. With no team in the inaugural College Football Playoff, a squabble about the league’s One True Champion motto and a losing record in bowl games, next season couldn’t come fast enough.
It’s here. At least the talking points part of the season has arrived. Big 12 Media Days begin a two-day run on Monday.
The league figures to start from a strong position in the national landscape. TCU and Baylor, last season’s co-champions, have received much preseason attention. Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin enters the season as a strong Heisman Trophy candidate. Baylor’s 18 returning starters are the most in the conference.
Oklahoma State looks to build on a fast finish from last season, while Oklahoma is motivated from its late-season slump.
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Kansas State? The Wildcats were projected to finish seventh in the media preseason poll that was released last week. But K-State tends to spoil forecasts. In the four years of a 10-team league, the Wildcats have been picked to finish eighth (2011), sixth, sixth and third.
The actual finishes: second, first, fifth and third.
The league’s lone new coach is Kansas’ Dave Beaty, who arrives from the Texas A&M staff and takes over a program that returns just a handful of starters from a team that finished 3-9 in 2014.
But everybody’s on even footing at Media Days.