The Big 12 preseason champion has officially been crowned by the media—and no, it's not who you think.
In a conference that has two powerhouse programs in Oklahoma and Texas, it's a little strange when one of them isn't picked to be the best.
However, that is exactly what happened when the Big 12 media made their predictions.
Oklahoma State is the paper Big 12 champion, according to Big12Sports.com.
The Cowboys received 365 votes, which was 10 more than Oklahoma. Six teams received at least one first-place vote, but Oklahoma State led the way with 15. Other teams that earned a first-place vote were Oklahoma (8), TCU (9), Texas (8), Baylor (2) and Kansas State (1).
Who will win the Big 12?
Oklahoma and Kansas State shared last year's Big 12 crown, which means that Oklahoma or Texas has won at least a piece of the conference title in seven of the last eight years. Oklahoma State won the conference in 2011 with a 12-1 record.
Truthfully, the Big 12 is as wide open as a BCS conference can get. The competition has drastically improved over the years. Last season eight Big 12 teams qualified for a bowl game. This season should also be terrific for the conference, as seven teams return at least 11 starters.
The biggest surprise was Texas' surprisingly low finish in the media rankings, as Brett McMurphy of ESPN pointed out.
Vegas projects Texas favored every game, except toss up vs. OU, but Big 12 media predicts UT to finish 4th— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 18, 2013
Texas leads the country with 19 returning starters, including a quarterback, all five offensive linemen, plenty of depth at running back and six players from the defensive front seven. The Longhorns also have a favorable schedule, facing three of their toughest opponents—Ole Miss, Kansas State and Oklahoma State—at home.
It seems like the media has lost faith in Texas due to its last three seasons of mediocrity.
Big 12 Media Days begin Monday, and these predictions figure to be a primary topic of conversation.