While we were away, the media's preseason poll was released, and four Big 12 teams cracked the top 25.
Here's where the Big 12's teams checked in:
8. Texas A&M
9. Oklahoma State
The SEC had eight teams (five from the SEC West) in the poll, and the Big 12 tied with the Big Ten with four teams.
And other teams receiving votes:
Pollspeak.com, which publishes each ballot, is one of my favorite websites in existence. Getting "mad" at voters is rather pointless (let's remember, only the coaches' poll is factored into the BCS), but I'm mostly just fascinated by how much polls vary from one region to the other, and getting a concrete sense of how others view the national landscape.
Even still, sites like Pollspeak encourage accountability, which if nothing else, produces a poll stocked with voters that are forced to take more time putting together a solid ballot.
Here are a few notes from the site:
Oklahoma earned 36 first-place votes, but 14 others had the Sooners at No. 2. Oklahoma was no lower than fourth on any polls. Tom Murphy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette gave Boise State one of its two first-place votes. Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald was one of four voters to put Oregon at No. 1.
Texas A&M was as high as fourth (Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News) on a ballot, but landed as low as 19th (Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman) on ballots. Cripe's ranking of No. 19 was two spots lower than anyone else, behind two voters who had the Aggies at 17th. Three voters had the Aggies at fifth and sixth, but exactly 31 of 60 voters had the Aggies in the top nine.
You see their names in our lunch links, but here are the voters for this year's poll that cover Big 12 teams: Austin Meek, Topeka Capital-Journal (KU, K-State); Dave Matter, Columbia Tribune (Missouri); David Just, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Texas Tech); John Shinn, Norman Transcript (Oklahoma); John Werner, Waco Tribune-Herald (Baylor); Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman (Texas); Robert Cessna, Bryan-College Station Eagle (Texas A&M)
Oklahoma State had a range very similar to Texas A&M's. One voter (Joe Giglio, Raleigh News & Observer) had the Cowboys at No. 4 on his poll, and two voters had the Cowboys at No. 18 on their polls. Both teams, of course, were on every voter's ballot. As for those who weren't:
Missouri made 49 of 60 ballots from voters, but Big 12 voters seem to be much higher on the Tigers. Jim Wogan of WATE-TV in Knoxville had the Tigers at No. 10, six spots higher than any other voter, but of the seven voters that had Missouri at 17 or 18, three are from Big 12 country. SI.com's Andy Staples has the Tigers at No. 17. One voter (Crippe) had the Tigers at No. 16. For what it's worth, I had the Tigers at No. 16 on my ballot for ESPN's Power Poll, by far the biggest outlier on my ballot. I'm admittedly higher than most on Missouri this year, with a lot of confidence in what James Franklin brings to the table.
Four voters had Texas in their top 20, led by Jeremy Sampson of WLIX-TV in Lansing, Mich. at No. 15. Just two Big 12 voters (Cessna, Werner) had the Longhorns on their ballots. Both had the Longhorns at No. 25. Texas made exactly 30 of the 60 ballots, but 26 of those 30 voters had Texas at No. 20 or below.