Oklahoma football: Sooners picked to finish 2nd in Big 12 Preseason Poll

NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 23: Safety Chanse Sylvie #28 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs onto the field for a game against the TCU Horned Frogs on November 23, 2019 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. OU held on to win 28-24. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 23: Safety Chanse Sylvie #28 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs onto the field for a game against the TCU Horned Frogs on November 23, 2019 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. OU held on to win 28-24. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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For the first time in seven years, someone other than the Oklahoma football team is the pick of media representatives to win the conference in the 2022 Big 12 Preseason Poll.

Reigning conference champion Baylor received 17 first-place votes and edged the second-place Sooners as the conference favorite for the coming season.

Oklahoma received the second-most first-place votes (12). Oklahoma State received nine first-place votes and is picked to finish third, followed by No. 4 Texas, which was first on two ballots. Kansas State was fifth, followed by Iowa State, TCU, West Virgina, Texas Tech and Kansas.

The Sooners have compiled a record of 58-8 over the last seven seasons and won six conference titles. Since the Big 12 was established in 1996, Oklahoma has won 14 of the conference’s 26 championships. No other school has won more than three.

This is the first time in Big 12 history that Baylor has been picked as the preseason favorite.

The Sooners return seven players on offense who started at least seven games a year ago and five on defense.

Only one Oklahoma player, however, was named to the 2022 Preseason All-Big 12 Team announced on Wednesday. Punter Michael Turk was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Defensive Team. New Sooner quarterback Dillon Gabriel, who transferred to OU after three seasons at UCF, was named Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year.

OU’s one Preseason All-Big 12 representative is a vast departure from previous seasons. The Sooners placed nine players (five on offense and four on defense) on the 2021 Preseason All-Big 12 Team and five the year before that.

Oklahoma will open the 2022 season at home on Sept. 3 against the University of Texas-El Paso.