IRVING, Texas - Missouri and Oklahoma were picked to repeat as division champions in 2008 in a preseason poll of media that cover the Big 12 Conference.
Missouri was the unanimous choice of 51 voters to win the North division. The team returns 17 starters off of last year’s 12-2 squad that tied with Kansas for the North title and made its first appearance in the Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship. The Tigers ended the 2007 season with a win over Arkansas in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, their fourth consecutive bowl appearance. Mizzou finished fifth nationally in total offense (490.3 ypg), ninth in passing offense (314.1 ypg) and eighth in scoring offense (39.9 ppg) a year ago.
Kansas was chosen to finish second followed by Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas State and Iowa State.
Oklahoma received all but two first-place votes as the favorite to win the South division. The Sooners welcome back 11 starters from their 2007 Big 12 Championship squad. OU has won five league titles in six appearances, both conference records, and last season became the first team to win consecutive Big 12 championships. Oklahoma finished at 11-3 in 2007, registering at least 10 victories for a nation-leading 30th season.
Texas was picked to place second followed by Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Baylor.
The winners of the North and South divisions will square off in the 2008 Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Dec. 6, at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. The game will be telecast nationally by ABC at 7 p.m. CT.
Big 12 teams will be in Kansas City Monday-Wednesday for the annual Big 12 Football Media Day. The 2008 season opens with a full slate of non-conference games beginning Aug. 28.
First-place votes in parentheses