MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University football team has been picked to finish in eighth place in the Big 12 Conference this season.

The league released its annual preseason poll on Thursday, which showed WVU receiving the eight-highest vote total, coming just two points shy of TCU for seventh place.

Baylor has been picked to win the conference this year, as the Bears received 17 of the 41 first-place votes. Baylor won the Big 12 Championship game last season.

Behind Baylor were Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Kansas State in the Preseason Top 5. Iowa State, which received one first-place vote, was picked to finish in sixth place.

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West Virginia received 147 voting points, which was 28 more than ninth-place Texas Tech (119). Kansas was picked to finish in last place.

West Virginia is believed to have one of the hardest schedules among Big 12 teams this year. The Mountaineers will have road games at Texas, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State, along with non-conference road games against Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.

This is the third time since 2019 that West Virginia has been picked to finish eighth in the Big 12. Last year’s landing of sixth place in the preseason poll was the best of the Neal Brown Era.

WVU finished sixth in the Big 12 regular season standings last year, which matched the preseason prediction by the media members around the league.

West Virginia finished fifth in the league standings in 2020, which were three spots better than the preseason poll indicated.

Brown’s first year in charge of the program ended with an eighth-place finish, which was in line with that year’s preseason poll.

WVU begins this season on the road in Pittsburgh with the Backyard Brawl. It then returns home for two games, including the conference opener against Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m.

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2022 Big 12 Football Preseason Poll

    1.    Baylor (17), 365
    2.    Oklahoma (12), 354
    3.    Oklahoma State (9), 342
    4.    Texas (2), 289
    5.    Kansas State, 261
    6.    Iowa State (1), 180
    7.    TCU, 149
    8.    West Virginia, 147
    9.    Texas Tech, 119
    10.    Kansas, 48
First-place votes in parenthesis.