Media taps Wildcats as underdogs for 2005

MANHATTAN, Kan. For the first time in three seasons, two teams other than Kansas State and Oklahoma have been predicted to win the Big 12’s North and South Divisions, according to a poll conducted by the conference office of media who regularly cover the league.


According to the poll, voters are anticipating a rematch of the 2001 title game, which pitted Colorado and Texas.


Colorado returns 18 starters off of last year’s Big 12 North championship team that went 8-5 and won the Houston Bowl. The Buffs received 25 first place votes out of a possible 50 media ballots.


Texas has 17 starters back from last season’s 11-1 squad that won the Rose Bowl and finished as the runner-up to Oklahoma in the Big 12 South. The Longhorns tallied 40 first place votes in the poll.


K-State, the media’s preseason choice in 2003 and 2004, was predicted to finish fifth in this year’s race and received one first-place vote. OU, the defending league champ, was tapped second in the South.


Prior to the 2003 preseason poll, Kansas State had been picked as high as second three times (1998, 2000 and 2001). The other four seasons K-State was picked to finish third in the North.


The winners of the North and South divisions will square off for the 2005 Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Dec. 3, at Houston’s Reliant Stadium. The game will be telecast nationally by ABC at 12 p.m. CT.


Big 12 teams will be in Houston Tuesday-Thursday for the annual Big 12 Football Media Day. The regular season gets underway with a full slate of non-conference games on Sept. 3, including Florida International vs. Kansas State at 1:10 p.m. at KSU Stadium.


2005 Big 12 Media Preseason Football Poll (Media Vote)

North Division

1.  Colorado (25) 257

2.  Iowa State (14) 231

3.  Nebraska (5) 204

4.  Missouri (5) 170

5.  Kansas State (1) 111

6.  Kansas 78


South Division

1.  Texas (40) 287

2.  Oklahoma (9) 248

3.  Texas A&M (1) 195

4.  Texas Tech 162

5.  Oklahoma State 104

6.  Baylor 51


(First-place votes in parenthesis)