Regional football teams occupy the bottom half of the first Big 12 preseason poll without Texas and Oklahoma

Due to the realignment of the conferences, the Big 12 preseason media poll released Tuesday looks very different this year than in years past.

An influx of former Pac-12 programs and the departure of top teams Texas and Oklahoma mean familiar names are nowhere to be seen, while new ones are ready to shake up the status quo.

The new Big 12 wants to prove that bigger bank accounts don't always mean better football teams.

Utah secured first place with 20 first-place finishes and 906 points, narrowly edging out Kansas State with 19 first-place finishes and 889 points. Reigning conference champion Oklahoma State rounded out the top three. Utah won back-to-back Pac-12 championships in 2021 and 2022 before quarterback Cameron Rising missed all of last season due to injury. With Rising's return this year, the Utes have a chance to make a splash in their new home.

While it's no surprise to see Kansas ranked No. 4 after the 2023 season and even receive five first-place votes, it will certainly take some getting used to for longtime Big 12 followers. The Jayhawks, long one of the worst teams in power conference football, have been led into a new era by head coach Lance Leipold, who is entering his fourth year, and rising redshirt senior quarterback Jalon Daniels. Kansas finished No. 23 in last season's final AP Top 25 poll after going 9-4.

In the absence of the Longhorns, all of the remaining Texas teams finished in the bottom half of the poll. Texas Tech led the pack at No. 9, just ahead of TCU at No. 10, while Baylor and Houston finished 12th and 15th, respectively. Deion Sanders' Colorado came in at No. 11 despite posting just four wins and one conference victory last season.

Big 12 releases dates and times for 2024 Football Conference schedule

1. Utah (20)

2. State of Kansas (19)

3. Oklahoma State (14)

4. Kansas (5)

5. Arizona (3)

6. State of Iowa

7. West Virginia

8. UCF

9. Texas Tech

10. Technical data

11. Colorado

12. Baylor

13. BYU

14. Cincinnati

15. Houston

16. State of Arizona

Votes for first place in brackets.

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