WVU picked eighth

With a new quarterback for the first time in three years and a defense looking to rebound from last year’s disaster, West Virginia is picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 Conference this season by media representatives who cover the league.

The Mountaineers are projected ahead of Iowa State and Kansas in the 10-team league. WVU has question marks at quarterback after the graduation of three-year starter Geno Smith, who was selected by the New York Jets in the second round of the NFL draft. Receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey also were drafted by the St. Louis Rams.

Oklahoma State, meanwhile, is picked to win its second conference championship. Six teams received first-place votes, but the Cowboys had the most with 15 for a total of 365 points.

OSU won its inaugural Big 12 title in 2011. Eight-time league champion Oklahoma tallied eight top votes and 355 points to finish second in the preseason rankings. The Sooners and Kansas State shared the 2012 Conference title.

TCU was chosen third with nine first-place votes and 347 points while Texas placed fourth with eight first-place nods and 337 points. Baylor picked up two first-place votes and totaled 282 points to finish fifth while K-State was awarded the final top vote and 240 points for sixth. The poll was rounded out by Texas Tech, West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas.

Head coaches and selected student-athletes will converge in Dallas Monday and Tuesday for the annual Big 12 Football Media Days.