WVU picked eighth in Big 12 poll

IRVING, Texas — West Virginia and first-year coach Neal Brown are picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 Conference, according to the league’s media poll released on Wednesday.

Brown comes to the Mountaineers after a successful tenure at Troy.

He inherits a squad that lost record-setting quarterback Will Grier and a host of talented receivers, including David Sills V and Gary Jennings, and offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste.

Grier and Cajuste were selected in the third round of the NFL draft by Carolina and New England, respectively.

Jennings was drafted in the fourth round by Seattle and Sills went undrafted but was quickly signed by Buffalo.

Defensively, WVU lost linebacker David Long to the NFL’s Tennessee Titans (a sixth-round pick) and projected starters in the secondary –Kenny Robinson and Derreck Pitts — opted to transfer.

Oklahoma is the favorite to win another Big 12 football title.

The Sooners, who garnered 68 of the 77 first-place selections, have won the league the last four years and 12 Big 12 championships overall.

Oklahoma also made the College Football Playoff three of the past four seasons.

Texas was picked second by media covering the league and received the other nine first-place votes.

The top two teams will meet in the conference championship game on Dec. 7. The Longhorns lost to the Sooners in the title matchup in 2018.

Iowa State, TCU and Oklahoma State round out the top five picks.

The Big 12 will have four new head coaches in 2019 with Brown, Les Miles at Kansas, Chris Klieman at Kansas State and Matt Wells at Texas Tech.

Coaches and select student-athletes will converge in Arlington, Texas, Monday and Tuesday for the annual Big 12 Football Media Days to preview the 2019 season.

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