The Times West Virginian

Sports

July 17, 2014

Big 12 preseason poll released

MORGANTOWN — Good news, bad news for West Virginia.

About 24 hours after receiving a commitment from 2015 quarterback recruit David Sills, ranked among the top pocket passers in the country, WVU was voted to finish eighth in the Big 12 preseason poll.

The media did the voting.

Oklahoma was picked to win its ninth conference championship.

The Sooners received 47 of 56 first-place votes and 548 total points to top the preseason rankings. OU returns 20 starters from last year's 11-2 Sugar Bowl champion squad, including both specialists. The program's eight Big 12 titles are a league record.

Defending Big 12 champion Baylor received the other nine first-place votes for 508 points.

Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma State rounded out the top five followed by Texas Tech, TCU, West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas.

West Virginia was not even considered a threat to break into the top seven teams in the league, finishing 127 points shy of No. 7 TCU and just 49 points ahead of No. 9 Iowa State.

Sills received national attention as a 13-year-old when he was offered a scholarship by then USC coach Lane Kiffin, committing to the Pac-12 school.

He has matured into a 6-foot, 4-inch throwing machine who plays at Red Lion Christian Academy in Elkton, Maryland. That is the same school that sent running back Wendell Smallwood and receiver Dakiell Shorts to WVU.

Smallwood, by the way, was expected to extradited to Delaware today where he faces a charge of witness intimidation in a 2012 murder investigation. The charge now is being pursued as a class G felony, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail.

While not ranked any higher than a 3-star prospect now, Sills is listed as the No. 14 pro style quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 39 among pocket passers by ESPN.

Head coaches and selected student-athletes will converge in Dallas from July 21-22 for the annual Big 12 Football Media Days.

Live video coverage, including press conferences and one-on-one interviews with a variety of guests, will be featured both days on the Big 12 Digital Network, including Big12Sports.com. The Big 12's social media sites will also offer a unique perspective from Big 12 Football Media Days.

2014 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll

1. Oklahoma (47) 548

2. Baylor (9) 508

3. K-State 377

4. Texas 376                                                                                                                                                                   5. Oklahoma State 312

6. Texas Tech 308

7. TCU 297

8. West Virginia 170

9. Iowa State 121

10. Kansas 63

--first-place votes in parentheses

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