Kansas has won eight straight Big 12 regular season titles, and even with the loss of Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor Big 12 coaches expect the Jayhawks to extend the streak to nine.
The Big 12 released its preseason coaches’ poll on Thursday, and Kansas was the unanimous choice to win the conference.
Since coaches aren’t allowed to vote for their own teams the Jayhawks picked up nine first-place votes, with Bill Self’s vote going to the Baylor Bears.
Scott Drew’s club, coming off of it’s second Elite Eight appearance in three years, finished second in the voting with Oklahoma State being the choice to finish third.
1. Kansas – 81 points (nine first-place votes)
2. Baylor – 63 (one first-place vote)
3. Oklahoma State – 60
4. Texas – 58
5. Kansas State – 54
6. West Virginia – 45
7. Oklahoma – 34
8. Iowa State – 28
9. Texas Tech – 18
10. TCU – 9
Being picked by the coaches to win the Big 12 tends to work out for teams when looking at the history of the preseason coaches poll, as only four times in the history of the conference has the preseason pick failed to finish third or higher.
Oklahoma State finished 5th in 1998-99, with Kansas finishing in a tie for fifth the following season and Missouri doing so in 2003-04.
The worst performance by the Big 12 coaches’ choice? That would be last year’s Texas A&M squad, which was hit hard by the injury bug and finished ninth.
Given the close nature of this season’s poll after Kansas (2nd through 6th are separated by 18 points), it should be interesting to see how the race shakes out.
Obviously what happens with Texas point guard Myck Kabongo would have a major impact on that if he’s forced to miss games, and teams such as West Virginia (6th) and Oklahoma (7th) may prove to be underrated by the coaches.