Coming off of a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, the Sooners look poised to challenge Kansas for the Big 12 regular season championship. In the Big 12 coaches poll released today, the Sooners were picked second in the conference right behind the Jayhawks and closely followed by Iowa State. The Cyclones were actually the only other team besides Kansas to get a first place vote, which means Kansas coach Bill Self thinks that Iowa State will be better than Oklahoma this season.
Texas was picked fourth, Baylor was fifth, West Virginia was sixth, Oklahoma State was seventh, Kansas State and TCU were tied for eighth, and Texas Tech was picked to finish 10th in the conference. The Big 12 sent seven teams to the NCAA Tournament last year, but only West Virginia and Oklahoma advanced out of the Round of 32. They still had the most bids of any conference (the Big 10 also had seven) despite having just 10 teams in the conference.
In the first preseason coaches poll, the Sooners were ranked eighth in the country. Iowa State was ranked ahead of them at number seven and Kansas was ranked fifth. Baylor and West Virginia were the only other ranked teams from the Big 12, with the Bears ranked 21st and the Mountaineers ranked 23rd. Texas received votes, but failed to make the top 25 despite the Big 12 coaches picking them over Baylor and WVU.
Kentucky and North Carolina split first place in the first poll of the season, the first time that has happened in a preseason coaches poll. Maryland, Duke, Kansas, Virginia, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Villanova, and Arizona round out the top 10.