The University of Utah was picked to finish first in the Big 12 Conference’s annual preseason media poll, while BYU was picked 13th in the 16-team conference.

With 20 first-place votes and 906 points, the Utes were projected to win the Big 12 in their first season in the conference, just beating out Kansas State, who had 19 first-place votes and 889 points. Oklahoma State rounded out the top three, with 14 first-place votes and 829 points.

The other first-place vote recipients were Kansas, who received five votes for the No. 1 team in the conference and checked in at No. 4 in the preseason poll, and Arizona, who received three votes for the No. 1 team in the conference and checked in at No. 5 in the poll.

The Utes are led by returning quarterback Cam Rising, tight end Brant Kuithe and transfer wide receiver Dorian Singer on offense and linebacker Lander Barton, defensive tackle Junior Tafuna and cornerback Zemaiah Vaughn on defense.

Kuithe marked Utah’s only one offensive selection on the preseason All-Big 12 team, voted by the media. Defensive tackle Junior Tafuna and punter Jack Bouwmeester were also selected.

Utah plays three of the top six teams in the Big 12 preseason poll — at Oklahoma State (3), vs. Arizona (5) and vs. Iowa State (6) — and six teams picked eighth or lower — at ASU (16), vs. TCU (10), at Houston (15), vs. BYU (13), at Colorado (11) and at UCF (8).


In their second season in the Big 12, BYU was picked to finish 13th in the conference, one spot below Baylor and ahead of Cincinnati, Houston and Arizona State.

The Cougars, who have an upcoming fall quarterback battle between Jake Retzlaff and two-time transfer Gerry Bohanon, are led by running back LJ Martin, and wide receivers Darius Lassiter, Kody Epps and Chase Roberts on offense and defensive lineman Tyler Batty and linebacker Ben Bywater on defense.

Batty was BYU’s lone selection to the preseason All-Big 12 team.

BYU has a tough draw in conference play this season, facing every team in the projected top five of the Big 12 — at Utah, vs. Kansas State, vs. Oklahoma State, vs. Kansas and vs. Arizona. The Cougars play four teams picked eight or lower — at UCF (8), at Baylor (12), vs. Houston (15) and at Arizona State (16).

Big 12 preseason media poll

  1. Utah
  2. Kansas State
  3. Oklahoma State
  4. Kansas
  5. Arizona
  6. Iowa State
  7. West Virginia
  8. UCF
  9. Texas Tech
  10. TCU
  11. Colorado
  12. Baylor
  13. BYU
  14. Cincinnati
  15. Houston
  16. Arizona State
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