Where the Big 12 ranked in the ESPN’s preseason Football Power Index – Sooners Wire

With spring wrapping up for some teams around the country, preseason polls are just around the corner. The Football Power Index provided by ESPN is no different. On Tuesday they released their preseason FPI poll for all 130 teams in Division I.

Last season’s final FPI poll finished with the Oklahoma Sooners finishing at No. 4 with the Texas Longhorns right behind them at No. 6, and Iowa State Cyclones at No. 10. This year there were a total of seven conference schools inside the top 25 in the preseason poll.

Sooners Wire looks at each Big 12 school’s ranking with the initial FPI, Oklahoma checks in first with a ranking of No. 2.

No. 2: Oklahoma Sooners

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

FPI: 26.6

Projected W/L: 11-2

The Sooners are looking for a seventh-straight Big 12 championship in 2021. With starting quarterback Spencer Rattler under center with a full season now under his belt, the sky is the limit for this team. If Rattler can lead them to the College Football Playoffs then he could find himself at the Heisman ceremony by season’s end.

No. 4: Iowa State Cyclones

Brian Powers-USA TODAY Sports

FPI: 22.8

Projected W/L: 10-3

Based on the Football Power Index, the Cyclones look to return to the Big 12 title game for a second-straight year. They return most of their team but can they beat Oklahoma when it matters the most?

No. 9: Oklahoma State Cowboys

Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

FPI: 15.0

Projected W/L: 8-4

The Cowboys have plenty of questions of their own as they march towards the 2021 campaign. No Chuba Hubbard or Tylan Wallace will make things a little more difficult on OSU. Can Spencer Sanders grow into the leader they believe he is and carry this team to a Big 12 title game berth?

No. 12: Texas Longhorns

Ricardo B. Brazziell-USA TODAY NETWORK

FPI: 14.2

Projected W/L: 7-5

ESPN wasn’t too kind to Texas with their projected win-loss stat. The Longhorns need to find out who their quarterback will be and figure out the offensive line if they want to finally get back into the hunt. Standout freshman Bijan Robinson is looking to be the next great back out of Austin.

No. 19: Texas Christian Horned Frogs

Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

FPI: 12.1

Projected W/L: 7-5

The Horned Frogs are needing to reload on the defensive side of the ball after losing three key defensive starters. Can Max Duggan get TCU over the hump and win a couple of bigger games outside of just Texas? Gary Patterson is hoping to start the 2021 campaign in the same manner they finished 2020.

No. 21: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

FPI: 11.5

Projected W/L: 7-5

A bit of a surprise to see the Red Raiders in the top 25 of the FPI poll. The arrival of Sonny Cumbie as offensive coordinator and Oregon transfer Tyler Shough could be the shot in the arm this team needs. They are still looking for their first season with a winning record in conference play since Mike Leach’s final season in Lubbock over a decade ago.

No. 24: West Virginia Mountaineers

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

FPI: 11.0

Projected W/L: 6-6

The Mountaineers were a problem for opposing offenses a season ago. The biggest problem for WVU came when they played on the road going winless. They will need to find a way to win a couple road games if they want to climb into the top half of the Big 12.

No. 44: Kansas State Wildcats

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

FPI: 5.7

Projected W/L: 6-6

Following the loss of quarterback Skylar Thompson to a season-ending injury, the Wildcats faltered down the stretch after winning four-straight to open conference play. Can the return of Thompson spark the Wildcats team in 2021?

No. 47: Baylor Bears

Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

FPI: 5.3

Projected W/L: 5-7

The Baylor Bears will have a new quarterback under center after Charlie Brewer transferred to Utah and a whole new offensive system with the arrival of Jeff Grimes from BYU. The big question is can the offense catch up to the defense under the guidance of Dave Aranda?

No. 109: Kansas Jayhawks

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

FPI: (-7.7)

Projected W/L: 2-10

The Jayhawks went winless in 2020 during the COVID-19 shortened season. With a new man in charge following the dismissal of Les Miles, can Emmett Jones get KU into the win column this year?

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