Kansas State football will again play the familiar role of underdog come conference play next season.
The Wildcats were picked sixth in the Big 12 preseason media poll released Thursday, garnering two first-place votes but finishing well behind first-place Oklahoma, which nabbed 46 of the 52 first-place votes.
K-State has been picked to finish sixth or worse in three of the last four seasons, with the lone exception last year’s third-place projection. The Wildcats went 5-4 in Big 12 play last season.
West Virginia was picked second in the projection, also receiving two first-place votes, while TCU and Texas rounded out the top four with each program receiving one first-place vote. Oklahoma State also finished ahead of K-State, while Texas Tech and Baylor finished eighth and ninth, respectively.
Kansas finished last in the projection, picked 10th on all 52 ballots. The Jayhawks have won just one Big 12 contest — a 2016 overtime victory at home against Texas — in head coach David Beaty’s first three seasons.
The top two finishers in Big 12 play will compete for the Big 12 championship on Dec. 1 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Big 12 media preseason poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
1. Oklahoma (46) 509
2. West Virginia (2) 432
3. TCU (1) 390
4. Texas (1) 370
5. Oklahoma State 300
6. Kansas State (2) 283
7. Iowa State 250
8. Texas Tech 149
9. Baylor 125
10. Kansas 52