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Oklahoma top-heavy choice in Big 12 preseason poll

Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley led the team to the national semifinal in his first season.Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Oklahoma was an overwhelming choice to repeat as Big 12 Conference champions in the league's preseason poll.

The Sooners, who have won the past three conference titles, earned 46 of 52 first-place votes and had 509 total points. It marked the sixth time in eight seasons that the school was named the preseason favorite.

Oklahoma is coming off a 12-2 season that ended with a 54-48 loss in double overtime to Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal.

The 2017 conference title marked a successful debut for first-year head coach Lincoln Riley, who replaced Bob Stoops following a surprise retirement in June. It was the school's 11th league championship since 2000.

The Sooners are bidding to become the first school to win four consecutive Big 12 titles. They must replace quarterback Baker Mayfield, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

West Virginia finished second in the poll, garnering two first-place votes and 432 points. TCU (390) and Texas (370) each earned one first-place vote and were third and fourth, respectively.

Oklahoma State (300) wound up fifth while Kansas State (283) finished sixth despite nabbing the remaining two first-place votes.

Rounding out the preseason poll were Iowa State (250), Texas Tech (149), Baylor (125) and Kansas (52).

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