Kansas Football Picked Fourth in the Big 12 North

July 21, 2010

IRVING, Texas –

Kansas football has been predicted to finish fourth in the Big 12 North division according to the conference’s media preseason poll, which was released Wednesday morning.

The last time KU was projected to finish fourth in the Big 12’s preseason poll was 2007 – when the team went 12-1 and won the FedEx Orange Bowl at the end of the season. The team had been predicted to finish second in the league’s North division each of the past two seasons.

“I do not get excited about preseason picks; it’s all about being productive on the field,” Kansas head coach Turner Gill said.

Under Gill, the Jayhawks return 38 lettermen and 17 starters from last year’s squad, which went 5-7. Among the returnees are three who earned Freshmen All-America honors, including offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson, linebacker Huldon Tharp and safety Lubbock Smith. Also returning to the squad are Big 12 Honorable Mention recipients: defensive end Jake Laptad and punter Alonso Rojas.

Nebraska was the unanimous choice to repeat as the North division champion as the Huskers received 156 total points, including all 26 first-place votes. The Huskers were followed by Missouri (125), Kansas State (79), Kansas (70), Colorado (61) and Iowa State (55).

In the South division, Oklahoma is listed as the preseason favorite. The Sooners garnered 16 of 26 first-place votes and 146 total points, while Texas received the 10 remaining first-place votes and 140 points. The Sooners and Longhorns are followed by Texas A&M (97), Texas Tech (68), Oklahoma State (53) and Baylor (42).

The winners of the North and South divisions will meet in the 2010 Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, Dec. 5. The game will be televised nationally on ABC at 7 p.m. CT.

Big 12 teams will be in Dallas next Monday through Wednesday for the annual Big 12 Football Media Days. Kansas will be participating on Wednesday with offensive lineman Brad Thorson, Laptad and defensive back Chris Harris.

2010 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll

North Division

1. Nebraska (26) 156

2. Missouri 125

3. Kansas State 79

4. Kansas 70

5. Colorado 61

6. Iowa State 55

South Division

1. Oklahoma (16) 146

2. Texas (10) 140

3. Texas A&M 97

4. Texas Tech 68

5. Oklahoma State 53

6. Baylor 42