Another Big 12 football season is upon us, with anarchy expected to reign in the conference standings.
The only certainty in this balanced league is weekly surprises until the final games are played Dec. 7.
What other conclusion can you draw when preseason prognosticators cast at least one first-place vote for 60 percent of league teams (six of 10) and the favorite, Oklahoma State, draws only 34.8 percent of the available top votes (15 of 43) on media ballots?
Actually, you can take a few more certainties to the bank as Big 12 coaches and players head to Dallas for media days on Monday and Tuesday. We’ll get to those momentarily.
But the primary theme for 2013 — unprecedented balance, with no clear-cut favorite — is undeniable. It will be the overriding expectation until some school from a six-pack of anticipated front-runners does enough to create separation.
That is not likely to happen soon, based on all the checks and balances we know about the contenders. We’ll have a better idea in October when we’ve seen how the freshmen, transfers and reserves-turned-starters shake out for the Special Six who will open the season with legitimate title hopes (listed in preseason poll pecking order): Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, Baylor and Kansas State.
In an effort to add more clarity before Monday’s start of media days, we offer this list of 12 things you can count on in the Big 12 despite the uncertainty surrounding the 2013 football season: