Feb. 14, 2012
IRVING, Texas – Baylor baseball was picked fourth in the Big 12 Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll released Tuesday by the league office. It’s the second straight season the Bears have been picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 and the 13th time in the last 14 seasons they’ve been picked to finish in the league’s top half.
The Bears received 42 points in the poll finishing behind Texas A&M (64), Texas (56) and Oklahoma (48). Missouri (30) was picked fifth, followed by Oklahoma State (28), Texas Tech (27), Kansas State (20) and Kansas (9).
Oklahoma was picked first last season and the Sooners ended the season in third, with Texas and Texas A&M sharing the league title. Last season’s preseason poll was one of the most accurate ever, with none of the 10 teams finishing more than two spots from where they were picked in the preseason.
This marks the second time Texas A&M has been picked to win the league. The Aggies were also picked first in 2009, but they finished in sixth place. Texas won the league with a 24-3 record after being picked to take first in 2010, but that’s the only time since 2008 the preseason favorite has gone on to win the regular season championship. Teams picked first in the preseason have won the league only five times since 1999.
Baylor (31-28 in 2011) returns eight starting position players for the second straight season and 20 of 25 total letterwinners from a season ago. The Bears are one of 14 teams nationally to play in 12 NCAA Regionals since 1998, and Baylor joins Oklahoma as the only Big 12 schools to play in every Big 12 Conference tournament.
The Bears, ranked 28th nationally by Collegiate Baseball, open the 2012 season by hosting Oral Roberts this weekend. Friday’s season opener is slated for a 4 p.m. first pitch, while Saturday’s game is slated for 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is at 1 p.m.
Big 12 Conference play begins March 16. Baylor plays its first three Big 12 series at home, hosting Texas Tech (March 16-18), Kansas (March 23-25) and Oklahoma State (March 30-April 1).
2012 BIG 12 CONFERENCE PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL
1. Texas A&M (8) 64
2. Texas (1) 56
3. Oklahoma 48
4. BAYLOR 42
5. Missouri 30
6. Oklahoma State 28
7. Texas Tech 27
8. Kansas State 20
9. Kansas 9