Oklahoma picked to win Big 12 again, but Oklahoma State isn't far behind

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield led the nation in passing efficiency. (Getty)

The Big 12 media thinks Oklahoma will win the conference title for a third straight year.

Ahead of the league’s media days next week, the conference released the annual preseason poll on Thursday. It wasn’t much of a surprise to see the Sooners chosen to come out on top. However, it wasn’t by a very big margin.

[More college football from Yahoo Sports: 20 non-conference games to look forward to in 2017]

Oklahoma, now coached by Lincoln Riley following Bob Stoops’ surprising retirement, garnered 19 of 32 first-place votes and 302 points overall, edging out in-state rival Oklahoma State. The Cowboys, picked to finish second, received 12 first-place votes and were just behind the Sooners with 294 points.

Oklahoma returns Heisman finalist Baker Mayfield at quarterback, but has to replace many of its top playmakers on offense. In Stillwater, Oklahoma State returns Mason Rudolph at QB, James Washington at receiver and Justice Hill at running back and could potentially have an even more explosive offense than the Sooners.

The conference has come down to the annual Bedlam game in each of the last two seasons (and four of the last six) with OU prevailing. The rivalry game will be a little earlier this year — Nov. 4 — but there could be a rematch with the Big 12 now implementing a conference championship game. The title game, the league’s first since 2010, will be played Dec. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

[More college football from Yahoo Sports: 20 impact transfers for 2017]

Aside from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the only other team to receive a first-place vote was Kansas State, which was picked to finish third with 231 points.

The rest of the poll was rounded out by Texas (213 points), TCU (202), West Virginia (183), Baylor (129), Texas Tech (85), Iowa State (83) and Kansas (37).

The preseason All-Big 12 team was unveiled on Wednesday:

[More college football from Yahoo Sports: Dr. Saturday’s still-too-early Top 25]

For more Oklahoma news, visit SoonerScoop.com.

More from Yahoo Sports:

– – – – – – –

Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!