has released the preseason Big 12 Poll and it's no surprise that the Red Raiders are in the bottom half of the conference.

I say, "no surprise" because Tech is annually ranked below expectation in the Big 12 preseason polls. The highest Tech has ever ranked was 3rd, in the South. So, Tech hasn't even been in the top half of half the Big 12 before.

The media that makes up the fictional Big 12 Preseason Poll puts Texas Tech behind, OU, TCU, OSU, Baylor and Texas. In that order.

Ashley Wirz,

OU I can agree belongs on the top of the mountain. Is the Big 12 a mountain? On top of the hill. OU has the "best quarterback" and the best running back. They have a stout defense and they went to the CFP last season.

TCU has a huge question mark at quarterback and lost a ton of offensive talent.

Coach Patterson could make a number one defense out of third grade talent though. I would have had TCU in the third seed with OSU clocking in at second.

If OSU hadn't lost to OU in the Bedlam game it very well could have been OSU in the playoffs and this team brings back 16 starters from 2015. Mason Rudolph is now a grizzly veteran and breakout star James Washington will only get better. The Defense isn't good but its the Big 12 so who cares, am I right?

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images - Jarrett Stidham stiff arming his way out of Waco.

The next two teams, Baylor and Texas, are complete mysteries. If the Texas offense thrives under a new offensive coordinator and a true freshman quarterback they could win the conference. LOL JK. I think Texas will be improved but I can't see past 8-4 and they still have enormous pressure and an overly warm seat under Charlie Strong that will put unneeded stress on the team.

Baylor has lost most of it's star prospects from the 2016. Jarrett Stidham has changed his mind about attending school there, what's new? There is an interim tag on a Head Coach who is going to lead the exact same staff that the old guy had, including the old guys son. If this isn't the recipe for a train wreck I don't know what is.

The good news for Baylor is that if they wanted to they could run the ball for 350 yards a game. They won't though, and they shouldn't be ranked at the fifth spot.

John Weast / Getty Images

That brings us to Texas Tech. Returning quarterback. That's pretty much all you need to know. Patrick Mahomes will mask any problems your inexperienced offensive line has in pass protection. The running game will have a new look but the spot is loaded with speed. Due to unfortunate circumstances in 2015, you bring experience back into the 2016 squad.

Plus, Dylan "Lazarus" Cantrell seemingly returning from the dead to rejoin the team, and Devin Lauderdale has the playmaking ability of Jakeem Grant if he can keep his head straight.

What I'm trying to say is, without an ounce of bias in my body, Texas Tech will have the best offense in the Big 12 in 2016.

That being said the defense was the worst in 2015. Well, the second worst. IN THE NATION. Kansas was the worst. They are 10th in the Big 12 Preseason Poll by the way.

I do think the defense will be improved. I think that there is a strong group of players that will turn this defense around. I don't think the improvement will be dramatic in 2016 though. Is a seventh ranked Big 12 defense enough to get you into the top four of the conference? Can a fifth ranked defense get you into the top three?

Yes on all of those, and I think Tech can pull off a top seven defense in the Big 12

Here's the actual 2016 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll

(with my personal rankings in italics.)
1. Oklahoma / Oklahoma
2. TCU / Oklahoma State
3. Oklahoma State / TCU
4. Baylor / Texas Tech
5. Texas / Texas
6. Texas Tech / West Virginia
7. West Virginia / Kansas State
8. Kansas State / Baylor
9. Iowa State / Iowa State
10. Kansas / Kansas