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ESPN Big 12 Players Poll Shows Oklahoma Is The Team To Beat In 2016

The results of the ESPN Big 12 Players Poll are in, and the results are not that surprising.

ESPN annually surveys 30 of the Big 12 players that attend media days on various subjects, the most interesting question being the most challenging team in the conference. 

TheOklahoma Sooners overwhelmingly came out on top, receiving 73 percent of participants' votes. Baylor received 13 percent of the total votes, and both TCU and Texas got 7 percent. 

The Big 12 Media also considered Oklahoma the most challenging team in the conference.

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After last season's performance, the Sooners have emerged as a front-runner to win the Big 12. Oklahoma dominated the conference after its loss to Texas. In the final seven regular-season games of last season, the Sooners averaged 299.9 yards per game rushing and 293 yards per game passing. Those numbers take into account games facing No. 4 Baylor, No. 11 TCU and No. 9 Oklahoma State. Plus, the Sooners have a solid group of returning players, giving the team ample experience and training going into the 2016 season. 

According to Phil Steele, the the past four times the Sooners have been ranked in the preseason top five, they have not finished higher than No. 15 in the AP poll; but in the three years they've not been in the preseason AP Top 10, they have a national title, a playoff berth and a No. 6 AP finish.

Will expectations trip up the Sooners this season, or are the players' right to be intimidated by Oklahoma?