FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
IRVING, Texas — Texas A&M, the defending Big 12 regular season champion, has been tabbed the preseason favorite to win the 2009 league title in a vote of the league’s head coaches. It marks the first time in 10 years that the Aggies have been selected to win the Big 12 crown prior to the season. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
The Aggies (81 points) received nine of the possible 10 first-place votes to edge out reigning postseason winner Texas, which earned 69 points. Baylor and Oklahoma State were tied for third followed by Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Texas Tech, Kansas State and Kansas fill the remaining spots in the poll.
A&M is coming off its second straight Super Regional appearance after posting a 46-19 overall record and a 19-8 conference mark in 2008. The Aggies will be led by an experienced pitching staff, which returns 85 percent of their innings pitched (498.2 of 586.1) along with 89 percent of their starts (58 of 65) and victories (41 of 46) from a year ago. Offensively, senior all-conference selections Luke Anders and Kyle Colligan combined for 30 home runs and 97 RBI in 2008.
TAMU also paced the Conference in preseason national ratings, including a No. 1 ranking in the Baseball America Top 25. It marks the first time in program history Texas A&M will start a season in the top spot. Overall six of the Big 12’s 10 teams are ranked nationally, including the Aggies, Texas (4), Baylor (8), Missouri (10), Oklahoma State (13) and Oklahoma (16).
The Big 12 baseball season gets underway on Friday, Feb. 20.
2009 Big 12 Conference Baseball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Rank Team (First-place votes) Points
1. Texas A&M (9) 81
2. Texas (1) 69
3. Baylor 59
3. Oklahoma State 59
5. Missouri 51
6. Oklahoma 42
7. Nebraska 38
8. Texas Tech 25
9. Kansas State 15
10. Kansas 11