In only its second official day in the Big 12 Conference, the West Virginia University football team is already making its presence felt.
Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook released its pre-season predictions Monday, and it ranked the Mountaineers as the No. 11 team in the nation and predicting that WVU will finish second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma.
The Sooners are predicted to finish eighth in the country. The magazine ranked Southern California No. 1, followed by Louisiana State, Alabama, Florida State and Oregon.
Louisville, ranked No. 24, was the only Big East team to crack Blue Ribbon's top 25 list. The Mountaineers announced nine months ago that their teams would be leaving the Big East Conference.
Other Big 12 Conference teams to make the pre-season list are Oklahoma State (13), Texas Christian (16), Kansas State (20) and Texas (23).
Those teams are expected to round out the top six spots in the Big 12 football race, followed by Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Kansas.
Despite the lofty predictions, only two Mountaineers were placed on the all-Big 12 Conference's pre-season team. Senior receiver Tavon Austin was selected as both a wide receiver and a punt returner, while offensive lineman Joe Madsen was also selected.
Quarterback Geno Smith, despite a widespread belief by some football prognosticators that he is the Big 12 Conference's favorite to be a Heisman Trophy finalist, was not among the pre-season honorees. Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones was tabbed at that spot, and he was also predicted to be the conference's Offensive Player of the Year. He was one of eight Sooners picked to the pre-season team.
Oklahoma State had five players selected to the team, led by senior Quinn Sharp who was selected as both the punter and kicker.
Fellow Big 12 newcomer TCU placed just one on the all-conference pre-season team, that being junior defensive lineman Stansly Maponga
Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt was predicted to be the Newcomer of the Year. Iowa State linebacker A.J. Klein was predicted to be the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year.