neal brown

WVU head coach Neal Brown arrives for the day's fall practice.

For the second straight year, the West Virginia football team is projected to finish in the bottom half of the Big 12.

The conference released its preseason rankings for the 2020 season on Friday, with the Mountaineers ranking at No. 8 of 10 teams.

West Virginia returns a handful of its key personnel from last season, including quarterbacks Austin Kendall and Jarret Doege, wide receiver Sam James, defensive linemen Dante and Darius Stills and defensive back Tykee Smith, among others.

However, over the offseason, the team lost a handful of key contributors to the 2019 team, including running back Kennedy McKoy, wide receiver George Campbell and defensive backs Josh Norwood, Keith Washington II and Hakeem Bailey.

The Mountaineers were only tailed by Texas Tech and Kansas in the poll, who were ranked No. 9 and No. 10, respectively. Directly in front of West Virginia was Kansas State, who the Mountaineers defeated on the road last season.

Oklahoma, which won the Big 12 last season, was selected as the preseason favorite for the fifth season in a row.

The Mountaineers are scheduled to open the season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff against Florida State on Sept. 5 in Atlanta.