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College basketball preseason rankings 2012: Baylor at 18, Texas at 24

The two schools are still looking up at Kansas in the Big 12, as they enter the 2012-2013 season trying to prevent the Jayhawks from winning their ninth consecutive conference title.

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Over the last decade, Rick Barnes and Scott Drew have built up the Texas and Baylor basketball programs to become two of the best in the country.

They've made Elite Eight appearances, appeared in the top 5 and regularly reel in McDonald's All-American recruits. This year, Barnes is bringing in 6'10 center Cameron Ridley from Houston while Drew is bringing in 7'0 forward Isaiah Austin from Dallas.

However, in all this time, neither has been able to get a leg up on Bill Self at Kansas, whose Jayhawks have won eight consecutive conference titles.

2012-2013 may be more of the same, as Kansas opens the year ranked No. 7 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll, far ahead of Baylor (18) and Texas (24), the only two Big 12 schools to be ranked.

The conference has quietly become one of the strongest in college basketball, although it may be weakened by the loss of Missouri (ranked No. 18) and Texas A&M to the SEC, as well as the departure of Kansas State's Frank Martin.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.