Missouri picked third in Big 12 North

Thursday, July 23, 2009 | 12:50 p.m. CDT; updated 11:07 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 25, 2009

COLUMBIA — Missouri's football team is picked to finish third in the Big 12 North Division by the league’s media. Missouri, the two-time defending Big 12 North Champions, received 124 points, including three first-place votes in the poll released by the conference Thursday.

Nebraska was tapped to win the Big 12 North, with Kansas coming in second and Missouri third. Colorado, Kansas State and Iowa State round out the division. Texas and Oklahoma tied as the favorite in the South, each garnering 174 points, followed by Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas A&M.

Missouri will return 10 starters from 2008, including five on offense, four on defense and one specialist.

The preseason All-Big 12 Team will be announced Friday and Big 12 Media Days are set for next Monday-Wednesday in Dallas, with Missouri taking its turn on Tuesday. Joining Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel at Big 12 Media Day will be seniors Sean Weatherspoon, Kurtis Gregory and Jaron Baston.

Missouri’s first official football practice will be Aug. 6 and the Tigers will hold their annual Fan Day at 4 p.m. on Aug. 9 at Faurot Field.

Missouri will open the season on Sept. 5 against Illinois in the State Farm Arch Rivalry Game in St. Louis. Conference play kicks off for MU on Oct. 8 at home against Nebraska.

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