Three straight losing seasons, a coaching change and the loss of a Doak Walker winning running back (D’Onta Foreman) won’t keep Texas off ESPN’s “Way-Too-Early 2017 Top 25” released last night following the conclusion of the National Championship Game.
Texas isn’t near the top, but just barely makes it in at No. 25. With the return of Shane Buechele at quarterback, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach writes that “Herman won 13 games in his first season as a head coach, and he’ll be inheriting more talent at UT.”
However, make no mistake, he adds that’s not going to be easy: ” Former Houston coach Tom Herman won’t work miracles in his first season in Austin, but the Longhorns will have a chance to finish among the top four teams in the Big 12.”
Schlabach is not the only one picking the Longhorns in a way-too-early poll. SB Nation has the Longhorns at No. 20, right in front of No. 21 South Florida. Here’s what they say : “Charlie Strong’s new team and old team both make the list, with Tom Herman inheriting a talented roster at Texas and Strong doing the same at USF.”
If SB Nation isn’t enough, the USA Today’s 2017 poll also has the Longhorns ranked, coming in at No. 24. USA Today’s take: “This team won’t win the Big 12, but a change in culture and a huge uptick in production on offense should find the Longhorns at eight or nine wins in 2017.”
So get ready for the hype machine this summer. The Longhorns just may start next season in the AP Top 25, which is first released in about seven months!