In this Nov. 14, 2015 file photo, Texas head coach Charlie Strong is shown during an NCAA college football game in Morgantown, W. Va. Strong's third season at Texas boils down to three things. First, find a quarterback. Second, fix a bad defense. Third, win enough games to not get fired. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson, File)

BEVO BEAT Football

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit has Texas as his top ‘Surprise Team’

Posted August 24th, 2016

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Will the Longhorns turn it around after back-to-back losing seasons? According to one of ESPN’s top college analysts, you betcha.

The World Wide Leader’s Kirk Herbstreit proclaims Charlie Strong’s squad as the top “Surprise Team” for the 2016 season in his annual Herbie Awards released on Wednesday. Texas places ahead of Louisville and North Carolina on Herbstreit’s list. He also calls the Longhorns his sleeper pick for the Big 12 crown.

Other Longhorns made his list as well. Freshman (and possible starter) quarterback Shane Beuchele was named a finalist for Herbie’s “Welcome to the Party” award. North Carolina’s new starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky was the top choice. The ESPN analyst also pegged new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert as the second most important “Impact Coordinator Hire.” Ahead of Gilbert is new LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.

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