Tom Herman has yet to coach a game for Texas. And already the Longhorns are ranked.
At least by other coaches, including Herman, who’s one of the voting coaches in the poll for the first time since he didn’t vote in the two seasons he was at Houston.
That represents progress. They’re 23rd. Some might cynically say Texas has done nothing to deserve a ranking, but these preseason polls are more projections than rewards, unlike the regular polls once the season begins.
The Associated Press Top 25 poll, in which I’m privileged to vote, doesn’t come out until Aug. 21. But the Amway Coaches Poll released Thursday lists the Longhorns 23rd despite coming off a 5-7 season. They’re the only team ranked after having a losing record last year.
Texas hasn’t finished in the final AP Top 25 poll since 2012 when the Horns wound up 19th.
Herman is one of the 65 head coaches who votes in the coaches poll, but a UT spokesman said he doesn’t want to reveal his individual ballot.
There are no surprises at the top of the poll. Alabama comes in with the No. 1 ranking, followed by Ohio State and Florida State. USC, which hosts Texas at the Coliseum in Los Angeles on Sept. 16, is fourth.
Texas is one of five Big 12 schools ranked; Oklahoma is eighth, Oklahoma State 11th, Kansas State 19th and West Virginia 20th.