Texas Longhorns Head Coach Tom Herman holds up the Robert C. McNair Trophy after beating Missouri 33-16 in the NCAA college football Texas Bowl game, at NRG Stadium Houston Texas. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Texas Longhorns land at No. 24 in ESPN Way-Too-Early rankings for 2018

Posted January 9th, 2018


The Texas Longhorns are getting some very early buzz as the 2018 season approaches.

Texas came in at No. 24 in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 for next year. They were also No. 17 in Athlon Sports’ preliminary rankings. The Longhorns usually benefit from preseason hype, so that’s not new. But the thinking this year will be that they lost a bunch of close games in Tom Herman’s first season as head coach on the way to a 7-6 finish, and they’ll be in a position to win some of those toss-ups in 2018.

From ESPN:


The Longhorns lost six games in coach Tom Herman’s first season, which was disappointing. But four of them were games decided by five points or fewer, including losses to USC, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Can the Longhorns learn to win close games in year two? If they do, they might enjoy a second-year bounce like Georgia and Miami had this past season.

Texas will probably draw plenty of comparisons to Georgia this offseason. The Bulldogs went 8-5 in their first season under Kirby Smart in 2016, then exploded for a 13-2 season with an SEC title and a trip to the national championship game.

The problem for the Longhorns will be that they won’t return as many of their starters as the Bulldogs did this season. Texas has to replace six starters from one of the best defenses in the Big 12, and the Longhorns also have to figure out their quarterback situation. However, if Herman can overcome those obstacles, a top-25 season is possible for the Longhorns.

Texas opens its 2018 season on the road against Maryland on Sept. 1.

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