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Texas closes the book on the Tom Herman era with a top-25 finish in the AP's poll

Texas head coach Tom Herman jokes with quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) during a game against UTEP in Austin on Sept. 12, 2020.

For the third straight year, one of the 25 best football seasons belonged to Texas.

Texas was ranked 19th in the Associated Press' final poll for the 2020 football season, which was released just after Alabama won the national championship on Monday. This marks the 49th time since 1936 that UT has appeared in the AP's final poll.

Texas went 7-3 during the 2020 season. The Longhorns' year ended with a rout of Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. Three close losses to Oklahoma, Iowa State and TCU kept the Texas from contending for a Big 12 title, however.

At the end of the season, Texas relieved Tom Herman of his head-coaching duties. Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was later hired to become the 31st leader of the UT football program.

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This marks the first time since 1950 that a ranked Texas team will enter its next season with a new coach. Texas was ranked third in the AP's final poll of 1950, but Ed Price replaced Blair Cherry that offseason.

Why did Texas and Cherry head their separate ways after the Longhorns went 9-2 in 1950? According to UT's website, "Cherry suffered from an ulcer and insomnia. In a national article on 'Why I Quit Coaching' a year later, he alluded to the 'over-emphasis on winning' and the critical nature of the media and the fans over the few losses he suffered in an amazing 32-10-1 career as the reasons he chose to leave."

Herman becomes just the third coach in the last decade to get fired after leading a team to a top-25 finish in the AP's poll. Art Briles was fired following Baylor's No. 13 finish for the 2015 season. Bobby Petrino was canned after leading Arkansas to a top-five finish in 2011. Both Briles and Petrino's firings were due to off-the-field scandals.

Texas has made an appearance in each of the AP's last three season-ending polls. Texas was ranked ninth at the end of its 2018 campaign. The Longhorns were listed 25th in last season's final poll.