Did the Coaches Poll Get the Texas Longhorns' Ranking Right?

Chris Dukes

We got our first real preseason ranking of the year with the Amway Coaches Poll on Thursday afternoon.

The ranking had the Texas Longhorns at No. 14 behind Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Penn State, Florida, Oregon, Notre Dame, Auburn, Wisconsin and Texas A&M.

Behind the Longhorns are Michigan, Oklahoma State, USC, Minnesota, North Carolina, USF, Cincinnati, Iowa, Virginia Tech and Iowa State.

For those keeping track (and judging by the flurry of activity on Twitter every day, most of you are) Texas starts just one place behind rival Texas A&M.

But is this a fair ranking for a team that ended last season on a high note with back-to-back blowout wins, including a dominant victory over a Utah team that was one win away from a spot in the College Football Playoff all year? For a team that returns 16 starters, including the most experienced returning quarterback at the FBS level in Sam Ehlinger?

For a short answer, yes.

The Longhorns still have to prove to voters they can put together the kind of consistent season that warrants a top 10 ranking.

While the team did earn some brownie points at the end of the year with some impressive performances, the Longhorns did drop five games during the regular season last season - a total that led to the dismissal of seven assistant coaches and both coordinators.

The good news is No. 14 might be a perfect starting spot. The Longhorns are already starting on the map, which is a good thing in what will be a shortened season with fewer data points than normal years, but they aren't ranked so high as to carry a target on their backs into early contests against upset-minded foes.

While I am sure most Texas fans aren't all that happy about beginning the year behind the hated Aggies, there's still a long way to go - even in a shortened 10-game regular season - to the final poll of the year. And in the end, that's the only one that will matter for a team facing a make-or-break season. 

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