The Texas Longhorns were left off the first release of the 2022 AP Top 25 rankings Monday. This was likely disappointing to some, as it's the first time since 2016 that Texas hasn't been ranked to begin the season.
But if ESPN's latest installment of the annual college football underachievers list is any indication, the Longhorns, who finished last season with a 5-7 record, could be in for things more than disappointing than an unranked nod.
Texas sits in tier two of college football underachievers alongside USC and UCLA. Here's what ESPN had to say:
There's a reason Texas still appears in rankings of college football's best jobs. Texas boasts a distinct combination of immense resources, an appealing location in an emerging market and being the flagship school in one of the nation's top talent-producing states. Texas is already showing its ability to capitalize on the name, image and likeness era. But every year seemingly casts more doubt on a program that can't seem to get out of its own way. Texas hasn't won a Big 12 title since 2009, played for only one league title since and boasts only one national title -- in 2005, capped by an epic win over USC -- since 1970. So while the recent issues are justifiably magnified, Texas' inability to compete nationally for long stretches sticks out.
The Longhorns begin the season at home on Saturday, Sept. 3 against Louisiana-Monroe.
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The Red River Showdown holds meaning that most other rivalries in college football can't match. Still, some Texas Longhorns players have different approaches headed into Saturday's game against the Oklahoma Sooners.
Steve Sarkisian Gushes About Oklahoma Coach Brent Venables' Defensive Mind
After two decades of strong defensive play, Brent Venables now has a chance to beating Texas as a head coach with Oklahoma.
But a win in the following week against the Alabama Crimson Tide would surely silence all doubters, though toppling the No. 1 team in the country would be nothing if not miraculous.
You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7
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