Where Sporting News ranked Horns in latest top 25

The Texas football program got a decent preseason slot in the latest top 25 poll that was released post-spring from Sporting News.

In the latest top 25 to drop ahead of the 2020 season, the Texas football program found itself in a pretty usual spot. Sporting News released their latest top 25 rankings, post-spring since most practices across the country were cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Most ranking lists that were released by various media outlets seem to safely have the Texas Longhorns football program safely in the top 15 but not the top 10. Sporting News had the Longhorns at No. 13, which was one spot ahead of a key Big 12 competitor. The Oklahoma State Cowboys rang in at No. 14. Texas and Oklahoma State were the second and third highest ranked teams in this top 25 list out of the Big 12.

The top ranked team in the Big 12 was the Oklahoma Sooners, who rang in at No. 7. And those were the only three Big 12 teams ranked inside the top 25. But there are other teams worth mentioning on this list in relation to the Longhorns. Other significant teams to note here included the No. 17 Texas A&M Aggies, No. 18 Utah Utes, and No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

The top five rounded out, in order from top-to-bottom, were the Clemson Tigers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs, and defending National Champion LSU Tigers. Sporting News is definitely high on the SEC, with just as many teams from that conference in the top five as there were Big 12 teams in the entirety of the top 25.

However, these rankings at least had Texas pretty high up. Here’s what this piece had to say on their post-spring ranking of Texas.

We’re not going to say that three-word catch-phrase out loud, but perhaps we were a little early. Sam Ehlinger returns for his senior season, and the Longhorns’ young talent showed how good they can be in the Alamo Bowl victory against Utah. Receivers Brennan Eagles and Jake Smith should thrive in increased roles, and the offensive line will be better. The defense will be improved around linebacker Joseph Ossai, who had 13.5 tackles for loss in 2019. It comes down to winning those close games: The Longhorns have six losses of seven points or fewer the last two seasons. The Sept. 12 trip to LSU will come with the same hype as it did in 2019. Will Texas live up to it? 

They did mention the Week 2 matchup between Texas and LSU and how important that will be to configuring the national landscape. LSU squeaked by Texas to get onto the College Football Playoff later on down the road last season. Maybe it could be Texas that flips the script on LSU and the Big 12 this fall.

Head coach Tom Herman and to-be senior star quarterback Sam Ehlinger need to be on the same page and are the two most important pieces to this potential run back to the Big 12 Championship Game. Expectations are going to be just as high for the Longhorns as they were entering the 2019 regular season.

Ehlinger enters this season with Heisman-level hype, and Herman goes in with maybe one last chance after flipping over his coaching staff earlier in the offseason. The former totaled up nearly 50 touchdowns and the latter did come through with a big Alamo Bowl win over No. 11 Utah.

Next: 3 biggest Texas NFL Draft busts since 2010

Texas finished up their 2019 season with a record of 8-5 (5-4 Big 12). They’ll open up the 2020 season against the South Florida Bulls at home on Sep. 5. That comes before the decided matchup against LSU on the road on Sep. 12.

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