AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns were included in the USA Today preseason coaches poll for the fifth straight season and the ninth time in the last 11 years. Texas was voted No. 19 in the poll released Tuesday.
The usual suspects made the top five — No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Georgia — with Texas A&M lurking at No. 6.
There aren’t many programs that deal with Texas’ type of preseason expectations year in and year out. However, Texas has failed to deliver on those expectations over the last decade.
From 2010 to 2019, Texas is 57th in winning percentage out of 131 Division FBS programs, tied with North Carolina State and just ahead of Pittsburgh, Nevada and Troy. For comparison, Texas had the second-most wins in all of FBS from 2000 to 2009.
Yet the preseason polls continue to give Texas the benefit of the doubt even during a decade of struggles.
A decade of disappointing results for Texas football
Texas has at least been mentioned in the coaches preseason poll every year since 1998. Since 2011, the Longhorns had a ranking next to the name nine times and were in the “receiving votes” category twice.
This is where hype and expectations haven’t met reality.
Over the last decade, Texas ended the year unranked seven times. Only once have the Longhorns finished the season with a better ranking than their preseason poll spot, which was Tom Herman’s second year in 2018.
|Year||Preseason Rank (Coaches poll)||Final Record||Final Rank (Coaches poll)|
|2020||No. 14||7-3||No. 20|
|2019||No. 10||8-5||Unranked (receiving votes)|
|2018||No. 21||10-4||No. 9|
|2012||No. 15||9-4||No. 18|
|2011||No. 24||8-5||Unranked (receiving votes)|
What does it mean for Texas football in 2021?
First-year head coach Steve Sarkisian won’t pay too much attention to the preseason ranking. He does have the opportunity to change the trend of disappointing results with a talented 2021 roster at his disposal.
Sarkisian isn’t tasked with a full rebuild after Texas lost three games by a combined 13 points in 2020. He’s expected to pick up where Herman left off and return Texas to 10-win seasons.
If he can do it, the Longhorns’ run of football disappointment will finally be over.