The USA Today Coaches' Poll came out late Thursday morning, with the Texas Longhorns debuting at no. 15 nationally.
It seems like a fair assessment of where the Longhorns are coming off of a 13-12 record the last two seasons. Questions about quarterback play (and, when the coaches turned in their votes, the kicking game) give this Longhorn team a floor that is relatively low compared to the other teams on the top half of the list.
However, led by a defense that should at times be dominant, as well as a strong running game that should have the ability to wear teams down by the fourth quarter, the upside for this group is much higher than that of the 15th-best team in the country, especially if prospective starter David Ash can protect the football and capitalize on big-play opportunities presented by teams keying on the running game.
Follow after the jump for the complete rankings.
|Rank||Team (first-place votes)||Record||Points||Final 2011 rank|
|3.||Southern California (19)||10-2||1,388||NR|
- Texas Tech received a vote. Ha! In other news, Tommy Tuberville has a vote in the poll. Nicely done, coach.
- Kansas State seems low at no. 21. Bill Snyder couldn't care less.
- Overall, the Big 12 landed six teams on the top 25, with Baylor lingering just outside at no. 31. Two of those teams are the newbies, TCU and West Virginia. Texas A&M and Missouri? Only to be found in the also receiving votes category. The league has never been stronger and got better this season without those two.