Texas football: 'Horns rank 11th in SI Top 25

USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 media is skeptical, but Sports Illustrated believes Texas is the class of the conference.

Sports Illustrated released their preseason top 25 on Wednesday, slotting the Texas Longhorns as the No. 11 team in the nation, just behind the Clemson Tigers and ahead of the Georgia Bulldogs.

Picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 by the writers that cover the conference, SI is much more optimistic about how well Texas can perform this season, ranking them as the top team in the conference. The TCU Horned Frogs came in at No. 16, with the Baylor Bears just behind them, a somewhat surprising ranking given that the Bears weren't picked in the Top 25 of the initial Coaches Poll, though it is certainly not without justification.

The bigger surprise is that while the Oklahoma Sooners made the list at No. 19, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, pegged by the media as the top team in the conference, with the Sooners just behind them, did not make the Top 25. And while there might be questions about the defense for the Pokes, the offense has achieved at such a high level the last few seasons that the team will be extremely dangerous this season -- it's essentially the same argument that's made for Baylor, but one SI clearly bought into with the Bears more so than the Cowboys, for whatever reason.

But at least there's some confidence out there in the Longhorns besides that emanating from Phil Steele.

More from Burnt Orange Nation:

Want to know more about why the Texas defense fell apart last season and how Manny Diaz can fix it? What about insight into Major Applewhite's influences and how they will impact the new Texas offense? Or why you should believe in David Ash making the jump this season? Get all the answers in 2013 In the Huddle: Texas.

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