College baseball and opening day for the Texas Longhorns may still officially be 31 days away, but preseason polls and rankings are here. D1 Baseball, widely considered the “go-to” source in a sea of baseball ranking sites, has released its 2019 preseason top 25 rankings, with Texas sneaking in the back end at No. 23.
The full rankings can be found here.
The Big 12 should pose a tough challenge for the Horns, as five of the nine teams are ranked in the top 25 and four teams ranked above Texas. Texas Tech sits atop the Big 12 at No. 3, with Baylor at No. 15, Oklahoma State at No. 18, and TCU at No. 19.
Just as daunting as a tough conference schedule are Texas’ out of conference opponents, which should help boost Texas’ strength of schedule and pose for some tough matchups. Three teams on Texas’ schedule are ranked — LSU (No. 2), Stanford (No. 12), and Arkansas (No. 16). Against these three teams last year, Texas went a combined 2-8 and was outscored 88-47.
Texas is looking to repeat and build upon success from the 2018 season, which included a Big 12 Championship and a run to the College World Series. That task will be a lot harder to pull off after the team announced star SS David Hamilton will be out for the season with an achilles injury. However, the Longhorns have a habit of over-performing their preseason expectations, in spite of injury or perceived talent.
Texas’ season will open on the road against Louisiana Lafayette on Feb. 15, and after a brief stint on the road, Texas baseball will return to Austin on Feb. 22 with a three-game series against Purdue.