Texas At No. 5 In AP Preseason Poll

Texas will begin the 2003 season pretty much where it left off last year, according to Associated Press pollsters. On a the heels of a No. 6 finish in 2002, the Horns are listed at No. 5 in the first AP rankings (compiled by select sports writers and broadcasters) released this weekend. Texas is ranked No. 4 in the coaches poll (ESPN-USA Today) rankings released earlier this month.

Of course, Oklahoma has been a consensus No. 1 in preseason polls, including the AP. That’s quite an endorsement for a team that returns but four offensive starters and none at the skills positions. But if offense sells tickets and defense wins championships, the Sooners (and the Horns) should be in national title contention by year’s end. Oklahoma returns 10 defensive starters in what head coach Bob Stoops said could be his best team to date.

The Sooners are followed by defending national champ Ohio State and No. 3 Miami, which won it all two seasons ago (not to mention 39 of its past 41 games). Michigan barely edged Texas for the No. 4 spot, presumably because Texas has an unproven quarterback while Wolverine QB John Navarre set school records for attempts, completions and yardage in last year’s 10-3 campaign.

There are three Big 12 schools in the AP Top 10, and Texas is the only one which plays the other two during the regular season. Other Big 12 schools in the preseason polls are No. 7 Kansas State (the Wildcats visit Austin on Oct. 4 and are the last team to win at DKR) and No. 24 Oklahoma State (the Horns have a scary road trip to Stillwater on Nov. 8). Conspicuously missing from the Who’s Who list are Nebraska and Colorado. Meanwhile, Texas A&M faces four preseason Top 10 teams: home games against No. 5 Texas and No. 10 Pitt, plus road games at No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 9 Virginia Tech.

THE A.P. TOP TEN

1. Oklahoma
2. Ohio State
3. Miami
4. Michigan
5. TEXAS
6. Auburn
7. Kansas State
8. USC
9. Virginia Tech
10. Pitt


Horns Digest Top Stories