You know it is officially the offseason when dozens of "Way Too Early Preseason Top 25" stories flood your social media timelines. With Tuesday being the first of 200-plus days without college football, practically every major CFB media outlet released its Top 25 teams for 2017.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Texas Longhorns earned a lot of respect in various polls.
The Big Lead was the most generous with Texas football's 2017 preseason ranking, placing Tom Herman's Longhorns at No. 15 nationally. The Longhorns were also named to the following way-too-early Top 25 lists:
Sports Illustrated - No. 18
Campus Insiders - No. 18
Fox Sports - No. 20
CBS Sports - No. 20
Sporting News - No. 23
USA Today - No. 24
ESPN - No. 25
At the end of the day, these rankings mean absolutely nothing. Texas is going through another transition period, complete with yet another staff upheaval. As with any transition, an element of unknown/uncertainty could follow the Longhorns for the next several months.
However, if the way-too-early rankings show anything, it is this: Folks are sipping on that burnt orange kool-aid.
Texas is coming off of its second-consecutive bowl-less season, complete with a 5-7 record. But even after a losing season, 2017 looks to feature the Longhorns in a more positive light than in recent years.
Charlie Strong did not shy away from expressing his thoughts on what the Longhorns could achieve in the future. The former head coach said Texas will be a 10-win team in 2017 "no matter who's coaching" midway through last season. He later addressed the state of the program during his final postgame press conference as head coach.
"The foundation has been laid here, we've been building it for three years," Strong said. "It's just like baking a cake. The cake has been baked, the only thing you need to do now is put the icing on it and slice it."
The national media appears ready to taste what Texas is cooking in 2017.
After several years of rebuilding, Texas football is set on much more solid ground, thanks largely in part to a large number of returning starters. The Longhorns are currently slated to return 35 players with starting experience from last season's two-deep.
With Strong's recent recruiting success, the talent level and experience on the roster and Herman's coaching expertise, the future definitely looks brighter for Texas football.
We will find out in only 235 days.