Texas is ranked No. 8 in the ESPN/USA-Today (coaches) poll released two weeks ago, but head coach Mack Brown took his standard approach Saturday after practice when it comes to pre-season rankings.
"I look at the end, I don't look at the beginning," Brown said. "Early polls are for fans and for media."
The poll represents the fourth-straight Top 10 pre-season pick of Brown's Longhorns. Texas finished No. 11/12 last season and clearly would have earned a third consecutive Top 5 finish had it not been for the 28-20 Holiday Bowl loss to Washington State.
The No. 3 Bulldogs edged defending BCS national champ and pre-season No. 4 LSU, presumably because Georgia hosts the Tigers in Athens on October 2. Long-time rivals but newly appointed conference foes Florida State and Miami begin the season at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively. The two will likely play early for the league championship of the revamped Atlantic Coast Conference on September 6 (Labor Day). Following Texas, Ohio State, Michigan and West Virginia round out the Top 10.
Other Big 12 schools joining Texas and OU in the rankings are No. 12 Kansas State and No. 18 Missouri. Nebraska just missed out on the pre-season poll with its No. 27 rating. Future opponents Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Texas A&M and North Texas also received votes.
"Somebody pops up every year that nobody's ever heard of," Brown said. "That's one of the exciting things about college football. Today, everybody has got a chance."
Texas faces its only ranked opponents on successive weekends: October 9 against Oklahoma and at home the following Saturday against Missouri.
AP TOP 10
9. Ohio State
10. W. Virginia