Horns tabbed No. 2 in preseason coaches poll

Texas picked up its highest preseason ranking since 1970 on Thursday with the release of the USA Today/ESPN Preseason Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Horns came in at No. 2 in the rankings, one spot behind defending national champion Miami and barely ahead of conference-mate OU.

UT received nine first-place votes, while the Hurricanes easily outdistanced the field with 34 of the 61 first-place votes cast. The Sooners picked up 11 votes as the top team in the nation, followed the Horns' nine and Florida State's seven. Overall, the Seminoles ranked fourth, with Tennessee, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, Washington and Michigan rounding out the top 10.

Texas is scheduled to face just two top 25 teams during the regular season: Oklahoma in Dallas on Oct. 12 and the Cornhuskers in Lincoln on Nov. 2. Aside from the four Big 12 teams in the top 10, no other league teams made the rankings.

Last season, Texas earned a No. 6 preseason nod in the coaches poll, which at the time marked the Horns' highest season-opening ranking in either poll since 1984. UT went on to finish the '01 season with an 11-2 record and ranked fifth nationally by both The Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN.

The coaches' poll is part of the Bowl Championship Series formula that determines the participants in the national championship game. The AP Preseason Top 25 Poll is scheduled for release on Aug. 10.

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