By Steve Lansdale
IRVING, Texas — The University of Texas hired Tom Herman to return the Longhorns to the ranks of the elite in the Big 12, and ultimately in the nation. If the media covering the Big 12 know what they’re talking about, he is on the right track toward doing just that.
The conference announced the results of its preseason poll Thursday, voted on by the members of the media who cover the Big 12, and the Longhorns were ranked fourth, behind the Oklahoma Sooners, West Virginia Mountaineers and TCU Horned Frogs.
The Sooners, who many think will start the season among the top 10 teams in the country, were just about everyone’s choice to repeat as Big 12 champions, collecting 509 points and 46 of the 52 first-place votes. WVU had 432 points and a pair of first-place votes. The Horned Frogs and Longhorns finished with 390 and 370 points, respectively, and each picked up a first-place vote.
Oklahoma State finished fifth with 300 points, while Kansas State was sixth with 283 points and a pair of first-place votes.
Rounding out the rest of the poll: Iowa State was picked seventh, with 250 points; Texas Tech was picked eighth, with 149 points; Baylor was picked ninth with 125 points, and Kansas was picked to finish in the conference cellar again, earning just 52 points.
The top two teams in the conference standings will meet Dec. 1 in the Big 12 Football Championship Game to determine the conference title.
Herman named to Dodd Trophy preseason watch list
Also ThursdayHerman was one of 20 coaches named to the 2018 Dodd Trophy preseason watch list by The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
In his first season at UT, Herman led the Longhorns to a 7-6 record and a victory in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl over Missouri. Entering his fourth overall season as a head coach, Herman owns a career record of 29-10 (.744).
The Dodd Trophy celebrates the head coach of a team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity — the three pillars of legendary coach Bobby Dodd’s coaching philosophy.