College football has increasingly become a very select club in terms of programs with a realistic chance to win the national title. It's Alabama and Clemson with Ohio State, Georgia, and the rogue LSU sprinkled in to make things slightly more interesting. This season is expected to follow the same general script with the defending champion Bulldogs looking to outclass the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes. As the calendar creeps toward jam-packed Saturdays, we got another tease of intrigue today as the USA Today Sports UFCA Coaches Poll was presented for inspection.
Alabama is atop the poll with 54 first-place votes, followed by Ohio State (5) and Georgia (6). But what people really want to talk about is the other program that was gifted with the burden of sky-high expectations: the Texas Longhorns, who sit at No. 18 overall but are the recipient of the only other first-place nod.
Before you point your finger at Steve Sarkisian, know that he did not participate in the exercise. Meaning there's a college football coach out there who has surveyed the landscape and concluded Texas is the team to beat. If preseason moments count, this may be the high-water mark for Texas Is Back. It normally takes an early victory over Notre Dame or something to get that narrative cranked up to 11. Perhaps we should all thank this mystery pollster for cutting out any preamble and getting right to it.
Most Vegas books have the burnt orange in the 8-9 win range for an over-under. On par with North Carolina State and Pitt.
Honestly, it's a solid move. One of these years the storied program is going to re-claim its seat at the big-boy table and those in early will be granted all the imaginary You Were Right About That points. Preseason polls are not entirely meaningless as they provide a starting position and consensus to climb or fall from, yet usually don't mean much after the first month of the year. So we should probably thank this person for bobbing while others weave.