The ESPN FPI preseason rankings are high on the Texas Longhorns heading into the 2018 season.
ESPN released its initial Football Power Index rankings for next season, and the Longhorns landed at No. 17 overall. They were the second-highest ranked Big 12 team behind No. 9 Oklahoma.
FPI is ESPN’s predictive rating system that is meant to be a projection of a team’s strength going forward. It forms the basis for ESPN’s game predictions throughout the season. The preseason projections are based on:
- Team performance over the past four seasons (most emphasis on last season)
- Returning starters at quarterback, on offense overall and on defense
- Whether a team has a returning head coach
- Recruiting rankings over the past four seasons
The Longhorns rate well in FPI’s projections because it brings back a significant amount of experience, as well as both of its starting quarterbacks from 2017. Tom Herman is back. The Longhorns also just brought in the nation’s No. 3 recruiting class for 2018 and have recruited at the level of a typical playoff contender over the past four years.
Texas is probably going to receive some major hype before next season. However, the Longhorns still have significant pieces to replace from their 2017 campaign, including some of their biggest defensive stars, such as DeShon Elliott, Poona Ford and Malik Jefferson.
Here are the full FPI preseason rankings for the Big 12.
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