Wednesday, August 28, 2013 , Updated 3:00 p.m., August 30, 2013
A&M ranked Best in Texas by SportsDayDFW
The Longhorns are the No. 2 pick in the state.
The SportsDayDFW Best in Texas poll is back for another year. Our 10 college writers and bloggers submitted ballots ranking all 12 FBS teams in the state of Texas. Here are the results of our preseason poll.
No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies
Despite the allegations against Johnny Manziel, it's becoming more and more apparent that he will play in week one. That means the Aggies should have the Heisman Trophy winner calling the plays and an arsenal of weapons for him to distribute to. The No. 7 team in the nation appears to be just fine entering the Rice game. — Sean Lester
No. 2 Texas Longhorns
The Longhorns return 19 of 22 starters from their 9-4 2012 campaign, and with that, expectations are high in Austin. David Ash enters his third year as the starter and he’s surrounded by talented experience all over the field. The Longhorns’ offseason switch to an up-tempo offensive philosophy will provide more scoring opportunities, and the defense is expected to rebound after one of the worst results in program history. Texas' opener against New Mexico State will be the first measure of improvement for both. Though, the real test won't come for another week when the Longhorns travel to face BYU. — Chris Hummer
No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs
The Horned Frogs have a tough opener against LSU, but they've improved across the offensive line since the fall camp began, when starting left tackle Tayo Fabuluje quit the team. There's still a question mark at linebacker, and Gary Patterson has yet to name a quarterback, but a strong secondary and viable options in both Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin puts TCU in a solid position heading into Week 1. — Ryan Osborne
No. 4 Baylor Bears
The Bears could turn heads early with an easy schedule to start the year. After should-be easy wins against Wofford, Buffalo, and UL Monroe, Baylor starts the conference play against four teams picked to finish in the bottom five of the Big 12: West Virginia, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Kansas.
No. 5 Texas Tech Red Raiders
At 0-0, the Red Raiders have as much upside as anyone. However, starting a true freshman quarterback is a bit disconcerting. We'll talk again after the season-opener at SMU. — Mike Graham
No. 6 SMU Mustangs
SMU heads into its opener against Texas Tech with a new mindset on offense and some new faces on defense. June Jones brought in the father of the "Air Raid" Hal Mumme this offseason to spark an otherwise vanilla offense. He will have Garrett Gilbert back at quarterback to work with as well as former Texas running back Traylon Shead, who was a JUCO All-American last year. The Mustangs finished as one of the top defenses in the nation in terms of takeaways last season but lost plenty of key pieces and must replace their entire defensive line. — E.J. Holland
No. 7 Houston Cougars
Starting running back Charles Sims is gone after transferring to West Virginia, but 10 starters return on an offense that should continue it's pass-happy ways. The question is whether the defense will be able to hold up in the shootouts. The Cougars have a new defensive coordinator and need to find someone to replace first-round NFL draft pick D.J. Hayden at cornerback.
No. 8 Rice Owls
Starting quarterback Taylor McHargue and Conference USA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Phillip Gaines, a cornerback, lead a list of 19 starters returning for the Owls. The season opener against Texas A&M is going to be rough but the Owls should have a chance in every game after that.
No. 9 North Texas Mean Green
Running backs Brandon Byrd and Antoinne Jimmerson should keep UNT competitive, despite the Mean Green’s lack of talent at quarterback. Senior Derek Thompson will likely get the start under center in the opener, but whoever eventually wins the job will face an uphill task in leading the team as it makes the jump to Conference USA.
No. 10 UTEP
Alumnus Sean Kugler enters his first season at the helm of the Minors, replacing Mike Price. Jameill Showers, the man who lost QB battle with Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, will be the unquestioned starter from the first game. He might be throwing often to try to get the team back into games. UTEP lacks both size and experience on defense.
No. 11 UTSA
In two years, UTSA has gone from their first season as a football program to Conference USA. They may have gone 8-4 last year, but only four wins came against FBS teams and those teams went a combined 2-22. Early games against Oklahoma State, Arizona, and Houston shouldn't help their record this year.
No. 12 Texas State
The Bobcats have a lot of questions at quarterback and almost the entire defense. Maybe their a four-headed monster at running back with Tim Gay, Robert Lowe, Terrance Franks, and JUCO transfer C.J. Best can keep the ball away from teams long enough to keep Texas State in games. Michael Orakpo, brother of former Longhorn Brian Orakpo, should be a bright spot on defense.