College Sports: Breaking down the preseason AP poll, managing expectations for Texas in 2019

College Sports: Breaking down the preseason AP poll, managing expectations for Texas in 2019

Chuck Carlton, college beat writer for and The Dallas Morning News, answered questions about the Big 12 and Texas A&M in a live chat Wednesday. See some of his answers below!

Thoughts on the preseason AP poll? Who was ranked too high, too low?

Carlton: Put me into the skeptical category when it comes to No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Michigan and No. 9 Notre Dame. LSU has elite talent (of course) and is preaching offensive change (again). How many times have we heard about schemes to bring LSU’s offense into the 21st century? How often has it happened? Yeah. Michigan has really struggled, not just with Ohio State but against ranked teams recently. It’s almost like the Wolverines have plateaued. And Notre Dame last year played some teams going through uncharacteristically off seasons (USC, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Navy). The schedule should be more testing this season. As for a sleeper team in the Top 25, keep an eye on Utah out west. Also Washington State seems undervalued at No. 23 coming off an 11-2 season.

Can you see where voters who put Texas at No. 4 are coming from or should they pump the breaks?

Carlton: They should pump the brakes … gently. Yes, you can make a case for Texas being in the College Football Playoff. The Longhorns are in the next level of contenders behind Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Alabama and Ohio State. At the same time, Sam Ehlinger has to stay healthy and the defense has to come together. You can put together a scenario where an early loss to LSU sets off a spiral and Texas loses four or five games. For now, Texas is an intriguing possibility, not a proven commodity.

Shane Buechele says he “had to” leave Texas for SMU. Just a matter of playing time and growing as a QB. Begs the question: Should top recruits let power 5 programs hoard the best talent? They only have four years. Shouldn’t top players make a better effort to look elsewhere?

Carlton: Hoarding? Now a days the moment HC announces the starter, the backup QB is listing himself on the transfer portal. It’s good for players but a huge dilemma for the coaches. UT has no experienced back up. Best luck to Shane!

The thing is, top recruits think they are going to continue to be the alpha dogs at the next level. In Shane Buechele’s case, he won the starting job at Texas as a freshman. Then Sam Ehlinger came along with a new coaching staff and system. Not Buechele’s fault. He did what was asked of him, got his degree in three years and found what seems to be a really good situation at SMU. There’s nothing wrong with that scenario, nor for all those other transfers SMU has stockpiled.

See the full chat here. 

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