Our football team shouldn’t be discounted

Emma Berdanier

Football is the cornerstone of UT culture, something everyone who bleeds burnt orange rallies around. As of late, our seasons have been less than ideal, facing more losses than wins and not living up to the hype that Longhorn football entails. But to discount our football team’s potential in this coming season entirely is unfounded — we are slowly improving.

Last week the Big Twelve Football Media Preseason Poll was released, causing a flurry of tweets from UT students due to Texas being ranked fourth. Despite the positive ranking that could promise a better season for our team, responses to it have largely taken it as a joke, discussing how we could flip what happened last season or simply lose to everyone. And while preseason polls aren’t the most reliable, the reason people aren’t taking it seriously is because of how our team fared last season, not the nature of the poll results.

References to our loss to Kansas last season, the first since 1938, have popped up again. Only this time they’re focused on the possibility of it happening again, making out our rather high ranking in the preseason poll to be improbable.

But this negativity towards our team isn’t coming from the media. In fact, the data suggests this season will mark a significant improvement on the part of our football team. Our Football Power Index only gives 5.3 percent chance of that happening. But the signs are pointing towards us having a much better season than those previous, mainly for the two reasons of our successful summer recruiting and the faith placed in Tom Herman.

In the Big 12 the only team ranked higher than us on the 2017 Football Recruiting Composite Team Rankings is Oklahoma. Overall we’re ranked twenty-sixth, with national analysts praising our recruitment this summer under Herman.

Herman himself promises to greatly improve upon our team and hopefully pull us out of our streak of losing seasons. His track records at Houston, where he took a mid-tier team and made them a nationally ranked team, and Ohio State, where he served as offensive coordinator and helped them win a championship, make me hopeful for the future

Apart from our own improvements, there’s also the unrest within the other teams in the Big 12. Oklahoma lost their long term coach Bob Stoops and are starting out with a fresh face for the first time in 18 years. Texas Tech’s quarterback Patrick Mahome, who carried their offense, left the team for the NFL draft. These changes can’t guarantee us a win, but they do mark a shift in dynamics that could play out in our favor.

Realistically we probably won’t win the Big 12, but that doesn’t mean that a positive preseason poll should be taken as a joke, or that we shouldn’t have faith in our team. Three losing seasons don’t mean that a better season isn’t on its way. ride in our football team should come naturally to those who bleed orange, and that pride isn’t unfounded. We may not win every game, but we’re set to have a much better season than last year; and that’s something to celebrate, not scoff at.

Berdanier is a philosophy senior from Boulder, Colorado. She is a senior columnist. Follow her on Twitter @eberdanier.