Texas Football: Longhorns one spot ahead of Aggies in final AP Poll

The last version of the AP Poll had the Texas football program at No. 25, one spot ahead of Texas A&M, after their Alamo Bowl win over the Utah Utes.

Not only was the Texas football program the 25th and final team to make it into the last AP Top 25 Rankings, they were one spot ahead of one of their biggest historic rivals. Texas was ranked No. 25 in the final AP Poll, while the rival Texas A&M Aggies finished up as the No. 26 team in terms of votes. Texas A&M finished up with the same amount of wins as Texas after they beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys out of the Big 12 in the Texas Bowl.

You can view the entirety of the final AP Poll, thanks to ESPN here.

The fact that the Texas Longhorns football program finished inside the AP Poll in their final top 25 rankings of the 2019 college football season isn’t worth celebration. Neither is the fact that the Longhorns finished one spot ahead of their in-state rival Aggies in the final AP Poll. But it is worth noting that how the Longhorns finished here in the final polls saved their season from disaster.

If the Longhorns did not defeat the No. 11 ranked Utah Utes in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 31, especially in the dominant fashion they did by the final score of 38-10, then they would’ve only won seven games this season. With that win over the Alamo Bowl, Texas finished up the 2019 season with a record of 8-5 (5-4 Big 12).

Utah dropped four spots in the final AP Poll, landing at No. 16. Head coach Kyle Whittingham and the Utes were ranked at No. 12 in the last AP Poll before bowl season arrived. Utah was ranked No. 11 in the last College Football Playoff Rankings. But the College Football Playoff Rankings cease once the postseason begins.

Moreover, Texas wasn’t ranked in either of the three major polls heading into the postseason. And the Coaches Poll doesn’t have a final set of rankings once bowl season is over.

The other two teams from the Big 12 that finished inside the top 25 rankings were the No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners and the No. 13 Baylor Bears. Baylor was tied among the teams that dropped the most spots in the final AP Poll, as they moved down five spots after their Sugar Bowl loss at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs.

And Oklahoma was down three spots after falling short against the LSU Tigers in convincing fashion in their College Football Playoff Semifinals game. LSU wound up taking the top spot in the final AP Poll since they defeated the No. 2 ranked (final AP Poll) Clemson Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Jan. 13 by the final score of 42-25.

Texas was actually the team that came closest to knocking off LSU this season. That came back in Week 2 when head Texas football coach Tom Herman had a rather healthy team he was dealing with. Herman and star junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger didn’t have near as healthy of a team they were dealing with since that loss to LSU back on Sep. 7.

LSU and Clemson obviously commanded the top two spots in the final set of rankings. The Ohio State Buckeyes finished up in third place, and Georgia came in fourth. The top six was rounded out by the Oregon Ducks (beat the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl) and the Florida Gators (beat the Virginia Cavaliers in the Orange Bowl).

Next: 3 best Texas bowl games from the 2010's

Texas has a lot to work on heading into the 2020 offseason. They are still in the process of turning over most of their coaching staff beyond Herman. Both coordinators are found and the positional coaches are in the process of getting hired still.

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