The Longhorns finished 8-5 last season, good for sixth place in the conference, and were unranked in the final 2011 AP and Coaches' polls following their 21-10 victory over California in the Holiday Bowl. However, they return 12 starters for the 2012 season, including defensive ends Jackson Jeffcoat (71 tackles, eight sacks) and Alex Okafor (seven sacks, 14 tackles for a loss).
SI listed junior defensive tackle Brandon Moore as its "Breakout Player" for the Longhorns, while Jordan Hicks is the subject of their "Player Spotlight."
The rival Oklahoma Sooners are the highest-ranked Big 12 team at No. 5, while Alabama, USC, LSU and Oregon are ranked ahead of them. Kansas State (No. 16) and West Virginia (No. 10) also made their way into the Top 25.