The Texas Longhorns begin a new chapter under first-year coach Tom Herman in 2017.
Herman replaces Charlie Strong, who was fired after compiling a 16-21 record over three consecutive losing seasons. Herman compiled a 22-4 record this season after a successful stint as offensive coordinator at Ohio State. Herman, 41, is a bright offensive mind and an energetic coach. He might be just what Texas needs to get back in the Big 12 hunt, but there's work to do in Austin.
The Longhorns are ranked No. 23 in Sporting News' Way-Too-Early Top 25, and here's a preview of Texas' 2017 schedule, roster and biggest questions entering the season.
When is Texas spring game?
Texas' Orange-White Spring Game is 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT) on Saturday, April 15, at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Where will Texas' spring game be televised?
Texas' Orange-White Spring Game will be televised on the Longhorn Network.
2017 Texas football schedule
Sept. 2: vs. Maryland
Sept. 9: vs. San Jose State
Sept. 16: at USC
Sept. 23: BYE
Sept. 28: at Iowa State (Thursday)
Oct. 7: vs. Kansas State
Oct. 14: vs. Oklahoma (Dallas)
Oct. 21: vs. Oklahoma State
Oct. 28: at Baylor
Nov. 4: at TCU
Nov. 11: vs. Kansas
Nov. 18: at West Virginia
Nov. 24: vs. Texas Tech (Friday)
Dec. 2: Big 12 championship game
2017 Texas recruiting class
Texas did not have a composite Top 15 recruiting class according to four major recruiting sites. The Longhorns ranked No. 26 in 247Sports.com's team rankings. Dual-threat quarterback Sam Ehlinger, receiver Damion Miller and linebacker Gary Johnson were the top recruits in the class.
2017 Texas roster
Texas' roster will be updated in the spring and fall here.
Three things to watch
1. How will Herman help Buechele?
Shane Buechele went through the ups-and-downs like any other normal freshman at Texas. He finished with 2,958 passing yards, 21 TDs and 11 interceptions, and the encouraging sign was a 60.4 completion percentage. That number will go up with Herman, who worked with quarterbacks such as Braxton Miller, J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones at Ohio State and Greg Ward Jr. at Houston. Herman and offensive coordinator Tim Beck should help Buechele take the next step as a sophomore, and the spring should offer a few clues as to how that transition will go.
2 Who's running the ball?
D'Onta Foreman left for the NFL after rushing for 2,028 yards and 15 TDs last season, and that leaves an opportunity for several running backs. Kyle Porter had 205 rushing yards behind Foreman last year. Chris Warren III. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry and scored three TDs but missed eight games because of a knee injury. Kirk Johnson and Roderick Bernard both missed last season because of knee injuries. Early enrollee Toneil Carter could get in the mix. It's a crowded house with a new coach, so this is a position battle worth watching.
3. What's the vibe like now?
There will be a lot of talk about the offense and the defense, which features an All-American caliber linebacker in Malik Jefferson and should improve under defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, who also comes from Houston. The program's culture will be dissected. Herman was able to turn Houston into a New Year's Day Six contender almost overnight. The job won't be as easy at Texas, but Herman's must make the program attractive to in-state prospects again. Ohio State, Florida State and LSU were among the schools who poached the elite talent in the state in the 2017 recruiting class. This might be Herman's biggest challenge heading into the season. Keep an eye on which big-time recruits come to the Orange-White game.