LARAMIE -- Is Texas back?

The Big XII media certainly thinks so.

The Longhorns, courtesy of 41 first-place votes, were selected Thursday to win the conference this fall. Texas Tech, the Cowboys' opening day opponent, landed in fourth place (four first-place votes) at the league's annual media days inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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Wyoming will host the Red Raiders Sept. 2 in Laramie. Craig Bohl's bunch will make the trip to Austin Sept. 16 to face Texas.

Why the Longhorn love?

Well, a quick glance at the preseason All-Big XII team should serve as an indication.

The media tabbed UT linebacker Jaylan Ford the Defensive Player of the Year. The 6-foot-3, 236-pound senior linebacker led the 'Horns with 119 tackles last fall, including four interceptions, a pair of forced fumbles and recoveries and two sacks. Ford earned Third-Team All-American honors in 2022.

Texas finished the season 8-5 overall and was 5-2 inside Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium.



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The First Team also includes Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy (60 catches, 760 yards, 9 touchdowns), tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders (54 catches, 613 yards, 5 touchdowns) and left tackle Kelvin Banks. On defense, interior lineman Byron Murphy (24 tackles, sack) joins Ford.

Texas Tech landed two players on the First Team.

Wide receiver Jerand Bradley rolled up 744 yards on 51 grabs in 2022. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound freshman also hauled in six touchdowns for the Red Raiders, who finished the season 8-5 overall. Jaylon Hutchings, a 6-foot, 305-pound defensive tackle, tallied 48 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a recovery.

The Mountain West will hold its annual media days July 19-10 at the Circa Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Quarterback Andrew Peasley and linebacker Easton Gibbs will join Bohl in representing the Cowboys.

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