Men’s fall countdown: No. 1 Texas

Next up on our men’s 2014 fall countdown, No. 1 Texas:

Editor’s note: The rankings are those of our college expert, Lance Ringler, as he looked ahead to the collegiate preseason. The official Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings won’t be available until a couple of the weeks into the fall season. Our staff of Andy Zunz, Cassie Stein and Brentley Romine are writing the individual profiles of the teams.

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Texas Longhorns

Preseason rank: 1

Final 2013-14 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 13

2013-14 in review: Freshman Beau Hossler emerged as a leader for the Longhorns near the end of the season, leading the team in three of its final four tournaments. The team went on to win the Big 12 Championship and advance to stroke play at the NCAA Championship, finishing in 13th. Hossler was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and head coach John Fields was named Coach of the Year.

Notable departures: Toni Hakula

Key returnees: Sophomores Beau Hossler and Gavin Hall, senior Kramer Hickok

Newcomers of note: Freshmen Scottie Scheffler, Doug Ghim and Taylor Funk

Circled on the fall calendar: U.S. Collegiate, Oct. 17-19, GC of Georgia (Lakeside), Alpharetta, Ga.

Fall outlook: Fields brings back plenty of talent from the team that won the 2014 Big 12 Championship. Throw in an impressive summer from Beau Hossler (won Western Amateur), an elite recruiting class (including the former No. 1 junior in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, Scheffler) and two returning all Big-12 performers (Hossler and Kramer Hickok), and Fields is feeling good about his team this year. He said that the lineup could go any way, and qualifying will be very competitive each week.

Coach’s perspective: “We could win any golf tournament we play in this year, and we could do it with multiple lineups.” – Fields

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