Texas is 22-16 over the last three seasons and the once-mighty program has the look that it could settle into long-term mediocrity if Longhorns can't challenge for the Big 12 title this year.
Coach Mack Brown and the players see it differently. They enter the 2013 season with a quiet confidence, feeling they are being overlooked as not just Big 12 contenders, but perhaps national contenders.
Texas returns 19 starters from last season's 9-4 squad, making it the most experienced team in the Big 12, and is coming off a bowl win over Oregon State that was arguably quarterback David Ash's best game of the season.
Texas opens the season at home against New Mexico State on Aug. 31.