Frankly, I am a little surprised that SMU isn’t getting more love. Sure, the loss to Houston looked bad, but after the Cougars knocked off previously undefeated South Florida, can’t you argue for both programs to at least be the ‘receiving votes’ portion of the Top 25? Meanwhile, the Frogs suffered their first loss, but because of the Aggies ineptitude and the Longhorn’s season-long struggles, they hold on to the top spot. For now.
- TCU (7-1): Sometimes you have to win ugly, but what happens when you don’t? The Horned Frogs remain atop the rankings despite their putrid performance Saturday for several reasons: they are still a top ten team, they are the only ranked team in the state, and they beat every team on this list in a head-to-head, neutral site matchup. They’ll get #2 at home Saturday with a chance to separate themselves from the pack, again.
- Texas (4-4): UT jumps over the Aggies off of their destruction of Baylor, as the Bears came stumbling back to earth after a trio of close losses. This Texas defense continues to impress, and the offense actually put points on the board, despite having to turn back to Shane Buechele with Sam Ehlinger out due to injury. Of course, three Baylor turnovers and a muffed snap on a punt didn’t hurt either. Saturday’s date with TCU in Fort Worth won’t just be for Big 12 bragging rights - the pride of the entire state could very well be on the line.
- Texas A&M (5-3): Let’s be honest, Aggie fans are mostly relieved after they got housed at home yet again, this time by a Mississippi State team that’s been basically bi-polar all season. The loss, of the embarrassing 35-14 variety, saw two QBs combine for a 16/41 performance with just 189 yards, while MSU piled up almost 400 on the other side. The L all but ensures Sumlin will be gone at season’s end, and that’s the biggest win C Stat faithful can get these days.
- SMU (6-2): I think the Ponies are pretty good. Sure, the defense is an abject disaster, but Ben Hicks is improving weekly, Courtland Sutton might be the best NFL-eligible receiver in the country, and Chad Morris has his offense absolutely cooking. Since that confounding loss to Houston a few weeks ago, the Ponies have rattled off two straight wins, and while neither has been particularly dominating, they stand in second place in the AAC West trailing Memphis by just a game. With two straight tough matchups (UCF and Navy) coming before the showdown with the Tigers, the Mustangs control their own destiny on their way to a potential conference crown.
- Houston (5-3): Oh, hello Ed Oliver. It appears the Houston defense solved their problem, or at least put on enough of a bandaid to lead them to a win over previously unbeaten USF. The Cougars have to be the state’s most confounding team; incredibly talented on the defensive side of the ball, it appears injuries have kept the offense from truly clicking, but Major Applewhite might have found something in D’Eriq King, who relieved Kyle Potsma in the first quarter and may not relinquish the job. The one-time TCU commit flipped to chase his QB dream; a season and a half into his career, the decision may have finally paid off.
- North Texas (5-3): The defense isn’t great, but led by Mason Fine, the offense can outscore just about anybody. UNT is a good story this season, on the cusp of greatness and certainly well into the good enough category. A serious player for the C-USA title, they have a legit shot of winning out and getting to nine wins and a good bowl game.
UTSA (5-2): What to make of the Roadrunners? After an up and down month, Frank Wilson’s crew seems to have things back on track after manhandling winless
BaylorUTEP. to get to 2-2 in C-USA. UTSA trails UNT by two and the Mean Green have the tiebreaker, so what looked like a promising season may be too far off-course as the calendar turns to November.
- Texas Tech (4-4): Well, it was fun while it lasted Red Raiders, those sweet few weeks where everyone thought you had turned the corner and were a sneaky threat to finish in the top half of the Big 12. But, the QB has been a mild disaster, the defense is back to being a Texas Tech defense (#110 in total defense!), and Kliffy might not be long for Lubbock. The Red Raiders still have some talented athletes and top-notch skill players, but... is that enough to win more than one game (Baylor) the rest of the way?
- Baylor (0-8): After getting shellacked by Texas at home, maybe Baylor ISN’T the best winless team of the last decade?
- Texas State (2-6): Any team that takes it to Coastal Carolina, even in football, is a friend of mine. The Bobcats whipped up on the 1-7 Chants to get win number two Saturday, putting up 500 yards to boot.
- Rice (1-7): Hoo do you think cares that the Owls keep losing? Houston is up 3-2 in the World Series, Houston is happy.
- UTEP (0-8): You are 2⁄3 of the way done with your nightmare season, Miners fans.