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State of Texas Power Rankings: Week 12

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Kevin Sumlin is all but officially on the chopping block this weekend.

Mississippi State v Texas A&M
The last ride for Kevin Sumlin.
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

We are just one game away from the end of the regular season of football in the state of Texas, and that’s probably a good thing. With seven teams bowl-bound, and an eighth a win away, it hasn’t been a terrible season, but all but TCU and UNT fans (do the Mean Green have those?) would have to say the year has been disappointing. We will have several new coaches in the state, including in College Station, next season, and several programs appear primed for come-up. On with the penultimate rankings.

  1. TCU (9-2): The Frogs got back to their winning ways with a victory in Lubbock, holding the Red Raiders out of the end zone and to their lowest home scoring output since 2000. TCU did all this despite missing both starting linebackers, a starting safety (and losing a second in the third quarter), their starting kicker, a crucial cog in the running game, and oh yeah, their starting quarterback. The injury bug has hit the Horned Frogs hard, but they keep finding ways to win - this time behind a true freshman QB in his first ever start, a dominating defense, and a balanced offensive attack. The Frogs get Baylor at home, with a win sending them to the Big 12 Championship game, where they will get a rematch with Oklahoma. TCU has asserted themselves as the class of Texas, and shouldn’t need to worry about losing that honor this season. Don’t lose to the team from Waco, please, Horned Frogs.
  2. Texas A&M (7-4): THE AGGIES WON AN SEC GAME IN NOVEMBER. This is big news folks; it’s like seeing a unicorn or chasing down your white whale. It’s still a disappointing season overall, probably enough so to do in Kevin Sumlin, but at least A&M has seen some positive strides late in the year. UPDATE: According to everyone, Sumlin is getting canned after LSU, regardless of outcome. According to Aggie message boards, they are getting James Franklin or Jimbo Fisher with GP as d-coordinator and Chip Kelly for the offense.
  3. Texas (6-5): THE LONGHORNS ARE BOWL ELIGIBLE. This is also a big deal, apparently, as a program that used to regularly win conference titles is now super-pumped about making the Scott’s Turf Builder Alpharetta Dome Chicken Thighs Bowl or whatever (let’s just all hope they don’t matchup with the Aggies like some are predicting so we get more years of them saying they are dodging each other and politicians getting involved.)
  4. UNT (8-3): I see you, Mean Green. North Texas is quietly putting together an impressive campaign, as they look to get to double-digit wins with a victory over cellar-dweller Rice and in the C-USA Championship game over FAU. They’ll be in line for a solid bowl game, likely against a big-time opponent from the Power Five. I am sure everyone is going to give me their BUT HOUSTON WOULD WIPE THE FLOOR WITH THEM takes, but you know what? These are my rankings and I don’t care.
  5. Houston (6-4): The injury-riddled Cougars never really found their groove on offense, and thus wasted some exceptional defensive talent. All of the makings of a bounce-back year are there, but after an inexplicable loss to Tulane, there are a lot of questions to answer - starting at QB. D’Eriq King has been okay as a passer - he’s completing a high percentage, but it’s clear they don’t want him going down the field much, and while he’s a dangerous and explosive runner, that’s a lot of hits being leveled on a 5’11”, 190 pound guy. I don’t know that’s he’s the long term answer under center, but it’s a good experiment by Major Applewhite to see what they have in the explosive athlete.
  6. SMU (6-5): Oh, what could have been. The Ponies will get to a bowl game in 2017, but that feels a little disappointing when you look at how many times they were this close to victory, including last week’s fall off a fourth quarter cliff defeat to Memphis. SMU should have been a real contender in the AAC this season, but instead, they are an also-ran, as per usual. And now, with several major job openings across the country, and Chad Morris linked to a few of them (cough, cough, Texas A&M, cough, cough), the Ponies’ run of competitiveness could be over just as it began.
  7. Texas Tech (5-6): LOL SCREW YOU KIRBY HOCUTT AND YOUR DUMB JUSTIFICATIONS FOR YOUR STUPID RANKINGS. And also, the Pirate of the Plains is on the comeback, according to all of the internet rumors. Maybe he can bring them back to being interesting, because Kliffy sure doesn’t seem up to the challenge.
  8. UTSA (6-4): The Roadrunners will be bowling, but ultimately, that’s well short of their preseason expectations.
  9. Rice (2-9): Meh.
  10. Texas State (2-9): Double Meh.
  11. UTEP (0-11): LOL.
  12. The Football Team in Waco (1-10): Only the team south on I-35 stands in the way of TCU making their first appearance in the Big 12 Championship game, and while that program has made significant strides throughout the season, they likely won’t present much of a roadblock to a TCU team that is looking at starting Gary’s towel girl at QB. #BeatBU