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State of Texas Power Rankings: Week Three

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There is only one FBS team in the state of Texas off to a 3-0 start. But they have some competition brewing for that top spot.

NCAA Football: Rice at Houston John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Even I’m not naive enough to think that TCU is the best team in the country (yet - if they win in Stillwater, the irrational belief level will be sky high), but it’s hard to argue that they aren’t the class of the Lone Star State. It appears they have some competition though, as Houston looks to be right back on track as they nip at the Frogs’ heels from that #2 spot, with a fun showdown with Texas Tech coming this weekend. For now, let’s take a look at the best (Go Frogs) and worst (BayLOL) of football in Texas this week.

  1. TCU (3-0): The Frogs still have the best win of any team in Texas, and are the first team in the state to get to three wins. Saturday’s matchup with SMU wasn’t pretty, but the GP’s team took control after the first 15 minutes and never let up. TCU looks like the class of the Lone Star State so far, and can truly state their case by hanging tough in Stillwater this weekend.
  2. Houston (2-0): Here come the Cougs! Applewhite’s team broke through in a Major way (see what I did there) , as they absolutely annihilated a poor Rice team. Kyle Allen was 31-33 (!!!) for 309 yards in leading UH to 38 first half points. The Cougs shut out the Owls until the fourth quarter, and really took their foot off the gas in half number two. Applewhite will get his chance to put Houston on the map Saturday against Texas Tech, and has a ranked USF and good Memphis team left on the schedule to prove that they are not just the best in Texas - but a top team in the country.
  3. Texas Tech (2-0): What do we know about the Red Raiders? Not a whole lot. Tech jumped out to a 35-17 first half lead before reverting to old habits and doing everything they could to let ASU back in it in the third quarter. Nic Shimonek was really good (37/50, 543 yards, 6 TDs), but the Raiders could not run the ball a lick and the defense was absolutely torched in the second half. The Cougars haven’t lost a home game in almost three years and are a 6 point favorite on the day... it looks like Tech is about to fall from the rank of the undefeateds.
  4. UTSA (2-0): The Road Runners have a heck of a QB in Dalton Strum, who continues to torch opposing defenses - this time to the tune of a 19/22 outing for 292 yards and four passing TDs. Sure, Southern was terrible, but Strum looks like the real deal, and should make UTSA a real contender in Conference USA.
  5. Texas (1-2): Never has Texas been back (and forth) more than Saturday night in Southern California, as true freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger did his best impression of a Rolex - took a lickin and kept on tickin. Shane Buechele may very well have been Wally Pipp’d by the wunderkind, who wasn’t perfect by any stretch, but kept making plays to keep Texas in it. And that Horn defense... hoo boy, that may certainly, actually be back. Of course, this all assumes that ‘SC isn’t a horribly flawed team led by a wonderfully talented QB (which they are) and not that two of the most consistently overrated programs in the country are exactly that once again. Well, I guess that remains to be seen.
  6. Texas A&M (2-1): I can’t wait for Kevin Sumlin to write his memoirs: SWAG and the Double Birds: How to motivate your five star players to perform at two star levels. The Aggies were struggling mightily with the powerhouse Ragin Cajuns before some (former?) walk-o wide receiver responded to a well-deserved chorus of boos at halftime by giving the audience the old two figure salute. A&M is full of talented players who believe their own hype led by a head coach who spends more time developing his own hype than his players. They are lucky to be 2-1 despite playing two garbage teams and holding a 34 point second half lead on a third. The good news for Aggie fans is at least they won’t have to wait until November for the inevitable collapse in 2017 - in fact, it will start next week with the first Arkansas win in the last five tries against TAMU.
  7. SMU (2-1): The Mustangs looked like they could compete with a Power Five team for all of 15 minutes, before TCU turned the fire on under the Skillet. Chad Morris is a good coach and the Ponies are talented on the offensive side of the ball. But Ben Hicks is a 50% passer through the first three games, and if his accuracy doesn’t improve, no stable of wide receivers will be able to lead them back to a bowl game. Of course, should the Ponies play up to their potential, they could win 8-9 games and be waving Morris off as he heads south to College Station.
  8. Rice (1-2): The first round of SAT scores for the fall semester were released this week, so everyone can stop paying attention to Rice Football and start paying attention to Rice Admissions again. Everyone will be much happier that way.
  9. UNT (1-2): It was a good run, Mean Green. After giving the Hawkeyes all they could handle in the first half, even taking a 14-10 lead into the locker room, UNT was shutout through the final 30 minutes as Iowa took control on their home field. North Texas’ struggles have gotten tiring - they have a beautiful stadium in a talent-rich area, and seem to be the right coach away from taking advantage of that perfect storm. I feel like not going after Doug Meacham hard leading into last season was a mistake they may not soon recover from; it may be far too early to judge Seth Littrell, who is just 6-10 in two seasons, but with a soft bottom half of the conference, a bowl game shouldn’t be too high an expectation.
  10. Texas State (1-2): Someone relayed a story about their single experience at a Texas State football game. Apparently, one time was more than enough. But hey, it could be worse - you could be Baylor.
  11. UTEP (0-3): No program in Texas is more thankful for Baylor than UTEP, because the Bears are the only thing keeping the Miners from the basement.
  12. Baylor (0-3): I was almost starting to feel badly for the Bears, until I read the comments regarding Mike Leslie’s piece on Baylor fan karma:

... facebook was even worse.

No, that’s not a fair representation of the fanbase as a whole, but it proves that those morons wearing #CAB shirts last season are still out there and still shouting from the rooftops. And if that wasn’t enough, check out the BayLOL section of This Week in Shhadenfreude:

Baylor

Completed a tour of nonconference losses that already included the FCS and Conference USA by losing at Duke. Matt Rhule’s now 0-3.

Let’s check in on the boards at BU fan site SicEm365.com.

Thread: Mike Singletary Would Have Been 3-0 Right Now

Thread: Rhule is in breach of the contract if this continues.

Surely his contract requires performance. A buyout or full buyout is in effect if it is the school (employer) that breaches the contract.

There is this addendum, sorting out some legalese:

Caveat I have not read the contract. But surely it seems basic principals apply to it, other wise it isn't a contract.

Also, someone’s worried that Baylor’s getting kicked out of the Big 12.

Thread: This is a 10-year minimum rebuild--Are we safe in the Big 12?

Hey all-

Let's be realistic here. We have ZERO depth and we will lose a lot of commitments with this horrible start. This "process" will take us until the mid to late 2020s to get close to decent.

How long will the big 12 put up with it? Admit it, we got very lucky to get in. We better be on the look out.

p.s. Anyone that does not think we got luck to get in the big 12 ask any other big 12 fan (not a baylor fan).

I sure wish I was wrong.

0-12 isn’t enough. But I’m going to enjoy it all the same.