Texas FBS Football Rankings

The Longhorns have impressed as of late, but have they done enough to secure the No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings?

Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies are near the top. Where do they rank? Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Texas has 12 FBS teams. Each week we rank them based on season-long performance, the prior game, and success relative to their competition. These are the updated rankings following week 5 and looking forward to Week 6:

No. 12: UTEP

Things have yet to turn around for the Miners who are now 0-5 after their most recent loss to UTSA in Week 5. UTEP has the unfortunate task of facing off against 4-1 UNT in Week 6 so I would not expect them to secure their first victory just yet.

No. 11: Texas State

After enjoying their bye week with extra time to rest and prepare, Texas State will go up against 1-3 Louisiana Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns are coming off a 56-14 loss to Alabama, so the Bobcats will look to capitalize on the aftermath left by the nation’s top team.

No. 10: Rice

After a disappointing performance in Week 5, Rice now falls to 1-4. The Owls struggles on defense continue as they have given up more than 40 points to opposing offenses for the fourth straight week in a row. Rice has an interesting matchup against UTSA this coming weekend and hope to end their losing woes.

No. 9: UTSA

While UTSA secured their third victory of the season, the three teams they have beat only have a combined two wins. UTSA will look to lengthen their win streak to three games in week 6 vs. the 1-4 Rice Owls, who have struggled heavily since their only win in Week 1.

No. 8: SMU

After losing their first three games of the season, SMU has begun to bounce back with two consecutive victories in Weeks 4 and 5. With that said, the Mustangs will have to play a perfect game in Week 6 if they hope to continue their recent success, as they will face off against No. 12 UCF.

No. 7: Baylor

Despite a loss to Oklahoma last weekend, the Baylor Bears will look to build on their impressive start in 2018 by securing their fourth victory against Kansas State. So far this season, both Baylor and Kansas State find themselves in the middle of the pack in the Big 12, so if the Bears hope to keep up with the upper half of the conference, a victory in Week 6 will be much needed.  

No. 6: Houston

After a week of rest, the Cougars will look to get back into the swing of things with a favorable matchup against Tulsa. Tulsa will also be coming their bye week, which means both teams will be well rested and well prepared for Thursday’s showdown. Look for this game to be a tough battle, and for both teams to return in full force.

No. 5: TCU

TCU holds on to the No. 5 spot this week after a close victory over the Iowa State. Coming off of their two consecutive losses, the Horned Frogs squeaked past the Cyclones by just 3 points and looked far from perfect but should be glad to simply get back to winning. TCU will get a chance to rest and regroup in Week 6 going into their bye week, and will hope for a fresh start for the second half of their season when they return to action vs. Texas Tech.

No. 4: Texas Tech

After three victories in a row, the Red Raiders fell to the No. 9 West Virginia Mountaineers and Heisman candidate Will Grier. Despite their loss, Texas Tech fought hard and came up short by just 8 points to one of the best teams in the nation. This should give Tech fans a serious sense of optimism for the rest of the season. The Red Raiders will have a big challenge awaiting them in week 7 vs. TCU when they return from their bye week. A win over the Horned Frogs would speak volumes about the legitimacy of this 2018 Tech team.

No. 3: UNT

After a very disappointing loss in Week 5 to Louisiana Tech, the Mean Green lost out on their chance for a perfect season. UNT gave up a 21-6 lead when they allowed 20 unanswered points to the Bulldogs in the second quarter. Once Louisiana State settled into a 29-27 lead in the third quarter, they were able to hold the high-powered North Texas offense to a scoreless fourth quarter and shatter their hopes of an undefeated season. With the lack of their strength of schedule heading into the second half of their season, this loss has caused UNT to fall two spots on this list and will make it difficult for them to climb much higher. The Mean Green should have an easy time of winless UTEP in Week 6 and get back to their winning ways.

No. 2: Texas A&M

Despite losing to No. 1 Alabama in week 5, the Aggies take a step up in this week’s rankings. Though Texas A&M does not have the most impressive record at 3-2, the strength of their opponents needs to be taken into serious consideration and hold significant value when considering their ranking. With their two most difficult games out of the way, the Aggies will have their eyes set on finishing out the season strong and proving they can truly compete amongst the nation’s best. With that said, the road ahead will be far from easy. Texas A&M will have their hands full with No. 13 Kentucky this coming weekend ,who holds impressive victories of Florida and South Carolina so far this season. Look for the Aggies to come out energized vs. the Wildcats in hopes of securing a statement victory in Week 6.

No. 1: Texas

The Longhorns find themselves back on top at the No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings. Yes, I understand that many people will be hesitant to put much faith in a Texas program that has failed repeatedly in recent years. With that said, there is no way to overlook their dominant victories so far this season over TCU and USC, and their continued success with their fourth straight win coming in week 5 against Kansas State. Texas will undoubtedly have their toughest matchup of the season vs. rival Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown this coming weekend. Texas will have to be firing on all cylinders vs. the sooners if they hope to earn the respect they believe they deserve.

 

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Should Watson be in the MVP conversation? Composite image by Jack Brame.

The 2020 NFL season has a lot going on. Even if we take the coronavirus out of it, there's still a lot to digest. There are so many great performances being put up, one can make an argument for several players to win league MVP. The quarterback position typically gets more credit than others. If I restrict the argument to quarterbacks only, we're looking at Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers. Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Derrick Henry are the leading contenders at running back. On defense, there really isn't a standout defender. The defense gets no love, but there are several guys in the running for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Deshaun Watson has been putting up numbers that have matched or rivaled some of the top MVP candidates over his last seven games. That stretch has coincided with the firing of head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien. Coincidence? I think not. Taking the reigns off a wild horse can often lead to said horse running free and flourishing! So question: Should Watson be getting league MVP considerations? I think so.

For starters, he's been one of the best players in the league over the course of the last seven games. 18 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions. The only quarterback with a better touchdown to interception ratio over that same span is Mahomes (19 and 2, as opposed to Watson's 18 & 2). Factoring in total season stats, of course Mahomes is doing much better. He's on a better team with a much better coach and general manager. The same could be said for Wilson and Rodgers. Put Watson on any of those teams and their records wouldn't be any worse than what they are now.

The Texans are 4-3 since firing O'Brien. While that isn't a great record, consider the fact they started the season 0-4 and looked like a total disaster. Watson looked like he was caged and couldn't wait to be freed. The team's record could be even better if the defense had a pulse. The proper supporting cast has a lot to do with a player's MVP candidate's chances. Now that one of his favorite weapons, Will Fuller, and the team's best corner, Bradley Roby, are both suspended for the rest of the season by the league for violating the substance abuse/PED policy, things will get much tougher for Watson.

If he continues to put up these cartoon like numbers, I don't see why he wouldn't be in the MVP conversation. He's currently fopurth in passing yards, sixth in completion percentage, tied for fifth in passing touchdowns, eighth in QBR, and third in quarterback rating. Watson is emerging as the star he was projected to be coming into the 2017 draft. I'm not saying Watson deserves to be the league MVP, but he deserves to be in the conversation. His MVP candidacy should be treated like the family gathering hierarchy: once you reach a certain age and/or status, you're no longer resigned to the kiddie table. Now you get to sit with all the adults, engage in their conversations, and gain access to things you couldn't previously. Watson won't win the MVP award, but I strongly believe he could finish top five. Especially if he keeps making lemonade with the lemons he's been given.

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