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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Texans vs. Vikings could have fans in attendance. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Houston Texans say it's time that fans were allowed to cheer on the home team at NRG Stadium. On Thursday, the team announced extensive safety protocols that would put 15,000 fans in the stands for the Week 4 game against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 4.

While the Texans are awaiting permission from city and county officials to host a limited number of fans - socially distant and wearing masks – no plans have been announced how much tickets will cost, and who'll have the opportunity to buy them.

You have to love the free enterprise system: hundreds of tickets for the Oct. 4 game already are on sale on secondary market websites. Lower bowl tickets are going for $800 and up. If you don't mind sitting in the nose bleeds, tickets can be had for around $250.

So the question becomes, if you had the chance, would you attend the Texans game in early October? The tickets are big bucks, and there is a whammy – COVID-19. While the rate of COVID-19 infections is on the decline in Houston, the virus remains a major factor in our daily lives, and there's no guarantee that the pandemic won't spike here again.

Here's the rub, at least for me. Of all the sports we have in Houston, a Texans game might be lowest on my wish list of attending in person. Television does NFL games the best. There are dozens of cameras, so when a receiver catches a pass on the sidelines, we get several views, in slow motion even, to see if the receiver's feet were in bounds. We can almost feel the crunch of a quarterback sack. We get highlights of other games. You don't have to sit next to a face painter like David Puddy.

The NFL is a made-for-TV production. Which is, I suspect, part of the reason the Texans rarely open the roof at NRG Stadium. With the roof closed, the field becomes a controlled TV studio, with no worries of weather pranks.

Television doesn't do basketball or baseball nearly as well. Conversely, the experience of attending those games is terrific fun. What beats eating a couple of dogs at an Astros game? Is there even a traditional food at NFL or NBA games?

The Texans promise that strict safety rules will be enforced. And I believe them. Fans will be scattered over the 67,000-seat stadium. I'm not sure how much of a home field advantage that will be. Most of the crowd noise will come from pre-recorded tapes.

Here's one worry. Sure fans will sit apart and socially distanced. But what will happen when the game is over? Will fans file out in orderly, non-contagious single file? I flew Southwest a few weeks ago. The airline makes a big deal – we don't sell the middle seat. Passengers kept their distance during the flight. When the landed, you know how it is, everybody got up and piled into the aisle, shoulder to shoulder for several minutes.

What will happen if some goofball takes off his/her mask during the Texans game? Will there be enough security to handle each case?

Baseball is planning to have some fans attend post-season games at Minute Maid Park next month. UH Cougars, the Dynamo and Dash are playing in front of small crowds. It remains to be seen how safe – or how risky – allowing fans at sports events will be.

Will parents let their kids attend? Is waiting for a vaccine the smart play? If President Trump is right, that could be only a matter of weeks away. If scientists and doctors are right, nestle in for pandemic life another year. Even if scientists do come up with a vaccine, how many Americans will roll up their sleeve? Some believe, in the case of COVID-19, the cure may be worse than the disease. Not me, the moment Dr. Fauci says the vaccine is safe and effective, I'm sprinting to CVS.

The thinnest of silver linings, if ever there was a year worth sitting out, 2020 has been it for Houston sports fans. The Astros are scratching to stay above .500 (their present position), Jose Altuve hasn't had an extra base hit or RBI in almost a month, and Justin Verlander is throwing bullpens on his way to recovery. The Rockets are searching for a new coach, and possibly another team willing to take Russell Westbrook in a trade. The Texans season could go either way, we'll know if a few short weeks.

Why the rush to fill stadiums? The NBA is thriving in a bubble. Why not baseball and football? There's a fine line between safe and sorry.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo already has safety plans for next year, including masks and distancing. That will be interesting. Good luck controlling crowds pushing and shoving for corn dogs and funnel cakes.

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