Ranking the schools

Preseason rankings for the 12 Division I college football teams in Texas

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Each week, we will rank the 12 Division I teams in the state of Texas. Here are the preseason rankings:

No. 12: Rice

The Owls won just two games last season, and while they might be improved, their schedule is brutal with Army, Wake Forest, Texas and Baylor in non-conference. No way to go up.

No. 11 UTEP

The Miners won just one game last season under Dana Dimel, but they did show improvement late in the season. This year might not be much better, but like Rice, there is nowhere to go but up.

No. 10 UTSA

This program has fallen on such hard times, they are less than a touchdown favorite against Incarnate Word this weekend. Looks like a rough season ahead.

No. 9 Texas State 

The addition of Jake Spavital as head coach should at least give fans some hope, but it won't be Week 1, when they take on Texas A&M. Still, look for improvement throughout the season.

No. 8 SMU

Year 2 of the Sonny Dykes experience should bring some improvement over last year's 5-7 mark. Former UT QB Shane Beuchele is an upgrade and the Ponies could be in line for a bowl game.

No. 7 Texas Tech

The Kliff Kingsbury era is over, and the new-look Raiders will have some rebuilding to do. Perhaps the biggest wild card on the list, they could be anywhere from 5-10 on this list when it is all said and done.

No. 6 North Texas

Seth Littrell has turned this program around and they have now gone to three straight bowl games. It won't be a shock if they make it to four.

No. 5 Baylor

Matt Ruhle did an outstanding job last season making Baylor competitive again after a rough first season. With the Art Briles controversy getting farther in the rear mirror, the Bears could take another big step this season.

No. 4 Houston

Major Applewhite's brief tenure was an exercise in mismanagement and mediocrity. Enter Dana Holgorsen, who should get this team back atop the AAC in the next three years, maybe as soon as this year. But a horrible defense from last year probably won't be fixed overnight, and the Cougars have a tough schedule. Still, as long as they have D'Eriq King, they should be competitive.

No. 3 TCU 

The Frogs had a disappointing season last year, but Gary Patterson has built too strong of a program to keep them down for long. Could easily make a run at the Big 12 as a dark horse. Or go 6-6.

No. 2 Texas A&M

If these were power rankings, the Aggies might be No. 1. But a daunting schedule that includes dates with Clemson, Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia will probably equal a record that does not match the preseason No. 1.

No. 1 Texas

Coming off a New Year's Six bowl win, expectations are sky high for the Longhorns. Realistically they might still be a season away from being "back," but an early season test against LSU might show exactly how far the Longhorns have come. They have the easiest path to an excellent season.


Quarterback's loss is a serious blow

D'Eriq King to transfer from UH

Photo via Houston Cougar Football/Facebook

Houston's rough week of sports continued with yet more bad news late Tuesday night.

University of Houston quarterback D'Eriq King, who redshirted after four games, presumably to come back to UH in 2020, has entered the NCAA's transfer portal, meaning he will play elsewhere in 2020.

Where does he go?

King's best season was 2018, when he accounted for 50 touchdowns, the only player in the country to do so besides Heisman winner Kyler Murray.

But the Cougars started 1-3 in 2019, with King not thriving in new coach Dana Holgorsen's offense. King decided to redshirt and wait for 2020, when the Cougars would have several high profile transfers join the program.

Instead, King, who has already graduated, will be eligible to play elsewhere right away. Speculation is he will wind up at Arkansas, with his old offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, but he will be a hot commodity. Arkansas, one of the most woeful programs in the Power Five over the past two years, made a coaching change after going 2-10 and 0-8 in the SEC, so the main motivation for King would be to play in the SEC and perhaps put up some numbers in his senior year.

Originally, there was speculation he might try go to LSU, which just won the national title and loses Heisman winner Joe Burrow. He would also seem to be a good fit at Oklahoma.

What's next for UH?

It is certainly a bad look for Holgorsen, who basically blew off the 2018 season in hopes of having King back in 2020. But Clayton Tune was OK in relief of King and should improve. They also have incoming freshman Sofian Massoud from Cypress Lakes, who is highly regarded. Also, don't rule out Holgorsen dipping into the transfer pool himself, as he has a senior-dominated team built to win next year. He also has a good track record developing quarterbacks. So all is not lost, but it sure is not good news.

A day after an ugly Texans playoff loss, and the same day the Astros fired GM Jeff Luhknow and manager A.J. Hinch, King's transfer was just another bitter pill on a week of sports misery.


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