RANKING THE TEXAS DIVISION 1 SCHOOLS

SMU rises as Texas A&M falls this week

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Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

12.  RICE

This week was the first signs of life Rice has shown all season. They played Baylor close and they gave them a hard time. It's the first time all season we've felt like Rice had any intention of playing good football and that was a nice thing to see. Now if only they could win a game.

11. UTSA

So last week I said the game against North Texas would go a long way for UTSA determining what kind of season they wanted to have and they lost big time. This is a team looking for a way to throw in the towel and get off the field. They don't want to be here which is good because they're off this week.

10. TEXAS STATE

Texas State got a win and they play another winnable game this week against Nicholls. The true test of teams that want to be good is how they handle the games they are supposed to win. How do they prepare? How do they play and will they execute when they are expected to win. This is Texas State's opportunity to find out what kind of team they are.

9. UTEP

A rough home loss to Nevada and now having to travel to Southern Mississippi doesn't bode well for UTEP. This is a program in trouble and there's no real chance of saving it this week I think, this is going to hurt but there's nothing else they can do.

8. NORTH TEXAS

North Texas is a team going the wrong way. SMU has left the bottom half of the rankings behind and that all started with a good win against North Texas. Now Houston has come to town and if there was ever a time to turn the table, this is it. North Texas has a season to save and a game to win.

7.  TEXAS TECH

Coming off the bye and facing Oklahoma is a tough task; Oklahoma has been having a great season and this isn't a game that Tech will come out of feeling good. It's basically a given they're going to lose, it's how they approach this game and how they execute that will set the tone for this season.

6. HOUSTON

Can this season get any weirder for Houston? Now their quarterback has opted to redshirt himself rather than finish the season? What is going on in U of H? Well they have to go on the road to North Texas and while they should win, it's hard to think they will considering how much turmoil is surrounding the program currently.

5. TCU

They've lost to SMU and that can be a crushing loss. They're expected to bounce back against Kansas and are projected to win by a lot but it's hard to think that they will. I think it's going to be a close game and that if TCU wins it won't be by a lot.

4. SMU

So I honestly didn't think SMU would beat TCU, I thought they would play a close game but I didn't think they would win. They did, and they deserve this rise they're on. They're having a great season and if they keep it up they may finish the season ranked. Probably not high but ranked nonetheless.

3. TEXAS A&M

Did Texas A&M lose two games to two good opponents? Yes. Should they be higher up this list? If they had won one of them or at least looked good in the Clemson game, then maybe. Losing hurts no matter who you lose to and so A&M slides down the list.

2. BAYLOR

So much losing last week that even a mediocre win against Rice is great news. The lone bright spot on last weeks top end of the list, other than Texas, was Baylor's win against Rice. This is more about everyone else playing so bad and less about these guys playing great but hey number 2 is number 2 no matter how you get there.

1. TEXAS

Texas beat Oklahoma State, but close. It wasn't a great, clean win and while there's no doubt after this week that they are the best team in the state, they may not be as nationally dominant as they looked two weeks ago. Texas is off this week, so they can lick their wounds and watch everyone else play, confident in their spot at number 1.

Feel free to check out my brand new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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