TCU holds the top spot. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
A lot is shifting in the landscape of Texas FBS football. Find out which direction your team is trending.
Texas has 12 FBS teams. Each week we will rank them based on season-long performance, the prior game, and success relative to their competition. These are the updated rankings heading into Week 3 of the college football season.
No. 12: UTEP
The winless streak for UTEP continues as they lost big time to UNLV, and are faced with the almost hopeless task of keeping up with the University of Tennessee in Week 3. They may be able to break their cringe worthy streak at some point this season, but I would assume they hold onto that hope for another week.
No. 11: UTSA
UTSA will be heading into week 3 with an 0-2 record and I do not expect them to get their first win vs. Big 12 opponent Kansas State next weekend.
No. 10: Texas State
Texas State won their first game of the season against Texas Southern in a 36-20 victory, but are looking at a tough Week 3 opponent in Louisiana Lafayette who defeated the Bobcats 24-7 last season. More wins may be in store for this hopeful program, but a lot of things would have to go their way for that to come in Week 3.
No. 9: SMU
SMU dropped big time in the rankings after another poor outing for the second week in a row. After losing 46-23 in Week 1 to North Texas, not much changed in Week 2 for the Mustangs as they lost 42-12 to TCU. We can expect things to get worse before they get better for SMU, as they head into a Week 3 matchup vs. 19th ranked Michigan.
No. 8: Rice
Despite winning their first game of the season, the Owls have now lost two in a row. Rice fell 43-29 to Hawaii, but have a potentially favorable matchup vs. Southern Miss this coming weekend.
No. 7: Texas Tech
Despite being without starting quarterback McLance Carter after an early Week 1 injury, the Red Raiders were able to pick up their first win of the season in blowout fashion. FCS opponent Lamar University was no match for Tech as they went on to give up 77 points. Texas Tech will have their work cut out for them in Week 3 vs. a so far impressive looking Houston team, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury can expect his seat to get fairly hot if he is not able to lock down an early season win for the home crowd.
No. 6: Baylor
After an abysmal season in 2017, Baylor has already surpassed their win totals with a 2-0 record to start off 2018. On their way to securing the No. 6 spot in this week’s rankings, the Bears defeated UTSA 37-20 in week 2 and look to take down Duke University in Week 3. Duke is also off to a 2-0 start this season with victories of Army and Northwestern, so this will be Baylor’s toughest test yet. A win vs. Duke would provide the Bears with significant momentum heading into Big 12 play.
No. 5: Texas
UT and head coach Tom Herman got the monkey off their backs after winning their first game of 2018 against the University of Tulsa. The Longhorns had their exciting moments throughout the game but scared fans when they allowed Tulsa within 7 points in the fourth quarter. The Longhorns' excitement was probably short lived as they turn their attention to the difficult matchup vs. USC in Week 3. Texas will welcome the 22nd-ranked Trojans to Austin this coming weekend, and hope to bring a little excitement back to their home crowd with a big upset victory.
No. 4 Texas A&M
Though the Aggies lost a heartbreaker to No. 2 ranked Clemson this past weekend, there is still a lot of optimism and excitement surrounding the team. Texas A&M fought down to the wire against Clemson and fell just short after they were not able to complete a two-point conversion that would have tied the game in the final seconds. The Aggies will have a much less strenuous weekend in Week 3 as they face off against the University of Louisiana Monroe, and will get a chance to regroup before taking on No. 1 overall Alabama in Week 4.
No. 3: Houston
Taking over the No. 3 ranking on this week’s list is the University of Houston. The Cougars made a statement in Week 2 after defeating the University of Arizona with new head coach Kevin Sumlin 45-18. Junior quarterback D’Eriq King lit up the stat sheet with a six touchdown performance, four of which came through the air and two on the ground. Coach Major Applewhite and the Cougars have another chance to collect a statement win in Week 3, as they will be facing Big 12 opponents Texas Tech. With a win against the Red Raiders, Houston would hold claim to two victories over teams from power five conferences.
No. 2 UNT
With another impressive performance on both sides of the ball for UNT, they are able to secure the No. 2 position on this list. While only allowing 16 points, North Texas scored 58 points in Week 2 to add to their 46 point performance in week 1. Though the Mean Green have carried the momentum over from their successful 2017 campaign, they will be facing their first real test of 2018 when they travel to Fayetteville to face their SEC opponent, the Arkansas Razorbacks. We will soon see what coach Littrell and his team are truly made of.
No. 1: TCU
For a third week in a row, TCU claims the No. 1 spot in the Texas FBS rankings. The Horned Frogs dominated SMU this past weekend on their way to a 42-12 win and continued their impressive start to the 2018 season. With that said, TCU will face arguably their most difficult opponents of the season this coming weekend, the No. 4-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. This game has the potential to go either very well or very poorly for TCU, and I believe the outcome will be significantly based on their ability to limit their mistakes vs. one of the most talented and explosive teams in the nation.
Larry King used to describe what’s wrong with modern sports this way:
Back in the 1960s, two housewives are waiting in line at the supermarket checkout line. One picks up a copy of PhotoplayMagazine and says, “Isn’t Clint Eastwood dreamy?” The other says, “He’s so rugged, I love his movies. Let’s go tonight.”
Sixty years later, two women, one’s an attorney the other is vice-president of an investment firm, are in line at the supermarket checkout. One picks up a copy of Forbes and says, “You know, Brad Pitt owns two points of his new movie’s foreign distribution and has right of first refusal on all sequels and spinoffs. He stands to make $50 million for his production company.”
It’s a similar situation with sports then and now. Sometimes we don’t need to know how the sausage is made.
These days you couldn’t blame Astros fans for having a grudging resignation that star third baseman Alex Bregman will be leaving Houston at the end, more likely during, the 2024 season.
It’s not because the fans don’t like him. Not because he isn’t contributing. Not because he’s injured all the time. Not because the Astros have a better third baseman coming up from Triple A. Not for any good reason.
It’s because Bregman will be entering the last year of his contract and teams will be offering him big money to play for them. At least according to the media, Astros don’t think they can afford to keep him. Bregman’s agent is Scott Boras who loves to take his clients to free agency and watch other teams fight like jackals over his players.
This is the time of year when sportswriters play fantasy trades and one that’s gained traction involves the Astros saying goodbye to Bregman as part of a complicated four-team deal. Essentially, Bregman and Jake Meyers would go to the Yankees, while pitching prospect Spencer Arrighetti goes to the Chicago White Sox.
In return, the Astros would acquire rookie infielder Jordan Westburg from the Orioles.
While the attorney and investment banker might understand the financial bottom line of the deal, the two housewives from the ‘60s would ask Astros owner Jim Crane, “Have you lost your flippin’ mind?”
“Are you really saying goodbye to Alex Bregman, a popular player who is one of the few remnants of our first-ever World Series title in 2017, who hit 25 homers and drove in 98 runs last year, who played 161 games, who was a Gold Glove finalist, who is beloved in Houston … for a rookie who played less than half a season in 2023, and hit .260 with three home runs? Seriously, here’s a Dixie cup. We need to have you looked at.”
I know, it’s the Astros thing. Goodbye Carlos Correa. Goodbye Gerrit Cole. Goodbye George Springer. Goodbye Justin Verlander.
Goodbye Alex Bregman?
With a new manager and new(ish) general manager, this would be a good time to open the vault and go after big name free agents, not send them away. This isn’t how a major market team that draws 3 million fans at major market ticket prices is supposed to act. This is how the perennial loser Pittsburgh Pirates conduct business.
Or one day it will be goodbye fans.
I spoke with a baseball insider who thinks the Astros would be making the right move dispatching Bregman, Meyers and Arrighetti for a rookie infielder with a brief lifetime batting average of .260 and little power.
“Put a pencil to it (if the Astros sign Bregman to an extension) you’re looking at a $300 million payroll. I like the proposed trade because it lowers payroll, brings in a talented kid and nudges the transition. All the Astros core guys are either going to get raises or be out the door over the next two years, most notably Kyle Tucker. If I ran things, I’d fast-forward the roster churn. I’d make Altuve and Yordan Alvarez untouchable and throw everybody else into the discussion. The farm system is so weak that a collapse is inevitable.”
But why? Bregman is 29 years old. He’s in the middle of his prime years with tread still on his tires. He’s part of what makes the Astros a mini-dynasty with seven consecutive ALCS appearances, four World Series appearances and two championships since 2017.
In New York, sports columnists already have Bregman in pinstripes. They’re saying it’s practically a done deal. They’re saying, sure, there may be some early fan resentment because they consider Bregman part of the 2017 Astros sign stealers they feel robbed the Yankees of the American League pennant and stole Aaron Judge’s MVP. When the Astros visit Yankee Stadium, you hear fans cull Bregman and Altuve from the herd for lusty boos and jeers.
New York media is confident that fans will snap out of it once their new third baseman hits a few Breggy Bombs and makes diving plays at third base, a position where the Yankees sorely need improving.
Yankee fans have proven they’re a forgiving mob. Until the Astros got good, the archest enemy was Boston. Yankee fans forgave former Red Sox stars Jacoby Ellsbury, Johnny Damon, Wade Boggs and Roger Clemens for their past sins. If you turn back the pages of history, there was this fellow named Babe Ruth who made fans overlook that used to play in Boston.
So far we haven’t heard how Bregman might feel about playing for the enemy. One supposes any nerves would be soothed by what could approach a $300 million contract.
It’s not like the old days when enemies stuck to their guns. The two housewives at the supermarket checkout would remind you that in 1956, when the Dodgers tried to trade Jackie Robinson to the rival Giants, Robinson retired from baseball rather than wear that despised uniform.