Texas Div. I football rankings: A&M falls as SMU climbs

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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 Rice is playing at UTSA and while they probably won't win but here's the thing, if they do win, they are actually right back into contention in the Conference USA standings. They're only two losses behind first place Louisiana Tech (although they did lose to them so that doesn't help) so if Rice gets off this six game skid, they could in theory still save their season. I'm not sure if that's good news or bad news, but there it is.

11. UTEP

After an off week to sit and sulk in their losses, they now get a chance to play some meaningful season saving football. Just like with Rice, we're still early enough in conference play that a win saves the season and in theory rights the ship. Now they are massive underdogs going on the road to Florida International, but hey, maybe.

10. UTSA

UAB came to town and played the kind of good football they normally do. Last year's conference champs put a hurting on The Roadrunners but honestly it was expected. This week Rice comes to town and this is a chance to actually start climbing some rungs on that Conference USA ladder.


So it turns out North Texas was still trending downward last weekend and the losing has continued, now 2-4. Middle Tennessee State University has done The Mean Green the favor of coming down to Texas and probably will lose to North Texas, unless the school with the most words in their name gets spotted a touchdown.


After a stretch of success, Texas State dropped a much-needed game against UL Monroe and now they're off this week. Hopefully they're watching game film, studying tendencies and avoiding the mentality that they have to sit around and stew in a loss, which as regular readers have noticed I think is the hardest thing for college teams to deal with because ultimately they're kids. Winning feels good and losing hurts, then having time off to think about whatever happened the weekend before can be a bonus or a detriment. Let's see which way they go with this time off.


Poor, poor Texas Tech. Losing a heart breaker to Baylor in the second overtime, that if you're a Red Raider Alum should never have happened after a fumble recovery was waived off by the officials as an illegal snap (I honestly can't remember the last time I've seen that call in an important moment in a game) that would have given the ball to Tech needing only a field goal or touchdown to win. But now here they are, upsetting Oklahoma State and one play and a score away from a second upset in as many weeks, going from potentially being at least No. 21 where Oklahoma State is now to unranked where Tech is currently. But there's no time to whine, a win against traveling Iowa State at least keeps Texas Tech in striking distance of the top of the Big 12 standings.


This team has become like a telenovela my Dad's mother-in-law watches. So much drama, where do we even begin? Ok, how about we set aside the recent news of an offensive lineman leaving the team and destroying them on twitter after being told his commitment to the team was being questioned while playing on a medically bad knee? How about we set aside the audacity of a program questioning the commitment of their student-athletes (who are still unpaid) while having "star" players red-shirt and bail on this season to be ready for another campaign next year while everyone else is still dressing and playing and bleeding and sweating for this program for this year? They lost to Cincinnati in a game that while they weren't favored I think they could have won if two quarterbacks hadn't thrown four picks and a backup running back (who wouldn't be playing if you were in the game with all your players on the roster still) coughed up one also. If you lose by 15 points but spotted the other team five possessions, then you could have won. The Cougars travel to the Huskies where they should win, but does it matter?

5. TCU

After getting drummed by Iowa State and then having a week off, The Horned Frogs travel to Kansas State for their last warm up game before they face Texas, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech and Oklahoma in the following five weeks. This game is their last dress rehearsal before every snap counts with their season swinging in the balance. I don't think the second half of this season goes well so I hope for the program's sake they win this week.


In some ways it feels unfair to punish Texas A&M for having one of the harder schedules in the state but that is the plight of an SEC team that also schedules Clemson (yikes) as an out of conference opponent. Three losses after only six games isn't a great place to be in, even if two of the three losses were to the number 1 team in the country at the time and the other loss was to a top ten team at the time. I totally respect the program for scheduling tough opponents but moral victories don't count in the standings. This week The Aggies visit Ole Miss and should get themselves back over .500 for the season.

3. SMU

Coming into this week ranked in the top 20 and looking at a remaining schedule full of winnable games, The Mustangs have got to be feeling pretty proud of themselves. However, before anyone just hands them the American Athletic Conference Championship, let's see if they stay focused and take care of business against visiting Temple. They should, but this is why we actually play the games and not just pick winners and losers, let's see what happens.


So Baylor beat Tech but it wasn't in the convincing sense I expected to see. Baylor, who had been rolling most opponents and winning by more than in a touchdown in all but one game coming into last week looked very beatable against The Red Raiders. It wasn't the kind of game you would expect from a highly ranked, Big 12 leading, trying to make the playoffs type of team. This week they travel to Oklahoma State, who has been off since their upset loss to Texas Tech. This is where college sports can get weird, Oklahoma State is currently ranked higher than Texas Tech who they lost to, and if they beat Baylor who did beat Texas Tech it's only going to get weirder ranking wise. This is going to be a must watch game for fans of the Big 12 because Texas and Oklahoma and TCU will also have much cheering to do if Baylor loses.


Speaking of oddities in the ranking system of College Football and conference play, Texas is the best team in Texas right now without a doubt, however coming off a loss to Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry they are now 4-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play, putting them a few spots behind Baylor and only just ahead of Texas Tech and TCU in the Big 12 rankings. This weekend Kansas University comes to town and Texas gets to feel much better about themselves if they win.

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 Texans made a splash on draft night. Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images.

On a football field, there are 11 positions for each side of the ball. If you ranked all 22 positions in sequential order, quarterback and whatever version of outside linebacker/defensive end/EDGE you want to use would be the top two spots. Passing and rushing the passer are what the game is based on these days. What the Texans managed to pull off was pretty impressive!

At the number two overall pick, the Texans got QB C.J. Stroud. In a shocker, they traded back up to number three overall to select outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. Two of the most important positions on the field drafted in the top three picks of the same draft. A major move by a franchise with the draft capital to make it happen. While the price will continue to be debated, getting two prospects of that caliber is phenomenal!

Grapefruits and liver are two foods that are healthy. Grapefruits are a great source of vitamin C. Liver is a rich source of protein. I don't know about you, but I can't stand either. Grapefruit tastes like the accidental invention it truly is. Liver tastes like a meat substitute trying to be wild game meat. However, when you look at the vitamin C and protein benefits from each, you understand why they're both essential to a diet. Can you find alternative sources for each? Of course. But getting it from naturally occurring sources is best. I used these two examples for a specific reason.

Stroud wasn't the QB everyone wanted. Bryce Young was the clear-cut favorite among everyone you asked. Fans, media, even haters had to acknowledge the kid is the real deal. When his size/durability was the only thing people could pick apart (or him being surrounded by talent), that's when I knew he was the truth. But Young wasn't going to be there at number two. That left the Texans looking at other options.

Whether it was trading out of the pick, drafting a defensive player, or possibly even taking a different quarterback. They did their due diligence and made a decision they felt was best for them after their first choice was no longer an option. They wanted a nice Valencia orange. Where they were shopping didn't have them, but they had a grapefruit. Still a good source of vitamin C that they desperately needed.

Anderson Jr. was widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, defenders in this draft. Jalen Carter was seen as the best defensive player by a majority of those who spoke on the draft. His off the field issues probably kept him off some draft boards, and pushed down others. Some were infatuated with Tyree Wilson. His injury history and lack of consistent high-end production may have scared some off. When one looks at the defensive philosophy DeMeco comes from, you'll know how important that edge rusher is to that defense.

A solid pass rush means you don't have to cover as long, which means you don't need All Pros at every DB position. If the front four can help stop/slow down the run, the linebackers can help clean up the rest. They went to the steakhouse for dinner and wanted a filet mignon. When they heard it may be freezer burnt, they opted for the NY strip instead. Sure, they may have paid a premium for that steak, but that restaurant is known for having the best cuts and most flavorful steaks.

Another thing that can't be lost on these two guys is their character. Stroud's sheer joy and excitement after being drafted was a joy to see. His passion in his interview on the stage and interaction with the fans in attendance showed me he's ready to come to Houston and get to work. He feels this staff is prepared to make him into the player he knows he can be. Anderson Jr. is a high character guy by all reports. His former coaches, teammates, and opponents have said nothing but great things about him as a person and player.

Acquiring “Texans-worthy” players used to be a running joke. The team used to shy away from guys who had some off field and/or character issues. The fact that they got two guys who are at the top of their positions in the same draft at two of the most important positions on the field, AND they're deemed as good guys, needs to be talked about more. When attempting to change the culture, character guys are a major key. If said character guys can actually play, even better. But when those guys are two of the leaders on your team and on opposite sides of the ball, it creates a decent balance.

Whether you're upset about the trade or not, you have to give them credit. They came out the first round with a leader, and potential difference maker, on each side of the ball. Two to three years from now, we can judge the true outcome of this draft and the moves made. If there are playoff wins and years of being in the mix as a contender, hardly anyone who complained will still be complaining.

If folks are upset, let them vent. If folks are happy, let them enjoy. Myself, I'm really happy for this team and especially the fans and supporters. I don't use the word “deserve” often when it comes to sports. The fans truly deserve a winner. The passion I witness from them is unreal. Some have stuck by this team through thick and thin. Some have supported, monetarily and whatnot, no matter what. People like me who aren't fans and simply want to see them succeed are happy for those who are fans and have made those sacrifices. It's a good day for the organization. Live in the moment and enjoy!

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