Texas Division I Football Rankings:

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12. UTEP

This wasn't their year and it ends even worse for these guys, losing to Rice. The Miners won one game over three months ago against Divison II Houston Baptist, and it's been a long season since then, but blissfully it's over.

11. RICE

Unbelievably we're here at the end of the season and Rice is sitting better here than they were at the end of the year last year. Improvement and growth is always the name of the game when you're bringing a program back from the dead and they did it here. Congrats Rice.


​Another week, another disappointing loss. While the odds were tilted slightly in favor of UNT, I didn't believe for a second this team would finish strong after losing to Rice last week. Honestly this is a program trending badly and trending in a bad direction, it would surprise me if there aren't talks of maybe changing play calling duties or coordinator responsibilities because what was working in the beginning is no longer working at all for these guys.


This was a tough loss for a program that was trying to get right. Coming off the Appalachian State game where they weren't supposed to win at all, it's hard to believe this is a program that only a few weeks ago had managed to win big, but they had. Since then they've struggled to get leads and pull away from teams and this week was no different. A bad season is just good enough for fourth place in the Sun Belt West.


That was a meaty loss to a better program. It's tough to be too critical of a program or say too many mean things when ultimately they weren't supposed to win this game or too many of the other ones they've been playing lately and perhaps it's time to re-evaluate where we consider The Roadrunners? Maybe next year, we'll start them much lower and just see how high they can rise.


Well they certainly didn't come close to "getting" the Longhorns. A season that will be remembered for its close calls and almost wins ended on a heck of a thud with an old fashioned beating at the hands of Texas. Mercifully the season is over and The Red Raiders can stop looking back and thinking about what almost was.


To score 41 in a loss has to be heartbreaking but to lose by 15 has to hurt a little more. Houston is now mercifully done, we'll see what happens with the redshirted quarterback now, we'll see what happens with this program coming into the off season. Will things start to trend a little better or is this rough season a sign of things to come under the new regime?

5. TCU

This is a confusing season for these guys, there's no way going 5-7 is a good feeling but considering how angry the back half of their schedule looked at one point, I think it's a good year. The loss to West Virginia isn't great but honestly there are some other games they should be more disappointed about. I think the Oklahoma game is a big one where there is some obvious disappointment. Yes they finished below .500 but they played good football at times and just managed to play bad football at the worst possible times.


Well, well, well. Look who is feeling themselves again. The Longhorns haven't looked that good since they played Rice early on in the season. The desperately needed the win to clinch a winning season and now there are some people clamoring for a Academy Sports and Outdoors Texas Bowl between Texas and A&M which would be exciting but it's tough to gauge how Texas fans would handle losing this game considering how heartbreaking this season has been so far.


Man that was a bad game against LSU. The Aggies have been defended all season long for the fact that their schedule is so tough, but in a lot of these games they've come up short. It's one thing to schedule the game but another to just go out there and play bad football. I still think their season is one worth celebrating but this kind of poor performance is not the thing to go out on.

2. SMU

This is the way you finish a season. The SMU Mustangs deserve all the accolades and kind words that can be said about them. They deserve all the great things and praise that are hopefully coming their way this off season. It's been a long road from the Death Penalty to here and it's worth celebrating. Congrats guys!


Currently ranked ninth in the country and looking up at a top four that will likely only feature one SEC program this was the best chance for a program like Baylor to get into the dance. That one loss to Oklahoma isn't going to go away, record setting comeback in a situation where the win was needed. Now because of that one loss, the committees and voters don't have to put Baylor anywhere near the top 4.

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The Texans haven't had a burner like this in a while. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans added an element to their offense they have been missing for the past few seasons when they selected Nathaniel “Tank” Dell in the third round of the 2023 draft. That element is explosiveness.

Dell starred for the Houston Cougars less than seven miles away from NRG Stadium for a bulk of his collegiate year. He caught 211 passes for 2,904 yards and 28 receiving touchdowns in his three seasons with UH.

In each one of those seasons, Dell had at least one play that went 54 yards or longer. During the 2022 season, Dell led the entire country in reception touchdowns with 17, and he also led the nation with 1,398 receiving yards.

While Dell’s 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine was 4.49 seconds, there is no questioning how he can impact any game with his speed. Dell excelled for UH when he was in the slot. It is a big reason why he played 388 snaps at slot for the Cougars during the 2022 season, according to Pro Football Focus.

With the Texans having outside receivers like Nico Collins and the expected return of John Metchie as well as the addition of Robert Woods and others, including rookie Xavier Hutchinson, Houston’s new-look receiving corps could be an underrated group.

If the Texans are able to establish the ground game with second-year back Dameon Pierce and supplement it with Devin Singletary, Dare Ogunbowale and the other running backs on the roster, Houston’s play actions with the threat of Dell taking the top off opposing defenses suddenly opens up the field for rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud.

The Texans have not had a legitimate threat at receiver that can take the top off defenses since Will Fuller during the 2020 season. While Brandin Cooks certainly had big play ability, his speed was not as much of a weapon as it will be for Dell, which makes the offense always capable of producing a big play.

Dell is excited about that possibility as well.

“Explosive plays. I feel like that should be my nickname cause all I know is explosive plays,” Dell told media reporters on a Zoom call Friday night when he was drafted.

Not only can Dell impact games on offense, but on special teams as well. Dell returned nine punts in his final season with Houston, and he scored one touchdown in those nine attempts. He also had two punt returns called back due to penalties in 2022.

While the UH standout’s size and occasional drops (21 over the last two seasons) likely kept him from being a higher prospect, the potential for Dell is sky-high.

It also helps that Stroud and Dell already seem to be building a strong quarterback-receiver relationship. When the team's top quarterback says he wants a specific player at receiver, it tends to bode well for the connection between the two.

While Dell and Stroud have not played together at the collegiate level, the next few weeks will likely be a crash course between the two as they get familiar with each other's game.

The one thing both had in common with their pressers after arriving was that they both have the desire to turn the franchise around from the rebuild. The Stroud-to-Dell duo could be an electric one in the fall and, just maybe, for years to come.

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