Texas FBS Football Rankings

There’s a new No. 1 in Texas and you won’t believe who it is

Seth Littrell has North Texas rolling. Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Here is the weekly rankings of all the Texas FBS schools: 

No. 12: UTEP

The Miners continue their suffering ways and remain winless after losing 24-0 to Tennessee. UTEP will face New Mexico State this coming weekend who is also yet to get a win this season. While there is one other winless FBS teams in Texas, UTEP holds the last place spot here considering that they have yet to win a game since 2016.

No. 11: UTSA

The Road Runners are the only other FBS team in Texas that has not won a game. They will face off against a struggling Texas State team who sits one spot ahead of them on this list.

No. 10: Texas State

Texas State falls into the No. 10 slot and is at the bottom half of a group of 1-3 teams in Texas that have gotten off to mediocre starts in 2018. The Bobcats will look to gain their second win this season over 0-3 UTSA. Though facing an 0-3 team provides some hope, a winless record can sometimes become a dangerous motivator.

No. 9: Rice

Rice falls to the No. 9 spot in the rankings after a poor loss to Hawaii in Week 3. The Owls were torched for over 300 yards and four touchdowns through the air by quarterback Cole McDonald. Rice should have a favorable matchup in Week 4 against a Southern Mississippi team that was not able to play last weekend due to Hurricane Florence.

No. 8: SMU

SMU moves up one spot this week and switches places with the Rice Owls simply because of their strength of schedule. Yes, the Mustangs have looked to be in disarray this season, but the three teams they have faced thus far combine for a 7-2 record, while two of them are currently ranked in the Top 25. With that said, things will not get much easier for SMU going forward with their next opponent being the always tough Navy team.

No. 7: Baylor

The Bears showed exciting potential through their first two games this season, but were handled easily by the Duke Blue Devils in Week 3. Baylor did not find the end zone until the second half, and at that point the game was out of reach. Baylor will look to get back on track in week 4 vs. a surprising Kansas team that has won two straight games in dominant fashion.

No. 6: Texas Tech

Texas Tech not only moved up one spot in this wee'ks rankings, but they did so while breaking an NCAA record in Week 3. Freshman quarterback Alan Bowman threw for 605 yards and 5 touchdowns vs. Houston which secured him the Big 12 record for passing yards in a single game by a freshman. The Red Raiders will need another praiseworthy performance by Bowman in Week 4 as they face off against 15th ranked Oklahoma State.

No. 5: Houston

The Houston Cougars fall two spots in the week 4 rankings after losing big to Texas Tech. The Cougars defense had no answer for the Red Raiders air attack as they were gashed for over 600 yards through the air and 63 total points. One positive take away from the disappointing loss is the 451 yards and 5 touchdowns put up by quarterback D’Eriq King. With King playing at such a high level this season, Houston should have a legitimate chance to win every weekend.

No. 4: Texas

Is Texas back? The Longhorns shocked the college football landscape last weekend as they dominated No. 22 USC. UT shined in the national spotlight and now have people starting to believe that things will only continue to get better. The Longhorns have another chance to make a statement this coming weekend as they will take on the 17th ranked TCU Horned Frogs. UT has the momentum as TCU is coming off of a tough loss to Ohio State, but you can bet the the Horned Frogs will not go down easily.

No. 3: Texas A&M

Texas A&M has been a team that surprised everyone with their high level play so far this season. Though the Aggies are no pushover, they are challenged with the task of facing the best team in the nation in Week 4. No matter how good new head coach Jimbo Fisher has his team looking, they will be fighting an uphill battle vs. an Alabama team that has scored more than 50 points in every game this season. This Alabama team has yet to show any true sign of weakness on either side of the ball. The Aggies will have to be firing on all cylinders vs. the Crimson Tide if they want any chance of taking college football's goliath.

No. 2: TCU

For the first time this season, the Horned Frogs drop out of the No. 1 spot on this list. Though TCU fought hard, they fell short to Ohio State in a 40-28 loss. TCU held a one point lead through halftime, but the Buckeyes caught fire in the third quarter scoring 20 points which TCU could not recover from. The Horned Frogs look ahead at another tough matchup against Texas in Week 4. This is a must win game for both programs if either of them want any chance of making into the college football playoffs.

No. 1: UNT

Locking down the No. 1 spot on this weeks rankings it UNT. Yes, I said the University of North Texas. Not only are the Mean Green 3-0, but they have completed two dominant wins over SMU and Arkansas. With these early wins over their two most difficult opponents of the season, there is almost no reason that UNT should not be able to finish undefeated. Along with the teams success, quarterback Mason Fine currently sits as the fifth leading passer in all of college football and has thrown 8 touchdowns. If head coach Seth Littrell can keep his young quarterback and the rest of the team playing at a high level, the sky's the limit for this rejuvenated program.

 

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So where do we stand now with the matter of Deshaun Watson? Composite image by Jack Brame.

After 16 months of insisting that he wouldn’t settle out of court with an ever-increasing number of women accusing him of sexual misconduct – “all I want is my good name back” - Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson suddenly and surprisingly decided to pay off the women to drop their civil lawsuits against him on Tuesday.

Well 20 of the 24 women, anyway.

“We are working through the paperwork related to the settlements. Once we have done so, those particular cases will be dismissed. The terms and amounts of the settlements are confidential,” said Tony Buzbee, the attorney representing Watson’s accusers.

Analysts say by settling most of the cases Watson, while not admitting guilt, Watson took a positive, major step toward getting his football career back on track. He sat out the entire 2021 season when he was a member of the Houston Texans.

And perhaps that’s the most stunning aspect of the entire Deshaun Watson scandal. That settling 20 of 24 lawsuits claiming sexual misconduct is a major step toward, if not redemption, at least getting his life moving forward.

What about the four cases alleging serious and disgusting sexual misbehavior pending in the legal system? Imagine if we didn’t know that at one time there were 24 similar allegations against him – and news broke that four different women accused Watson of unwanted, aggressive sexual acts. We’d be horrified. If the four women were telling the truth, we’d be talking about a sexual predator on the loose.

But now that Watson has settled with 20 of his 24 accusers, we’re practically considering the remaining cases as “only four.”

Do you hear yourself talking? Only 4? The only good thing about 4 … is 24.

So where do we stand now with the matter of Deshaun Watson?

It’s possible that the remaining four holdout accusers will agree to accept a settlement to avoid rolling the dice in a trial that won’t reach court until next year. Now that the First National Bank of Deshaun Watson is open for business, hard negotiations to wipe the remaining four cases off the docket can begin.

While the 20 settlements already reached are confidential, that’s not stopping fans and analysts from guessing how much Watson paid the women. And let’s not forget Buzbee, who we can assume will get a big chunk of change for his work. Considering that previous reports show that Watson offered $100,000 to the women last year, that is a reasonable starting point for the bidding now.

I spoke with one attorney with knowledge of the Watson case. He believes the women will be paid between $100,000 and $200,000 depending on the level of their accusations.

If I were sitting in the audience at the Price is Right, I’d be shouting “higher!” My guess: up to $500,000 each, paid in installments. Let’s crunch the numbers, 20 times half a million equals $10 million. Watson is scheduled to earn $230 million, fully guaranteed, over the next five years from the Browns. He can afford it. It’s an accuser’s market.

If the other four don’t settle, the cases eventually will go to court, and the women could lose. It’s in the financial interest of both sides to settle. So let’s throw another $2 million on the fire.

The NFL already says that Tuesday’s announced settlement with 20 of the accusers won’t affect any punishment, if any, the league hands down for Watson. Most in the media are guessing a six-game suspension on the low end, up to another year on the sidelines for Watson on the high end.

Again, I’m screaming “higher!” Technically higher. The last thing the NFL wants is to announce a punishment and later more women come forward with accusations of sexual misbehavior. Or Watson continues to solicit non-NFL affiliated masseuses on Instagram and acts inappropriately. While experts think Buzbee may be “out of the Deshaun Watson business,” there’s nothing to stop other lawyers to hop aboard the Watson money train. It’s a headache the NFL doesn’t need, especially in light of other punishments the league has handed down that now seem light.

My guess is that the NFL will suspend Watson indefinitely with an agreement to review the matter in one year. If there are no more serious and credible accusations, no additional lawsuits, no other concerns, then Watson will be OK’d to play the 2024 season.

No matter how this plays out in the future, there is plenty of wreckage left behind. Watson is now a broken brand. It’s estimated that he once had upwards of $10 million in product endorsements. It’s difficult to imagine that any company would want to be in the Deshaun Watson business now.

The Cleveland Browns, while relieved that Watson is on the road to playing for them at some point in the future, look like a cutthroat team willing to trade its soul for victories. When announcing their acquisition of Watson, team officials said they did extensive and thorough investigation into Watson’s character and legal issues. Not too many are buying that.

The Texans, while not accused of being pimps or accomplices for Watson, do appear to be enablers or they looked the other way during Watson’s masseuse spree.

Local media in Cleveland and Houston won’t be nominated for any Pulitzers for their investigation into the Watson case. It took the New York Times to lower the boom on Watson, that he solicited 66 women, not all of them licensed masseuses in Texas, over 17 months – not the 45 women over five years as Watson admitted to – to work on him, some of the massages in a hotel room paid for by the Texans.

Is the whole sordid case coming to an end? Let’s see if the NFL decides to punish Watson. Let’s see if more women come forward with accusations against Watson. Let’s see if the four remaining women accept a settlement.

As the great American philosopher Yogi Berra once said, it ain’t over till it’s over. And it ain’t over yet.

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