Texas FBS Football Rankings

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

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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Astros on the hunt. Composite Getty Image.

With the Astros' surge from 10 games out of first place to within two games of Seattle, catching and going past the Mariners has naturally become the top objective. It's no given to happen but it's right there. In the final series ahead of the All-Star break, while the Mariners are in the midst of four games with the lowly Angels, the last two World Series champions renew (un)pleasantries at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros enter the weekend five games ahead of the Rangers. They lead the season series with the reigning champs four wins to three. While the Astros can't quite finish off the Arlingtonians by sweeping them in this three game set, shoving them eight games back (even further back of Seattle and the current Wild Card teams) and clinching the tiebreaker would seem close to a death blow. Taking two out of three would be fine for the Astros. If the Rangers win the series, they are clearly still in the American League West and Wild Card races coming out of the All-Star break.

Last year the Rangers had the best offense in the AL. So far in 2024 they rank a mediocre eighth in runs per game. Nathaniel Lowe is the lone Ranger (get it?!?) regular playing as well as he did last season. Corey Seager has been fine but not at the MVP runner-up level of last year. Marcus Semien is notably down, as is 2023 ALCS Astros-obliterater Adolis Garcia. Stud 2023 rookie Josh Jung has been out with a broken wrist since ex-Astro Phil Maton hit him with a pitch in the fourth game of this season, though fill-in third baseman Josh Smith has been the Rangers' best player. 21-year-old late season phenom Evan Carter largely stunk the first two months this season and has been out since late May with a back injury. Repeating is hard, never harder than it is now. Hence no Major League Baseball has done it since the Yankees won three straight World Series 1998-2000.

Chasing down the Division at a crazy clip

From the abyss of their 7-19 start, the Astros sweep over the Marlins clinched a winning record at the break with them at 49-44. Heading into the Texas matchup the Astros have won at a .627 clip since they were 7-19. A full season of .627 ball wins 101 games. If the Astros win at a .627 rate the rest of the way they'll finish with 92 wins, almost certainly enough to secure a postseason slot and likely enough to win the West. Expecting .627 the rest of the way is ambitious.

With it fairly clear that Lance McCullers is highly unlikely to contribute anything after his latest recovery setback, and Luis Garcia a major question mark, what Justin Verlander has left in 2024 grows more important. With the way the Astros often dissemble or poorly forecast when discussing injuries, for all we know Verlander could be cooked. Inside three weeks to the trade deadline, General Manager Dana Brown can't be thinking a back end of the rotation comprised of Spencer Arrighetti and Jake Bloss should be good enough. The Astros have 66 games to play after the All-Star break, including separate stretches with games on 18 and 16 consecutive days.

All-Star MIAs

Viewership for Tuesday's All-Star game at Globe Life Field in Arlington will be pretty, pretty, pretty low in Houston. One, All-Star Game ratings are pitiful every year compared to where they used to be. Two, the Astros could be down to zero representatives at Tuesday's showcase. Kyle Tucker was rightfully named a reserve but had no shot at playing as he continues the loooong recovery from a bone bruise (or worse) suffered June 3. Being named an All-Star for a ninth time was enough for Jose Altuve. He opts out of spending unnecessary time in Texas Rangers territory citing a sore wrist. This despite Altuve playing four games in a row since sitting out the day after he was plunked and highly likely to play in all three games versus the Rangers this weekend. Yordan Alvarez exiting Wednesday's rout of the Marlins with hip discomfort and then missing Thursday's game seem clear reasons for him to skip, though he has indicated thus far he intends to take part. Yordan is the most essential lineup component to the Astros' hopes of making an eighth straight playoff appearance.

Ronel Blanco should have made the American League squad on performance, but pretty obviously his 10 game illegal substance use suspension was held against him. As it works out, Blanco will pitch Sunday in the last game before the break which would render him unavailable for the All-Star Game anyway. Blanco is eligible to pitch, but given the career high-shattering innings workload Blanco is headed for, no way the Astros want him on the mound Tuesday. Just last year the Astros kept Framber Valdez from pitching in the game.

While waiting, and waiting, and waiting on Tucker's return, the Astros have also been waiting on Chas McCormick to get back to something even faintly resembling the hitter he was last year. McCormick routinely looks lost at the plate. He has four hits (all singles) in his last 32 at bats with his season OPS pitiful at .572. During the break the Astros should seriously weigh sending McCormick to AAA Sugar Land and giving Pedro Leon a try in a job share with Joey Loperfido.

*Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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