Tom Herman and the Longhorns are on the move. Tim Warner/Getty Images
Texas has 12 FBS teams. Each week we rank them based on season-long performance, the prior game, and success relative to their competition. These are the updated rankings following Week 4 and looking forward to Week 5.
No. 12: UTEP
In their best performance of the season thus far the Miners lost by 7 points to New Mexico state. UTEP now remains as the only FBS team in Texas without a win.
No. 11: Texas State
Texas State lost by just 4 points to UTSA in week 4 and now sit at 1-3. The Bobcats will have their bye week this coming weekend before they face Louisiana Lafayette, who will be at the mercy of No.1 ranked Alabama in week 5.
No. 10: Rice
The Owls suffered another big loss in Week 4 to Southern Mississippi 40-22. Rice has now lost three straight games since their week 1 victory over Prairie View A&M and has failed to hold any of their opponents to under 40 points in the last three games. The Owls will have a tough matchup against Wake Forest in week 5 but hope to break this trend.
No. 9: UTSA
The Road Runners claimed their first victory of 2018 in Week 4 over Texas State University and jump two spots in this week’s rankings. While they won by just 4 points, a win is a win and the Road Runners will have momentum heading into their week 5 game vs. 0-4 UTEP.
No. 8: SMU
SMU holds the No. 8 spot for a second week after their 1-point victory over Navy. The even bigger news the Mustangs than their first win is the change at quarterback. After three straight losses, 2017 starter Ben Hicks was benched for Freshman William Brown. Through two appearances this season, Brown has thrown four touchdown passes and has brought some life to this struggling SMU team. The Mustangs will have a very good opportunity in Week 5 to get their second win of the season vs. Houston Baptist university.
No. 7: Baylor
The Baylor Bears continue their solid start in 2018 after a 26-7 win over Kansas. Sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer looks to have cemented his role as the starting quarterback with over 200 yards passing and his second three-touchdown performance. Baylor will have their work cut out for them in Week 5 as they will go up against No. 6 Oklahoma in Norman.
No. 6: Houston
After a disappointing loss in week 4 when the Cougars gave up 63 points to Texas Tech, UH bounced back with a 70-point performance of their own vs. Texas Southern. While Houston continues to regain momentum as they head into conference play, they will have a favorable matchup coming up against a Tulsa team that has not won a game since Week 1. Also, quarterback D’Eriq King continues to prove that he is one of the most talented and efficient quarterbacks in the nation. King currently has the ninth most passing yards in the nation with 15 touchdowns and only 1 interception.
No. 5: TCU
TCU drops three spots after suffering their second straight loss. The Horned Frogs came out of the gate strong this season and looked like an early season favorite to compete for the Big 12 conference title but have quickly dropped off the college football map with consecutive losses to Ohio State and Texas. The bad news for TCU is their upcoming schedule for the next three weeks. They will have to fight through the some of the Big 12’s most disruptive and competitive teams starting with an Iowa State team who handed TCU one of their only two losses last season. It will be interesting to see how young quarterback Shawn Robinson bounces back after turning the ball over three times in Week 4 vs. Texas.
No. 4: Texas Tech
The Red Raiders climb up to the No. 4 position after an impressive Week 4 victory over what was an undefeated Oklahoma State team. Texas Tech dominated in a 41-17 win, while Freshman quarterback Alan Bowman lit up the stat sheet one more time with almost 400 yards passing and two touchdowns. Tech was able to crack the Top 25 with their victory over the Cowboys but are set to face arguably their toughest opponent so far this season in No. 12 West Virginia. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his re-energized team will enter into Week 5 with a chance to collect another statement win and quiet the rumors surrounding Kingsbury’s job security.
No. 3: Texas A&M
While Texas A&M was handed their second loss of the season, the Aggies deserve some grace considering the fact that those losses came by the hand of two of the nation’s top teams, Alabama and Clemson. Though the Aggies were not able to compete with Alabama like they were with Clemson, there is still no team in the nation that has faced two tougher opponents this early in the season. In Week 5, Texas A&M will have a chance to get back to their winning ways as they go up against an Arkansas team that has gotten trampled in their last two games, first by the University of North Texas 44-17 and then by Auburn 34-3. A&M would like to be the next team to add to the suffering and should be expected to do so.
No. 2: Texas
For the second weekend in a row, the Longhorns have surprised the nation and dominated a Top 25 ranked opponent. After their big Week 3 win over USC, Texas kept the ball rolling vs. TCU with a 31-16 victory. TCU had beaten the Longhorns 5 out of the last 6 seasons since 2012, but 2018 may mark the turning of the tides. Texas overmatched the Horned Frogs on both sides of the ball and looked like a team who will demand respect for the rest of the season. The Longhorns will have to try not to get too far ahead of themselves in Week 5 vs. a struggling Kansas State team, with their Week 6 rivalry game vs. Oklahoma looming in the near future.
No. 1: UNT
North Texas stays put in the No. 1 spot for a second week in a row and remains the only undefeated FBS team in Texas. While many people question UNT’s validity as a legitimate program in comparison to the other top tier teams in Texas, there is no way to overlook the fact that the Mean Green have yet to be held to less than 40 points in a single game this season. Not only has UNT dominated on the offensive side of the ball on the shoulders of quarterback Mason Fine who has the 6th most passing yards in college football, their defense also ranks in the top 20 in all of college football. This team can do it all and deserves to be taken seriously.
The biggest news from Astros spring training in West Palm Beach has been the arrival of muscle-packed third baseman Alex Bregman, who’s in the final year of his contract with free agency looming.
Facing a battalion of microphones, Bregman has been saying all the right things – all the right things that Astros fans are happy to hear.
“I feel like I’ve never been in better shape in my life.”
“I expect to have the best season I’ve ever had.”
“I absolutely love every single second here. Being able to put on this jersey is an absolute honor and a dream come true for me as a kid. When it comes to the contract, I just let Scott do that.”
"Scott" is Bregman’s cold-blooded agent Scott Boras who is known for taking his clients to free agency and playing hardball with owners. Bregman, who will be 30 at the end of the season, is expected to draw offers perhaps as rich as $250 million over seven or eight years.
When I watched Bregman talk about his love for Houston and how he’d love to stay an Astro, I was half looking for an earpiece like the Impractical Jokers wear, with Boras whispering to Bregman what to say.
At the same time, but not the same place, Astros general manager Dana Brown was gushing over the Astros third sacker.
“He’s locked in. He is a special talent.”
“I’m expecting he’s going to have a really good season. I’m excited.”
“He has the heartbeat of a champion.”
The way Bregman and Brown are talking … I’ve heard less flirty prom invitations.
Now cue the scary music from horror movies. When Bregman was asked, have the Astros approached you with any offer of an extension, he answered a simple “no.”
When pressed for a timetable on a Bregman extension, Brown admitted, “at some point we’ll put together an offer. But right now we’re not engaged in an offer.”
In other words, both sides are talking. But not to each other.
Spring training is in full swing. Often players say if they don’t have an extension by the start of the season, they’ll shut down contract talks. They don’t want to think about a contract when they’re in the batter’s box and the games count. We don’t know if that is Bregman’s position, but it’s Boras’ modus operandi. It’s looking more and more like hello free agent Alex Bregman.
If Bregman is looking for a long-term deal at $200 million-plus, that’s more than Astros have ever offered a player. It could be too costly for owner Jim Crane’s blood.
Where do you stand on the Astros-Bregman dilemma? If you were Jim Crane, what would you do?
Break the bank and pay the man? After all, Bregman is a key piece of the Astros lineup. He’s been a dependable, hard-nosed player, a bit of a lovable wise ass and a huge part of the Astros’ dynastic run since 2017. Last year Bregman played 161 games, batted .262 with 25 homers, 98 RBI and 103 runs scored. He was a Gold Glove finalist at third base. He’s well liked in the clubhouse and adored by Astros fans. He has his own line of condiments.
Or let Bregman walk and save the money to make a run at keeping Kyle Tucker? As old school sports writers would say, you can look it up. In 2019, his career year so far, he batted .296, belted 41 homers, drove in 112 runs and led the league with 119 walks. He finished second in MVP voting behind Mike Trout. He hasn’t made an All-Star Game since then. His numbers, while not in free fall, have dwindled the past four years. He still is an above average player, though. Some team looking to go deep in the postseason will offer him big bucks at season’s end.
If it were up to you, would that team be the Astros?