TEXAS SCHOOLS ROUND UP

Week 2 football rankings for the 12 Division 1 colleges in Texas

TCU football coach Gary Patterson
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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

The season didn't start off great for Rice, with a close loss to Army 14-7. There wasn't a lot of expectations on this team, coming off of a two win season last year means they don't need to do a lot to show improvement and Army is on a much better trajectory right now than they are, so a close loss is close to a moral victory, right? Maybe. They have Wake Forest this week and it's another game they aren't expected to win, but hey keeping it close would be a great first step for this program.

11. TEXAS STATE

After a brutal opener on the road against ranked Texas A&M, Texas State while maybe not as bad as the eleventh team in the state, is on the mat looking up. They do have the luxury of playing Wyoming who just came off an exciting, emotional win over Missouri and they are at home. So it's a long flight to play a team who just lost and the whole flight Wyoming has got to be thinking this will be an easy game. So there's a chance this is the only week Texas State is this low.

10. UTEP

Coming off a win they should get 10 out of 10 times against Houston Baptist, when teams do what they're supposed to do you don't punish them by moving them down the rankings. This week they're playing in Lubbock against Texas Tech so if this were a stock, I'd be selling this weekend. Hard.

9. UTSA

University of Texas San Antonio beat Incarnate Word so they're in basically the same boat as UTEP. They won when they should and now they're playing a school that should beat them, in this case Baylor. Also in this case, the game is on the road in a loud, hostile stadium and the road team isn't expected to win by anyone.

8. SMU

On the road against what is probably a team as equally as talented as they are, they won. If there's one team this week that is in a position for an upset, from this list, it's SMU playing North Texas this weekend. North Texas is a little better than SMU and while it wouldn't be a huge upset, I'm saying from the perspective of this list it would be one. This is an important game for both of these programs this week.

7. TEXAS TECH

So I don't believe in punishing a team for beating teams you're supposed to beat but I'm also not in the business of rewarding teams that win when they're supposed to either. This week they're playing UTEP at home and again they're expected to win, so while winning won't lower them, it won't exactly raise them in the rankings either.

6. NORTH TEXAS

Put up 51 points against Abilene Christian last weekend and this week they're playing on the road at SMU. The expectations for the season aren't sky high but they are absolutely expected to beat SMU, who while they are talented, aren't putting this kind of points on the board coming off a close game last weekend.

5. BAYLOR

They took care of business in what should be called a warm up game against Stephen F Austin. This week the fine tuning should continue against UTSA, this isn't projected to be a close game and really Baylor is in a lose-lose situation. If they win, it isn't like this would move them up at all, but if they lose it's going to hurt their whole season.

4. HOUSTON

This Oklahoma game came too early in the season for Houston, fresh off the Major Applewhite experiment, there just hasn't been enough time to convince this team that they aren't the train wreck they were last year. From this loss against dark horse Heisman hopeful Jalen Hurts, Houston now gets the chance to start building positive momentum against Prairie View.

3. TCU 

Beating monsters of the world Arkansas-Pine Bluff, TCU should feel like a team that is ready for real football to start. However they're off this week so, check back next week for these guys.

2. TEXAS A&M

After taking care of business against Texas State, they're now ready to go into Clemson and see if they can knock off the defending National Champions. There are expectations on this team and with Texas playing LSU the battle for Texas supremacy is winnable if A&M can beat Clemson there's a good chance Texas will lose to LSU. So either A&M can take the reins or things stay pat if they both lose.

1. TEXAS 

They got in their warmup game against LA Tech so now they're ready for LSU right? This is one of the two must watch games this weekend and all eyes will be on this match up. We'll see where everything shakes out after this game.

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The Astros need to turn things around in a hurry. Composite Getty Image.

The Astros have already been swept in four series this season. They were swept in four series all of last season. As Mexico City says bienvenidos to the Astros this weekend, there are certainly more than a few folks fretting that the Astros are already close to saying adios to playoff hopes. The Astros are not at the point of no return, though one can see it out there on the horizon. It wouldn’t take another month of their garbage level 7-19 performance for the season to be essentially down the drain.

If the Astros were in the American League East, they’d already be ten games out of second place. But they’re not! If in the AL Central they’d be eleven and a half games back of Cleveland. But they’re not! Dozens of teams have rebounded to win divisions from larger deficits much later in the season than the Astros face presently. The Seattle Mariners lead the thus far weak AL West at 13-12. The Astros being six and a half games in arrears of the M’s and six back of the Texas Rangers in late April is far from optimal but nowhere near devastating.

Multiple media outlets have noted how few teams historically have started a season in as stumblebum a fashion as the 2024 Astros and wound up making the playoffs. What every outlet I have seen noting that failed to include: this is just the third season since Major League Baseball added a third Wild Card to each league’s postseason field. So, while 7-19 out of the gate is indisputably awful, it is not the death knell to the extent it has been over generations of MLB.

The issue isn’t where the Astros sit in the standings, it’s that they have played atrocious baseball and aren’t providing reason for optimism that a stark turnaround is imminent. The starting rotation is the best hope. Justin Verlander has made two starts. Framber Valdez rejoins the rotation Sunday. Cristian Javier should be a week or so away. Obviously, Ronel Blanco isn’t going to continue pitching as well as he has through his first four starts. But if he is a good number four starter, that’s fine if the top three coming into the season pitch to reasonably hoped for form.

Hunter Brown simply is not a good big league pitcher. Maybe he someday fulfills his potential, but the data at this point are clear. What can Brown do for you? Not much. Spencer Arrighetti needs better command to be a good big league starter. J.P. France was a revelation over his first 17 starts last season, but since has looked like the guy who posted underwhelming numbers when in the minor leagues. If the Astros wind up with 50-plus starts from Brown/Arrighetti/France their goose will probably be cooked.

The only MLB teams with worse staff earned run averages than the Astros’ horrific 5.07 are the Chicago White Sox (Wait! They have Martin Maldonado!) and Colorado Rockies. At 3-22 the White Sox are on an early pace to post the worst record in the history of Major League Baseball. The Rockies never have a chance to post good pitching stats because of the mile high offensive freak show environment in Denver.

Way to go, Joe

Props to Joe Espada for his conviction in making what he believed to be the right call in pulling Verlander after four and a third innings Thursday at Wrigley Field. Verlander allowed no runs but had reached 95 pitches in just the second outing of the injury-delayed start to his season. Not easy for a rookie manager skippering what has been a Titanic journey thus far to pull a surefire Hall of Famer who was two outs away from qualifying for a win. Many were no doubt poised to destroy Espada had Rafael Montero given up the lead in the fifth. Verlander was angry at being pulled from any chance at his 259th career win. Understood, but the manager’s job is to make the decisions he thinks are in the ballclub’s overall best interest. That Montero and Bryan Abreu combined to blow the lead in the sixth is immaterial.

Then there's the offense…

Six runs total the last four games. Scored more than four runs in just one of the last nine games. Timely hitting largely non-existent.

At last check Alex Bregman still hawks that “Breggy Bomb” salsa. At the plate, he’s been mostly stuck in “Breggy Bum” mode, including zero bombs (home runs). 23 games played without a homer is Bregman’s longest drought since 2017 when he had separate 35 and 27 game stretches between dingers. Bregman has a history of slow first months of the season, but never anything as inept as he’s posted thus far. A litany of lazy fly balls, infield pops, and routine grounders add up to a .216 batting average and feeble .566 OPS. Reference point: Martin Maldonado’s worst OPS season with the Astros was .573. If Bregman was a young guy handed a starting job coming out of spring training, if a viable alternative were available, there’s a chance he’d be a Sugar Land Space Cowboy right now. Bregman’s track record makes it a decent bet that he winds up with decent numbers, but nothing special. Certainly nothing remotely worth the 10 years 300 million dollars or whatever Bregman and agent Scott Boras intend(ed) to seek on the free agent market this coming offseason. Two hits Thursday did get Bregman to the 1000 hit plateau for his career.

Despite arriving south of the border with his batting average at .346, even Jose Altuve has his warts. With runners in scoring position, Altuve has one hit this season. One. In 16 at bats. Small sample size, but it counts. That’s .063. Yordan Alvarez has been no great shakes either, five for 24 (.208) with RISP.

One wonders what would happen if the Astros got a hold of and “lost” Jose Abreu’s passport/visa this weekend in Mexico City and Abreu couldn’t get back into the U.S. after the two-game set with the Rockies.

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 YouTube: stone cold stros - YouTube with the complete audio available via Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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