TEXAS SCHOOLS ROUND UP

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

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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.

Feel free to check out my brand new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.



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Mattress Mack and the Astros host Pearland Little League at Wednesday night's game. Photo by LittleLeague.org

Sure, it’s impressive that the Astros have made four World Series appearances in recent years, but they’re not alone. There’s another baseball team around here that’s also headed to its fourth World Series since 2010.

Pearland defeated Oklahoma, 9-4, on Tuesday to win the Southwest Regional and qualify for the Little League World Series starting Aug. 17 in South Williamsport, PA.

Most fans and media say the Little League World Series is held in Williamsport, but it’s South Williamsport, just a 5-minute stroll across a bridge over the Susquehanna River in north central Pennsylvania.

Pearland is on a torrid 13-game winning streak that swept through district, sectional, state and regional tournaments to earn the Little League World Series bid.

Here’s how difficult the road to the Little League World Series is. There are 15 teams in MLB’s American League. If the Astros finish with one of the two best records, they’ll have to win two playoff series to play in the World Series.

Little League is a little bigger than MLB. Little League is the largest youth sports organization in the world, with 2.5 million kids playing for 180,000 teams in more than 100 countries on six continents.

Pearland, representing East Texas, had to defeat All-Star teams from West Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas and Colorado to win the Southwest Regional. The Little League World Series will host 20 teams - 10 from the U.S. and 10 from international regions.

If you have children that play Little League, or you’re just a fan, attending the Little League World Series should be high on your baseball bucket list.

I covered the Little League World Series in 2010 when Pearland made its first appearance and made it all the way to the U.S. championship game. It may have been my most fun assignment ever.

The Little League World Series is played by 11 and 12-year-olds in Little League’s major division. When ESPN and ABC air these games, they’ll present the players as innocent little kids, like Beaver and Wally or Tom and Huck. They’ll show the kids playing Simon Says with the Little League mascot called Dugout. They’ll ask the kids who’s their favorite big leaguer.

I was a Little League coach. I followed Little League All-Stars across Texas all the way to South Williamsport. These kids are absolute baseball maniacs with $400 gloves, $500 bats and Oakley sunglasses. I thought the Astros might call and ask where they got their super neat equipment.

Especially in Texas, these kids are built tough with long ball power and play year-round travel baseball with high-priced private coaches. This isn’t a choose-up game in the park where kids play in their school clothes, one kid brings a baseball and the players share bats. I looked at some of the Little Leaguers and wondered if they drove to the stadium.

I half-expected, when ABC asked who their baseball idol was, they’d answer “me!”

Here’s how seriously good these kids can play the game. Justin Verlander throws a 97-mph fastball. That’s pretty fast. It’s not rare anymore for a Little League pitcher to reach 70-mph on a fastball. The Little League mound is 46 feet from home plate. A 70-mph pitch in Little League gets to home plate in the same time as a 91-mph pitch from 60 feet 6 inches in MLB.

In 2015, a pitcher named Alex Edmonson fired an 83-mph heater at the Little League World Series. The reaction time a Little League batter had against Alex’s pitch was equal to a Major Leaguer trying to hit a 108-mph fastball. Good luck with that. Alex pitched a no-hitter and struck out 15 batters in six innings at the Little League World Series. Now 20, Alex is a relief pitcher for Clemson.

The Little League World Series is a trip. The easiest way to get there is to fly into Philadelphia and drive to South Williamsport. I sat next to CC Sebathia’s mother on the plane.

Admission to all Little League World Series games is free and snack bar prices are reasonable. A hot dog is $3. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited.

The first Little League World Series was held in 1947. Only 58 players have played in the Little League World Series and later played in MLB. The most famous are Cody Bellinger and Jason Varitek. Only two players from the Houston area made the leap: Brady Rodgers and Randal Grichuk both played on the 2003 team from Richmond, about 30 miles from Houston in Fort Bend County.

While you’re in South Williamsport, you should visit the Little League museum and Hall of Excellence. Among the inductees: Presidents Joe Biden and George W. Bush, Astros manager Dusty Baker, Kevin Costner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dick Vitale, Rob Manfred and someone who’d later play stadiums in a different way, Bruce Springsteen.

Speaking of Springsteen, I shattered a record at the 2010 Little League World Series. The record was Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. I was talking to a Little League executive while teams were warming up on the field. Born in the U.S.A. came over the stadium loudspeakers.

I told the executive, I’m a big fan but maybe this isn’t the best song you should be playing. The executive asked why not? Well, you might want to listen to the words. Born in the U.S.A. is a depressing song about a U.S. soldier who is sent to Vietnam and can’t find a job when he gets back home. It’s not exactly Yankee Doodle Dandy. You have teams from Asia here (Japan won the tournament that year). The executive said, please tell me you’re kidding. Here’s one verse:

Got in a little hometown jam

So they put a rifle in my hand

Sent me off to a foreign land

To go and kill the (what is considered a slur for Asians).

Later I got an email from the president of Little League International.

“Quite honestly, I've never listened closely to the words of Born in the USA. I see clearly how it is offensive to our Little League friends from Asian nations. I have directed our folks who coordinate the stadium music to discontinue playing it in the future.”

Play Centerfield by John Fogerty instead. The message of that song is, “put me in coach.” Little League couldn’t say it any better.

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