TEXAS SCHOOLS ROUND UP

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

TCU football coach Gary Patterson
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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.

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Have the Astros turned a corner? Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images.

After finishing up with the Guardians the Astros have a rather important series for early May with the Seattle Mariners heading to town for the weekend. While it’s still too early to be an absolute must-win series for the Astros, losing the series to drop seven or eight games off the division lead would make successfully defending their American League West title that much more unlikely.

Since their own stumble out of the gate to a 6-10 record the Mariners have been racking up series wins, including one this week over the Atlanta Braves. The M’s offense is largely Mmm Mmm Bad, but their pitching is sensational. In 18 games after the 6-10 start, the Mariners gave up five runs in a game once. In the other 17 games they only gave up four runs once. Over the 18 games their starting pitchers gave up 18 earned runs total with a 1.44 earned run average. That’s absurd. Coming into the season Seattle’s starting rotation was clearly better on paper than those of the Astros and Texas Rangers, and it has crystal clearly played out as such into the second month of the schedule.

While it’s natural to focus on and fret over one’s own team's woes when they are plentiful as they have been for the Astros, a reminder that not all grass is greener elsewhere. Alex Bregman has been awful so far. So has young Mariners’ superstar Julio Rodriguez. A meager four extra base hits over his first 30 games were all Julio produced down at the ballyard. That the Mariners are well ahead of the Astros with J-Rod significantly underperforming is good news for Seattle.

Caratini comes through!

So it turns out the Astros are allowed to have a Puerto Rican-born catcher who can hit a little bit. Victor Caratini’s pedigree is not that of a quality offensive player, but he has swung the bat well thus far in his limited playing time and provided the most exciting moment of the Astros’ season with his two-out two-run 10th inning game winning home run Tuesday night. I grant that one could certainly say “Hey! Ronel Blanco finishing off his no-hitter has been the most exciting moment.” I opt for the suddenness of Caratini’s blow turning near defeat into instant victory for a team that has been lousy overall to this point. Frittering away a game the Astros had led 8-3 would have been another blow. Instead, to the Victor belong the spoils.

Pudge Rodriguez is the greatest native Puerto Rican catcher, but he was no longer a good hitter when with the Astros for the majority of the 2009 season. Then there’s Martin Maldonado.

Maldonado’s hitting stats with the Astros look Mike Piazza-ian compared to what Jose Abreu was doing this season. Finally, mercifully for all, Abreu is off the roster as he accepts a stint at rookie-level ball in Florida to see if he can perform baseball-CPR on his swing and career. Until or unless he proves otherwise, Abreu is washed up and at some point the Astros will have to accept it and swallow whatever is left on his contract that runs through next season. For now Abreu makes over $120,000 per game to not be on the roster. At his level of performance, that’s a better deal than paying him that money to be on the roster.

Abreu’s seven hits in 71 at bats for an .099 batting average with a .269 OPS is a humiliating stat line. In 2018 George Springer went to sleep the night of June 13 batting .293 after going hitless in his last four at bats in a 13-5 Astros’ win over Oakland. At the time no one could have ever envisioned that Springer had started a deep, deep funk which would have him endure a nightmarish six for 78 stretch at the plate (.077 batting average). Springer then hit .293 the rest of the season.

Abreu’s exile opened the door for Joey Loperfido to begin his Major League career. Very cool for Loperfido to smack a two-run single in his first game. He also struck out twice. Loperfido will amass whiffs by the bushel, he had 37 strikeouts in 101 at bats at AAA Sugar Land. Still, if he can hit .225 with some walks mixed in (he drew 16 with the Space Cowboys) and deliver some of his obvious power (13 homers in 25 games for the ex-Skeeters) that’s an upgrade over Abreu/Jon Singleton, as well as over Jake Meyers and the awful showing Chas McCormick has posted so far. Frankly, it seems unwise that the Astros only had Loperfido play seven games at first base in the minors this year. If McCormick doesn’t pick it up soon and with Meyers displaying limited offensive upside, the next guy worth a call-up is outfielder Pedro Leon. In January 2021 the Astros gave Leon four million dollars to sign out of Cuba and called him a “rapid mover to the Major Leagues.” Well…

Over his first three minor league seasons Leon flashed tools but definitely underwhelmed. He has been substantially better so far this year. He turns 26 May 28. Just maybe the Astros offense could be the cause of fewer Ls with Loperfido at first and Leon in center field.

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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