TEXAS FBS FOOTBALL RANKINGS

Where does your team rank among Texas schools heading into the 2018 college football season?

Gary Patterson and the TCU Horned Frogs top the pre-season Texans rankings. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Texas has 12 FBS teams. Each week we will rank them based on season-long performance, the prior game, and success relative to their competition. These are the rankings headed into week 1 of the 2018 college football season.

No. 12: UTEP

UTEP brings up the back of pack after failing to gain a single victory in 2017. They have a favorable matchup in week 1 vs. Northern Arizona, but I wouldn’t count on their success in this game to carry much significance towards the rest of the season.  

No. 11: Texas State

Not much changed in 2017 for a Texas State program that can never seem to make any significant improvements. The Bobcats go against a difficult opponent in Rutgers to begin their 2018 campaign.

No. 10: Rice

The wheels fell off the wagon for Rice in 2017 after finishing with an abysmal record of 1-11. Anything should be an improvement in 2018, but Rice will have a difficult task vs. the University of Houston this week after barely beating Prairie View last week.

No. 9: Baylor

After an offseason full of controversy and change before the 2017 season, the Bears felt the impact on the field. Baylor fought hard but only came out with a single victory in 2017. With that said, their team relied on a large collection of young and inexperienced players that now have a year’s worth of playing time under their belts. The Bears will look to start 2018 off right and gain some momentum before they face off against the gauntlet of daunting Big 12 opponents.

No. 8: UTSA

UTSA will return in 2018 with the hopes of redeeming themselves from their 2017 season which seemed to fall apart. The Roadrunners started off strong in 2017 with three consecutive wins but struggled to remain consistent from that point on. Things do not seem like they will be much easier in 2018 as they kick the season off with a difficult matchup against Arizona State and their new head coach Herm Edwards.

No. 7: Texas Tech

After a mediocre season finishing with a below .500 record in 2017, the Red Raiders start off 2018 as the seventh best team in Texas. The popular belief is that Head coach Kliff Kingsbury will have one last chance in 2018 to improve this Tech squad and cement himself as the head coach for the foreseeable future. Kingsbury will have his work cut out for him in Week 1 as his team will face off against an always dangerous Ole Miss team. To add to the pressure, there are still many questions and doubts surrounding the starting quarterback position, and unless someone steps up to take the reigns, all signs point to a recipe for disaster.

No. 6: SMU

SMU grabs the No. 6 overall spot on this list headed into Week 1. The Mustangs had a solid year in 2017 with the help of a high flying passing attack led by quarterback Ben Hicks and WR Courtland Sutton, who was taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. SMU will look for another prolific season on the offensive side of the ball with Hicks returning for his junior season along with one of his most dangerous weapons from 2017, RB Xavier Jones. SMU will have a difficult matchup against UNT in week 1 who landed in the No.3 spot on this list.

No. 5: Houston

The Cougars did not make much noise in 2017 but they performed well for their circumstances. UH suffered two major losses with the departures of head coach Tom Herman to the University of Texas and superstar quarterback Greg Ward to the NFL. With that said new head coach Major Applewhite did an impressive job keeping the Cougars competitive, while also bringing along his new, young QB D’Eriq King. 2018 will be an opportunity for Applewhite and King to continue their maturation and maintain the winning culture left behind by coach Herman. Houston will face off against their city counterparts at Rice University in week 1, and are expected to pass their first test of the season with flying colors.

No. 4: Texas A&M

The Aggies had a rocky season in 2017 with their fair share of highs and lows, but looking forward, excitement around the program is on the rise. A&M made headlines this offseason after hiring former Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. Not only will A&M have the benefit of taking the field re-energized by their new leadership, they will also have an abundance of talented returning players from 2017 that may just make them one of this seasons dark horses in college football. Not much will be made of their week 1 game vs Northwestern State, but it will give coach Fisher a chance to become more familiar with his new team.

No. 3: North Texas

UNT sneaks into the No.3 spot on this list to begin the 2017 season. North Texas caught fire in 2017 behind a dangerous passing attack led by quarterback Mason Fine. Not only will the exciting, young QB be returning for North Texas, but so will four of his top five leading receivers from 2017. UNT will kickoff 2018 with a tough matchup against a very formidable SMU team, but a victory could set them on the right path for another spectacular season.

No. 2: Texas (23)

The University of Texas falls into the No. 2 spot as they are the only other team from Texas to make the nation’s Top 25 rankings to begin the 2018 season. Securing the 23rd spot in the nation is a compliment to coach Tom Herman and the excitement he has created around the Texas program that is attempting to return prominence. Texas performed well in 2017 and showed flashes of hope and potential on their way to finishing with a record of 7-6. Although they will not be walking into a guaranteed win in Week 1 vs. the University of Maryland, they will have an opportunity to show the offseason progress they have made and take one more step towards re-establishing themselves as championship contenders.  

No. 1: TCU (16)

As we look ahead to the 2018 college football season, TCU tops the rankings. The Horned Frogs had a strong showing in 2017 after finishing second in the Big 12 with a 11-3 record. They will enter into 2018 ranked 16th in the nation, as coach Gary Patterson is always expected to put together a strong squad that always has a chance to win every time they step on the field. TCU should be able to maintain its place on this list through Week 1 as they have a very favorable matchup against the Southern University Jaguars.

 

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Yordan Alvarez provided the offense to back up more stellar pitching by the Astros as they took ALCS game 6 to advance to the 2021 World Series. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of this series in Houston then falling behind in the series 2-1 by dropping the first of three games in Boston, the Astros took over the ALCS in Games 4 and 5, sending them back to their home crowd with a chance to finish things off in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park. After another stellar performance by their pitching staff and more timely hitting, they would accomplish that mission, winning the series and moving on to the 2021 World Series.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 0

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston wins 4-2

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Houston strikes first to start tightly-contested Game 6

After a scoreless top of the first inning by Boston's offense, the Astros capitalized on a chance to be first to score in the bottom of the frame. Alex Bregman started the two-out rally, reaching base on a single against Nathan Eovaldi for the first hit of the night. Yordan Alvarez followed, delivering his sixth RBI of the series with a double to put Houston on top 1-0.

That did not spark further immediate scoring, as the one-run score held while both starting pitchers provided solid outings for their team. For Eovaldi, he was able to limit Houston to just that single run through four frames. He returned in the bottom of the fifth, facing two batters, allowing a single, and getting a strikeout to end his night.

Garcia impresses in big start

For the home team, they were recipients of another expectation-exceeding performance from one of their young arms. Only anticipated to go a handful of innings, Luis Garcia worked efficiently and effectively against Boston, keeping them scoreless and hitless through five innings. He continued in the sixth, getting two more outs before allowing a two-out triple, ending his night as Phil Maton would enter to strand the tying run. Garcia's final line: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 76 P.

With both teams dipping into their bullpens, the Astros took advantage of Boston's as Yordan Alvarez's dominance went on display once again. He led the inning off with a triple, then scored on a double-play ball to extend Houston's lead to 2-0. Kendall Graveman took over on the mound in the top of the seventh and worked himself into a big moment. He gave up a one-out walk, followed by a single, which put runners on the corners for Boston. He continued to struggle with the zone, falling behind the next batter 3-1, but was able to battle back to get the strikeout paired with a terrific throw by Martin Maldonado to cut down the runner from first trying to steal second, ending the inning and maintaining the two-run advantage.

Astros headed to the World Series

Ryne Stake was Houston's next reliever, and he put Houston three outs away by getting a 1-2-3 eighth. With Ryan Pressly warming, he watched and hoped that his offense could give him some more insurance to work with when he went to the mound in the top of the ninth. His wish would be granted, as after getting two on base, Kyle Tucker would put a major exclamation point on the night's offense, hitting a three-run opposite-field homer to the Crawford Boxes to push the lead to 5-0.

Pressly, now with the five-run lead, came on to try and start the celebration by getting the final three outs. Against the tougher part of Boston's order, he would get a 1-2-3 inning, giving the Astros the American League pennant, which along with those won in 2017 and 2019, puts them back in the World Series for the third time in five years.

Up Next: The Astros will have three days off before The Fall Classic kicks off. While Game 1 will be on Tuesday, October 26th, nothing else has yet been determined as Houston awaits to see which of the Dodgers and Braves will advance out of the NL, which will also dictate if the Astros will host or travel to World Series Game 1.

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