Who will win top awards this week at the Houston Auto Show?

Courtesy photo.

Courtesy photo.

Mike Herzing is one of three founders of The Texas Motor Press Association.

One of the most anticipated events at the Houston Auto Show: the presentation of the Texas Truck, Car, SUV and CUV of the Year awards. This the "Texas Academy Awards" for the automotive industry, with four winners: Texas Car of the Year, Texas Truck of the Year, Texas SUV of the Year and the Texas Crossover of the Year. Presented by the Texas Motor Press Association, the winners are selected by an elite group of Texas Automotive Journalists.

Seeing a need to support automotive journalists in Texas, The Texas Motor Press Association (TxMPA) is the brainchild of Award-Winning Journalists Michael Herzing, Eileen Falkenberg-Hull and Alan Gell, who formed the organization on behalf of journalists. The organization hosts educational and networking events throughout the year to help members create meaningful, insightful, and informed content that influences the public's buying decisions, appeals to enthusiast interests, and registers with a Texas-based audience and beyond.

TxMPA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization for automotive industry professionals, has quickly gained the support of some of the industry's foremost automotive journalists, including those from top outlets such Roadshow by CNET, The Drive, SB Nation Radio, American City Business Journals, AutoGuide, Alex on Autos, and Autobytel/Autoweb gained membership. In addition to notable nationwide outlets, TxMPA has members from Texas, the country's largest truck market, including personnel from TxGarage, Outdoor4X magazine, Let's Talk Wheels, iHeartVehicles, KCBQ AM, CarProUSA, and Estate Life Magazines.

Each spring the organization hosts the Texas Off-Road Invitational, an off-roading event where members test drive vehicles in challenging off-road conditions, interview vehicle engineers and product planners, and take a deep dive into the mechanics and design of the vehicles. ATVs and UTVs are welcome at this event. At the end of the Invitational, voting members register their votes for Texas Off-Road Truck of the Year, Texas Off-Road SUV of the Year, Texas Off-Road ATV of the Year, and Texas Off-Road UTV of the Year. The winners are announced that day.

In the late autumn, TxMPA hosts TxTalks, a day of Ted Talk-like speeches and interviews exclusively for members that allows attendees to expand their knowledge in a variety of automotive and professional development topics.

The TxMPA is led by President Michael Herzing, Vice President Eileen Falkenberg-Hull, and a Board of Directors consisting of Alan Gell, Bill Owney, Michael Garfield, and Greg Riley.

Anyone interested in TxMPA membership as an industry, journalist, influencer, or sponsor is encouraged to go to:

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CJ Stroud has something extra to prove this week. Photo by Logan Riely/ Getty Images.

What: Texans @ Panthers

When: 10/29, 12pm CST kickoff

Where: Charlotte, NC Bank of America Stadium

TV/Radio: KRIV-TV, KILT-Radio

Betting Lines: Texans -3 (-120), O/U 43.5 (-110) *As of this writing

In what's being billed as the 1 vs 2 & 3 matchup of top picks from this past draft, the Texans travel to Charlotte to take on the Panthers. Quarterbacks Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud were the first two picks. Defensive end will Anderson Jr. was the third overall selection. All three players are heavy contributors to their teams. Stroud is a leading candidate for AFC Rookie of the Year. Anderson Jr can still make a case for AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year. Young missed a game with an injury but hasn't impressed much in the five he has played.

When the Panthers have the ball: This could be a get right game for the Texans defense. The Panthers are winless for two very specific reasons. One of those being they can't score. 19 points a game only works when your defense is the '85 Bears or the '00 Ravens maybe. They average 10 more yards rushing per game than the Texans, but also average about 50 yards less passing per game. The pass rush should be able to get to Young. He gets sacked three times a game on average. The Texans only have nine sacks on the season. It's a good time for old teammates to get reacquainted. Anderson Jr. was Young's teammate at Alabama. He along with Jonathan Grenard and company need to take advantage of a bad offensive line. While the Panthers aren't a run heavy team, they may turn it up a notch knowing Sheldon Rankins is out. Their best bet is to run the ball successfully, and hope play action gives them a pass threat.

When the Texans have the ball: Tank Dell being back in the fold is great news. Robert Woods being out is terrible. Not all is lost. This offense just beat the toughest defense they'll face all year. The Panthers may be without All Pro defensive end Brian Burns who is questionable with an elbow injury. That's great news for the pass heavy Texans. It's also great news for the run game facing a Panthers defense possibly down their best defender, but they also give up almost 150 yards a game on the ground. Giving up that many yards rushing is a reason why they allow a league worst 31 points a game. That's the second reason they're winless. They can't stop teams from scoring! I expect all the weapons and play calling creativity to be on full display in this game. Bobby Slowik is probably licking his chops doing the Birdman hand rub.

Outcome: Well, let's break this down as simply as possible. The Panthers can't score enough points and they give up way too many points. Meanwhile, the Texans can score if they protect their quarterback, and have a good enough defense to keep them in games. Outcome seems pretty straightforward to me. Add in the fact that Stroud probably has a chip on his shoulder by not going number one overall and facing the guy who did. Even if Burns does play, this Texans offensive line shut down the Steelers pass rush and pulled out a win over the tough Saints defense. They'll cover the -3, but I'm leaning on the under since the Panthers are apparently allergic to the end zone. Texans 24, Panthers 13

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