1. Houston — Last Week: 1 (2-0)
At this point, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the Cougars passed the audition for Big-12 expansion. Tom Herman is making his pitch as the best program leader in Texas, taming a mediocre Houston team into a disciplined powerhouse threatening to rip the throat out of the CFP’s Power Five infatuation. Unless quarterback Greg Ward Jr. gets injured, and the team’s confidence is spade by a cupcake upset, it should be smooth sailing from here on out.
2. UT — Last Week: 3 (2-0)
Is Shane Buechele really the best UT quarterback since Colt McCoy’s four year stint? Lets run the numbers: In McCoy’s first two games as a freshman starter, he completed 19-of-32 passes at 61.3% for 332 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. In comparison, Buechele completed 38-of- 53 passes at 71.7% for 524 yards, six touchdowns, and one interception in the same span.
3. Texas A&M — Last Week: 4 (2-0)
As I write this ranking, College Station is likely throwing a parade for defensive coordinator John Chavis. Under his play-calling, A&M has shut-out two of their last five opponents, allowing 25 touchdowns in all 15 games under Chavis. The offense appeared more cohesive; Trevor Knight seemed less heartbroken, likely following my advice to join Tinder after breaking up with Duck Dynasty star Sadie Robertson. The Aggies quarterback finished with 344 yards for three touchdowns, and ran for another score. The schedule for the next five weeks will be a tough test for A&M; three of the five games are against ranked opponents, and their next is the first away game at Auburn, where the Tigers are favored on the spread.
4. Baylor — Last Week: 6 (2-0)
The Bears played with little bite in the first half against SMU; quarterback Seth Russell overthrew, wide receivers dropped a number of passes, and the offensive line looked shaky in creating any running lanes. The defense forced three turnovers — two in the second half — and returned one for a score. Baylor and Texas are the only remaining ranked undefeated teams in the Big-12, but the hardest stretches of their respective schedules are yet to come.
5. TCU — Last Week: 2 (1-1)
The bad new for the Horned Frogs: the offense still looks like Kenny Hill is having some serious Tyler Durden-esque battles with his alter ego Kenny Trill — the bad-boy personality that had a poor second half season performance with the Aggies with interceptions and various off-the-field issues. Hill seemed to exorcise the personal demons of poor reads and miscommunications in the second half. And then up 28-0 in the waning moments of the fourth, Kenny Trill came screaming out of his purple tinged Frog helmet, reaching across his throat and simulating a slashing motion after a score, which cost TCU a celebration penalty and granted the Razorbacks shorter field position. On the other side of the ball, Coach Gary Patterson’s defense made critical three-and-outs in the fourth quarter, but were inconsistent at the line of scrimmage, managing only one sack and allowing 4.2 yards per carry — a significant increase from the 2.7 yard per carry in Arkansas’ opener.
6. Texas Tech — Last Week: 5 (1-1)
7. UTSA — Last Week: 7 (1-1)
8. Texas State — Last Week: 9 (1-0)
9. SMU — Last Week: 10 (1-1)
10. UTEP — Last Week: 8 (1-1)
11. UNT — Last Week: 11 (1-1)
12. Rice — Last Week: 12 (0-2)