1. TCU — Last Week: 5 (1-0)
The Horned Frogs earned this week’s top spot because they won a game they were supposed to win — a victory Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas all failed to accomplish during their respective opening weekends.
Both sides of the ball looked like a sturdy bunch. The defensive unit held Jackson State to 65 total yards of offense. Despite an interception by quarterback Kenny Hill, the accuracy was ridiculous, allowing 14 receivers the opportunity to catch passes for 300 yards through the air.
The numbers were impressive against a team most people couldn’t point out on a college football map, however the true litmus test of the Horned Frogs abilities will occur next weekend against Arkansas — a foe TCU lost against in a double-overtime thriller one year ago.
2. Houston — Last Week: 3 (0-0)
The Cougars weren’t given the opportunity to initiate the Major Applewhite era against UTSA this weekend. After what would have been a tune-up non conference game against the Roadrunners, the Coogs head to Tucson with likely offseason rust.
More importantly, Applewhite is governing a system that lost 45% of their production from a season ago and transferred a sizable count of coordinators to UT. The defensive unit should be fine; an inexperienced offense will determine how far the Cougars can go in the glaring absence of coach Tom Herman.
3. Texas Tech — Last Week: 8 (1-0)
While A&M coach Kevin Sumlin’s trousers are catching fire on the hot seat, former Aggies offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury may be preparing the fire extinguisher for his own coaching career to set aflame. An impressive opening performance against Eastern Washington could have quelled the kindling for the inevitable; newly minted Kingsbury protege Nic Shimonek threw for 384 yards on 26-of-30 passing in a 56-10 win.
The defense – always the Tech problem child – held their opponents to the lowest point total since 2013.
Kingsbury improved to 5-0 in openers at Tech, but has stumbled to just 18-26 since winning his first seven games in 2013.
4. UTSA — Last Week: 5 (0-0)
Another program whose opener was impacted by Hurricane Harvey, the Roadrunners postponed their match with the Cougars due to over 4,500 students deriving from areas affected by flooding.
A group of experienced seniors — and the best signing class the Roadrunners have ever fielded — leads the charge following the program’s first ever bowl bid.
Next up: a difficult road trip to Waco in their first ever meeting with a reeling Baylor squad.
5. Texas A&M — Last Week: 6 (0-1)
To quote Sir Elton John, “I guess that’s why they call it the blues”. Nothing better encapsulated the Kevin Sumlin era like the Aggies loss against UCLA. Blowing out the Bruins, the Aggies then sacrificed 35 consecutive points to their opponent. Some would argue that it was typical Sumlin: starting hot early and fading down the stretch.
The positive is that the Aggies have one of the best running games they’ve ever had. Trayveon Williams accounted for 203 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Keith Ford ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns before he left due to an injury. Texas A&M totaled 382 yards in all on the ground.
The bad news is the quarterback by committee didn’t warrant any praise for their mediocrity; Kellen Mond and Nick Starkel combined for 9 of 30 pass completions for 99 yards. The lack of a passing game won’t bode well in the future for a one-dimensional offense.
6. Baylor — Last Week: 2 (0-1)
7. SMU — Last Week: 9 (1-0)
8. UNT — Last Week: 7 (1-0)
9. UT — Last Week: 1 (0-1)
10. Texas State — Last Week: 12 (1-0)
11. UTEP — Last Week: 11 (0-1)
12. Rice — Last Week: 12 (0-1)
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