After an impressive week one — going 10-2 in the opening — Texas programs had a more humble outing in their second games, posting a 4-7 record. All victories to upper echelon FBS teams were against cupcakes.
Here are some Texas HS Football takeaways from Week Two:
Houston will have an important Week Three
If Big-12 expansion were a singing competition, the Cougars would already be on stage, buried beneath descending balloons and sprayed confetti, celebrating with their Houston family after winning the contest.
But who would be the runner up for the second opening slot?
Already, the Cougars proved they weren’t a one-season wonder, winning convincingly in the opener against a bamboozled Sooners team and blowing out Lamar 42-0 last week without Greg Ward Jr. calling the snaps. Houston’s starting quarterback returns in Thursday’s game against Cincinnati in a key bout for potential division inclusion; the Bearcats are currently trying to woo Big-12 personal to put them through the next round.
Another important game affecting the Cougars future is the first top-10 showdown of the season between No. 2 FSU against No. 10 Louisville. The Cardinals are the sole quality opponent remaining on the Cougars schedule. A win would vault the matchup into critical focus for the CFP committees rankings. A close loss could also benefit Houston in Week 12.
Tech defense scorched by ASU
How David Gibbs is still Tech’s defensive coordinator follows the trend of Lone Star mysteries we will never get answers to, such as: who lit the mulch fire in San Antonio? Why did governor Rick Perry have a ranch with derogatory slang on the gate? Why isn’t Matthew McConaughey the UT mascot instead of Bevo XV?
Gibbs is the first Red Raiders defensive coordinator who made it to a second season in a decade; last year, the defense allowed 43.6 points per game. Tech’s defensive were completely set ablaze by a Sun Devils’ offense that was on fire, scoring 68 points and igniting the field with 652 yards. ASU continues its arsonist spree Friday when the Devils looks to burn the Alamodome to the ground against the UTSA Roadrunners.
Tough days to come for TX
During Week Two, elite Texas teams were matched up with cupcakes, gobbling-up both sides of the ball until their molars ached. The coming weeks will be telling in both the Big-12 and SEC landscape.
Baylor looked offensively inconsistent in their first half victory against SMU, and still managed 500 total yards of offense. Without the play-calls of Art Briles, the Bears will have a tough time Week Five against an infuriated Oklahoma State team, coming off their first loss of a season following a referee’s faux pas.
A&M has a trying five weeks; 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. UT proved they could be road tested, but face tougher challenges Weeks 3-5 against Cal, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma respectively.
Could the Longhorns be the savior from the Big-12, salvaging the conference from missing the playoffs? According to ESPN, the Conference is most likely to have a two loss champion (80%); the closest second was the Pac-12 (69%).
Rice may not win a game this year
The most impressive thing Rice has done this season is Calvin Anderson solving a Rubiks cube behind his back.
Rice has been dreadful and their schedule doesn’t get any better moving forward. The Owls made three consecutive bowls before a 5-7 sputtering finish last year. This year’s team will fare worse.
Against Army, Rice sacrificed 412 yards (346 yards on the ground against a very timid defensive front) and only amassed 96 total yards. Army is undefeated, but far from a top-25 berth. Rice has four touchdowns heading into a guaranteed Baylor onslaught, far from the 84-point tally they accumulated in two games last season. You can preview the remaining schedule for the Owls here.
SMU has improved from 2015
The death penalty haunts the Mustangs like a Dementor stalking an escaped Azkaban prisoner – the kiss of death is always a reminder of how sinister the penalty was for the Ponies.
The offense actually had a successful outing in the first ten minutes, out-gaining the Bears 184-32, but were awful in the end zone — scoring only one touchdown on five drives in Baylor territory.
The perpetually cursed Mustangs won their opener, but will likely be corralled and ridden into the ground for the rest of the season – horseshoes of expectation ripped off of any winning momentum galloping forward.
SMU quarterback Ben Hicks had an okay debut, accounting for 261 yards of offense, despite three interceptions.
The Mustangs should get a win against Liberty in their home opener this weekend and will have a better record than last season behind a decent defensive front — not that bold of a prediction considering SMU was 2-10 last season.