The state of Texas presents college football fans with a unique situation. Namely there are a boatload of universities that play football in our massive state. While the Big 12 gives fans get a chance to fight it out for “dominance” of the Texas namesake, we do have three other big-time teams not represented in the conference. One in particular, Texas A&M, wants to act like they run the state but don’t actually play most of the schools present in Texas. So to rectify this as seamlessly as possible I am going to stack up all the teams worth discussing week-in and week-out.
To avoid a larger-than-life list I’ll temper the number at seven including Big 12, SEC, and the AAC. I know that leaves North Texas off the list but they just don’t inspire the same level of razzle-dazzle that the others on this list do. My metric is loosely based on the schools performance in regards to how they play their opponents each week. As an important note, I always consider head-to-head as the most deciding factor of overall ranking. Undoubtedly all of you will disagree with these rankings - and that’s expected - but I will attempt to not homer this list up to “TOO BAD.” *
*I am absolutely going to homer this list if Tech goes on a roll.
Preseason top 7 in Texas:
1) The University of Texas
Sammy-boy is not God’s gift to quarterbacking, but if you ask me what team in Texas has both oodles of talent and the most potential for a championship run: the Longhorns immediately come to mind. I have already stated I think Texas is not going to be on a national championship campaign, but I do think the potential is there if they work out some of their big defensive questions. While some people may not like Herman, myself included, he has proven he can win games (except against Maryland). I think he is the right man for the job and has Texas back to where they belong for now.
2) Texas A&M
Head coach Jimbo Fisher has the hype-machine rolling in College Station. I’ll believe it when I see it; there’s a part of me that believes the Aggies are cursed to be just better than mediocre. Talent wise, however, it’s incautious to say that they don’t have talent. While this could easily be a six-win season for A&M they are managing to build a powerful core of players that could challenge the SEC West.
3-5) Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU
Yes, this is a cop out. I have no idea where these programs are going. I don’t buy any hype revolving around Baylor or TCU, but I am apparently one of the few on earth that thinks Tech is set up well to win eight this season. The middle of the pack in the list is going to need serious data-points before I can separate these programs. Week one will be the clearing of this foggy mess.
I absolutely admit I have a hard time ranking a Group of Five team above the Power teams before the season begins. But if there’s any team that would make a statement in the first week, it’s Houston. The Cougars face off against Oklahoma (a perennially powerful team & title contending favorite) which is stacked with Jalen Hurts, Ceedee Lamb, Trey Sermon, and others. A victory over an Oklahoma team of this pedigree will catapult the Cougars up this list quick and in a hurry. New Houston head coach Dana Holgorson was the man I wanted in Lubbock and maybe he can put Houston on the right path this season. This is a good team, don’t be surprised to see them playing in a big-time bowl game.
A deep receiving corp is the highlight of this team, but outside of that I just don’t know enough to push them above Houston. The other pieces of the offense and defense are lackluster and will rely on coaching to determine how much success they can attain. After week one there will be a much better picture of what kind of team head coach Sonny Dykes has set up. Could be good, could be bad.
This first iteration is rough. I don’t like preseason rankings because we just don’t know anything - really. As we get more football this will we be much more “refined” with tangible stats. Then by the end of the year, bam! We will have the officially unofficial master ranking list of the BEST teams in Texas. What do you all think? Who would you put on top?