College Football – Ranking the region week 9

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Jenkins/AP/Shutterstock (13434450i) Quarterback Max Duggan (15) throws downfield against Oklahoma during the first half of an NCAA college football game, in Fort Worth, Texas OKlahoma TCU Football, Fort Worth, United States – 01 Oct 2022

College Football – Ranking the region week 9

  • 1. TCU (7-0) – For the second week in a row, the Horned Frogs overcame a double-digit home deficit to win against a ranked Big 12 opponent. TCU has climbed to #7 in the country and is a heavy favorite this week on the road against West Virginia. Their ability to claw their way back into games has been impressive, but at some point, you have to wonder if that will come back to bite them against teams like Texas and Baylor in November, both of whom they play on the road. For now, the Big 12 runs through Fort Worth, and the playoff dreams are alive and well.
  • 2. LSU (6-0)– The line for LSU against undefeated Ole Miss surprised some, with the Tigers as slight favorites, but that doubt was extinguished as LSU handed the Rebels their first loss of the season to the tune of a 45-20 smack down. Ole Miss jumped out to a 17-3 lead, but LSU outscored the Rebels 42-3 from then on in convincing fashion. LSU’s ability to control the clock in the second half was critical as they dominated time of possession by over 12 minutes to limit Ole Miss’s opportunities to score. Up next may be the game of the year for LSU as they play host to #6 Alabama under the lights in Baton Rouge.
  • 3. Texas (5-3)– Like so many others, I drank the Kool-Aid on this year’s Texas team. With a win, Texas would have been in the driver’s seat in the chase for a Big 12 Championship Game appearance. Instead, the Horns gave up yet another second-half lead in a game that felt similar in style to their loss at Texas Tech earlier this season. There is no doubt this is a much-improved Texas team that will reach the postseason, but that falls well short of the goals in Austin. I think at this point; we’re all hoping for a Texas/Texas A&M Texas Bowl.
  • 4. Tulane (7-1)– The final score against Memphis does not tell the whole story of a game that was over before halftime. Tulane jumped all over the Tigers in dominating form and took a 35-0 lead into halftime. The only critique would be that the Green Wave may have relaxed a bit too much, as Memphis did close the gap to a 38-28 final. Tulane is now #23 in the country, headed into their bye week. The American Conference now appears to be a three-team race between #23 Tulane, #20 Cincinnati, and UCF.
  • 5. Baylor (4-3)– The Bears are coming off a bye week after a much-needed win over Kansas the week before. Baylor may have the most difficult remaining schedule in the Big 12 and begins this tough stretch Saturday night at Texas Tech.
  • 6. Texas Tech (4-3)– Tech played their best game of the season this past week in a dominating 48-10 win over West Virginia. The Red Raiders forced four West Virginia turnovers and outgained the Mountaineers by over 300 total yards. What is most impressive about not only this performance, but the season as a whole, is that Tech is doing all of this despite now being on their third-string QB Behren Morton. Up next for Texas Tech is a night game against Baylor in what should be an incredible atmosphere in Lubbock.
  • 7. Texas A&M (3-4) – A special teams touchdown and two turnovers proved to be too much for A&M to overcome in a 24-20 loss at South Carolina. The Aggie offense did outgain South Carolina by more than 100 yards of total offense, and Freshman QB Connor Weigman showed promise, but those were the lone bright spots as A&M has now lost three straight. The question now is whether there are three wins on the schedule for A&M to get to a bowl game, which is a far cry from the playoff ambitions this team had in the preseason.
  • 8. Houston (4-3) – Houston jumped all over Navy early on their way to a 38-20 win to get themselves over .500 again for the season. For as frustrating as the first half of the season was for the Cougars, they still find themselves very much in the mix for the AAC Championship. Houston is a heavy favorite this week against a South Florida team that is without QB Gerry Bohanon, and it is a game the Cougars need to win convincingly.
  • 9. UTSA (6-2) – Frank Harris’ miraculous final two plays for the UTSA offense were capped off with a game-clinching touchdown with 15 seconds remaining in the game to keep the Roadrunners perfect in CUSA play. North Texas gave UTSA all it could handle, but UTSA proved yet again why they are the class of the conference and still heavy favorites to repeat as CUSA champs. UTSA is rewarded with a bye week that should allow them to heal up before a showdown in two weeks on the road against UAB.
  • 10. SMU (3-4) – Another week, another close loss for the Mustangs. This time it was a 29-27 loss to #20 Cincinnati in a game where the Mustangs’ offense struggled to find any sort of momentum. For as disappointing as the season has been to this point, the remaining schedule is significantly easier than the first seven weeks of the season provided. The Ponies head to Tulsa in a game it should win against a banged-up Tulsa team.
  • 11. North Texas (4-4) – UNT has shaken off its early season struggles and proven itself to be one of the best teams in CUSA. Although they did come away with the win, the Mean Green’s ability to go to San Antonio and put UTSA on the ropes for four quarters may have been their most impressive performance of the season, even in a loss. There’s no time for UNT to feel sorry for itself as they now head on the road for another tough conference test, this time against Western Kentucky.
  • 12. Rice (4-3)– The Owls survived a sloppy performance to get a much-needed 42-41 road win over Louisiana Tech in a game Rice likely didn’t deserve to win. Rice had another three turnovers, including a fumble inside the La Tech five-yard line, and is now 110th in the nation in turnover margin. The good news for Rice is they need just two more wins to get bowl eligible for the first time since 2014, and their next two opponents are Charlotte and UTEP, both games Rice will be favored in.
  • 13. UTEP (4-4) – The Miners 24-20 over FAU may prove to be its most important game of the season as it likely allows them to get back to the postseason. UTEP controlled the clock with its solid ground game yet again before a 27-yard Gavin Baechle walk-off field goal gave the Miners the much-needed conference win. UTEP has home games against MTSU, and FIU left on the schedule, which they should win. If they can go 2-0 in those games, UTEP will go bowling games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history.
  • 14. Texas State (3-5) – The Bobcats forced three turnovers against Southern Miss to keep themselves in the game, but Texas State’s inability to run the football did them in again as Texas State fell 20-14. The Bobcats ran for an eye-popping -6 yards and has been the glaring weakness for this team all season. Texas State will need to win three out of its next four games to get to a bowl, with road games at ULM and South Alabama coming up.

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