Taylor McHargue: Ranking the region heading into Week 7 of the CFB season

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Charlie Riedel/AP/Shutterstock (13449262t) Wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) catches the game-winning touchdown pass under pressure from Kansas cornerback Cobee Bryant during the second half of an NCAA college football game, in Lawrence, Kan. TCU won 38-31 TCU Kansas Football, Lawrence, United States – 08 Oct 2022

Taylor McHargue: Ranking the region heading into Week 7 of the CFB season

  • 1. TCU – If there was any question as to whether this TCU team is for real, those questions were answered on Saturday as TCU held off #19 Kansas in a packed house in Lawrence. TCU receiver Quinten Johnson’s 206 receiving yards on 14 catches kept the Jayhawks’ comeback at bay, and the Horned Frogs have been rewarded with a #13 ranking in this week’s AP poll. Next up is a showdown of unbeatens as Oklahoma State comes to Ft Worth for a battle between the two current favorites to win the Big 12.
  • 2. Texas – It is striking the difference in this Texas team with Quinn Ewers in the game. The  49-0 throttling of Oklahoma has to go down as one of the more satisfying wins for Texas fans in the Red River Rivalry and came at an inflection point when UT needed it most. Texas is favored by two touchdowns this week at home against Iowa State in what should be a tune-up game before they get their turn against Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
  • 3. Baylor – The Bears were on a bye in Week 6. Next is a trip to Morgantown to face West Virginia in a game where Baylor is just a field goal favorite.
  • 4. LSU  – The opening kickoff was fumbled by LSU and immediately recovered by Tennessee, and from that point on, the Volunteers did not let off the throttle. The run game for LSU remains a concern as the Tigers totaled just 55 yards on the ground on their way to a 40-13 home loss. The Tigers head to the swamp for a night game against Florida this week in a must-win for LSU as they play host to Ole Miss and Alabama, both top 10 teams, the following two weeks.
  • 5. Texas TechThe Red Raiders knew how difficult their trips to Kansas State and Oklahoma State would be, and even though they put up a fight in both, they hit the midway point of the season with back-to-back losses. Texas Tech has now moved to Behren Morton at QB, who came into the year as the third-string QB, and it will be interesting to see how that position is handled once Tyler Shough is healthy. Head Coach Joey McGuire is hopeful that after this week’s bye week, Shough, the starter in Week 1, will be healthy and ready for West Virginia the following week.
  • 6. Texas A&M – Yes, the Aggies are getting moved down, and yes, I realize they nearly beat Alabama at Alabama. But the Aggies were gifted four turnovers and still totaled just 20 points to further prove that this is one of the worst teams in the SEC, and aside from Vandy, it is the worst offense in the SEC. Until they get UMass in Week 11, I’m not sure how many wins are on the remaining schedule.
  • 7. Tulane – The Green Wave defense flexed its dominance again on Saturday, holding East Carolina to just nine points as Tulane moved to 5-1 and received top 25 votes. The American Schedule lays out nicely for Tulane for the next few weeks, and if their defense can continue to play at this level, it may come down to the Green Wave and Cincinnati for the American Conference crown.
  • 8. HoustonWith 1:18 in the fourth quarter, Houston was losing to Memphis 32-19. The Cougars rattled off an onside kick and two touchdown scores to secure an improbable comeback win over Memphis in a game that may have saved Houston’s season. Houston now gets a much-needed bye week before heading on the road for a triple option test against Navy, who appears to be gathering confidence as well, coming off a 53-21 win over Tulsa.
  • 9. SMU – After going toe to toe with Maryland and TCU, the Ponies collapsed in the second half against UCF on their way to a 41-19 loss. For a season that started with so much promise for first-time head coach Rhett Lashley, SMU has now lost three straight and risks losing the season for good if they cannot get back on track against Navy this week.
  • 10. UTSA – The Roadrunners proved yet again that they are the clear favorite in CUSA with a 31-28 win over Western Kentucky. The only remaining tests for UTSA appear to be road games at UAB and Rice, but they should be favored heavily in both. Jeff Traylor is building something serious in San Antonio.
  • 11. Rice – Rice was on a bye and heads to FAU next week in a battle of the Owls. A road win would solidify Rice as a contender in CUSA.
  • 12. North Texas – We’re halfway through the season, and I still can’t get a bead on this North Texas Team. After writing them off following losses to UNLV and Memphis, the Mean Green win in convincing fashion against FAU to remain perfect in CUSA play. UNT is close to a touchdown favorite at home this week against Louisiana Tech before a road showdown against UTSA.
  • 13. Texas State –  The most shocking performance of the week (and maybe the season) goes to the Texas State Bobcats and their 36-24 win over App State. If Layne Hatcher can maintain that level of performance, the Bobcats have a legitimate chance at reaching their first bowl game in program history.
  • 14. UTEP – The Miners outgained La Tech by more than 100 yards of total offense and dominated time of possession, but their four turnovers ultimately did them in on the way to a 41-31 road loss. UTEP now heads to a much-needed bye week before resuming conference play against FAU.

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