Texas 12: Longhorns Fall, Aggies Rise

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Jason Green, Staff Reporter

Editor’s Note: Every week, The Prospectors’ own Jason Green will rank all 12 Division I college football teams in the Lone Star State.  The Texas 12 power rankings are based on the results from the past week of games, along with the strength of wins and losses, according to Jason. 

 

For the second weekend in a row, half of the Texas 12 lost. Oddly enough, the rankings did not change too much. The losses were mostly at the bottom of the standings apart from the Longhorns defeat in their first game away from Austin – under questionable circumstances. Almost all of the FCS and non-conference games are over and it is time to get down to the real nitty-gritty.

12 – RICE OWLS (0-3) C-USA

Last week: Lost to No. 16 Baylor 38-10

Considering that the Owls were facing Baylor, I guess you could say that this was their best showing of the year. It was their second closest game of their three defeats and near the end of the first half, they were only down four points (14-10).  Then Baylor quarterback Seth Russell threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns – two of them to wide receiver KD Cannon – and Rice began to wonder if they would be at the bottom of the Texas 12 for the rest of the season.

This Saturday: Home vs. North Texas (1-2) 4 p.m. MT

11 – NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN (1-2) C-USA

Last week: Lost to Florida 32-0

Playing at Florida was probably not going to be the week that the Mean Green picked up their second win of the young season – and it was not. It was, however, the game where the Mean Green became the second most hated team – just behind Georgia or Florida State – for most Gator fans. In the third quarter, UNT defensive end Joshua Wheeler hit Gator quarterback Luke Del Rio low, injuring his left leg and causing Florida head coach Jim McElwain to rush the field looking to fight either the UNT players or coaching staff. So, the Mean Green ended up in an exciting game, for all of the wrong reasons. Next up – the battle of the Texas 12’s bottom two!

This Saturday: Away vs. Rice (0-3) 4 p.m. MT

10 – UTEP MINERS (1-2) C-USA

Last week: Lost to Army 66-14

What can you say about one of the most epic beatdowns that any fan of UTEP football can remember from the past 20 or 30 years? Oh, and by the way, it was to a service academy – typically an easy win on anybody’s schedule. A chance to bring in some patriots and honor America while adding an easy win to your record. But, not UTEP and not this season. Coming off a loss at Texas,  Army, the undersized squad of cadets pushed UTEP up and down the field and managed to keep their punter off the turf at the Sun Bowl for all four quarters. That’s right, in case you were at the game last Saturday and failed to notice, Army’s punter might as well be Sia – we don’t even know what he looks like.

This Saturday: Home vs. Southern Miss (2-1) 6 p.m. MT

9 – SOUTHERN METHODIST MUSTANGS (2-1) AAC

Last week: Won against Liberty 29-14

When you’re playing an FCS school, you don’t really want the headlines to read something like, “SMU Holds Off Liberty.” You would rather go out and get the easy win that you scheduled Liberty for. The Flames (that’s Liberty) went into the final minute of the game only trailing 19-14 until the Mustangs opened up on them with a field goal and a pick-6. Some would say “a win is a win,” but in this case, I needed to justify why the Roadrunners will stay at No. 8 despite losing their second game.

This Friday: Home vs. TCU (2-1) 6 p.m. MT

8 – UTSA ROADRUNNERS (1-2) C-USA

Last week: Lost to Arizona State 32-28

One week after playing a very good Colorado State team close, the Roadrunners faced off with an Arizona State team still riding the high off a win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders by a final score of 68-55. Against a team in the bottom half of the Texas 12, one would fully expect the high-powered Sun Devils offense to run wild. Instead, it was Zane Gonzalez, the Arizona State kicker who kept the Sun Devils in the game with four long field goals including two from 54 yards. UTSA quarterback Dalton Sturm slipped away from every defender on the Sun Devils line as he made throw after throw for 229 yards and three touchdowns. UTSA went into the fourth quarter with a 28-15 lead, but after several turnovers and three and outs, a worn out Roadrunners defense could not last. Still, it was a second straight valiant effort from the upstart team from San Antonio.

This Saturday: Away vs. Old Dominion (1-2) 3:30 p.m. MT

7 – TEXAS STATE BOBCATS (1-1) SUN BELT

Last week: Lost to No. 17 Arkansas 42-3

Yes, they lost badly to the Razorbacks, but it’s beginning to look more and more like Arkansas may finally be a team worth watching in the SEC again. They still beat the Ohio Bobcats who then beat Kansas and just this past weekend almost upset the Tennessee Volunteers. They may end up plummeting from this spot, but for now, we’ll let the Bobcats enjoy it.

This Saturday: Home vs. No. 6 Houston (3-0) 5 p.m. MT

6 – TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (2-1) BIG-12

Last week: Won against Louisiana Tech 59-45

Texas Tech came out to prove that they were better than the team that lost to Arizona State last weekend and for a while they looked like they were fully going to punish their C-USA foe. Over the first five series, the Red Raiders scored five touchdowns and ran out to a 35-10 lead. Running back Damarcus Felton finished the game with 115 yards and two touchdowns and looks like a great compliment to the nation’s leading passer Patrick Mahomes (1,493 yards, 14 TD’s). The game ended at 59-45 as the Red Raiders “defense” held off the Bulldogs. Texas Tech remains at No. 6 having failed to prove that they are anything more than a high-powered offense with not much defense to speak of.

This Saturday: Bye

5 – TEXAS LONGHORNS (2-1) BIG-12

Last week: Lost to California 50-43

Perhaps UTEP fans were happy to see Texas lose, but nobody should ever be happy to see a team lose on a blown call. It is only fitting that the inventor of dropping the ball at the one-yard line to celebrate a touchdown – DeSean Jackson – be honored occasionally by his alma mater. This time, it was running back Vic Enwere on a game-sealing run who dropped the ball in celebration at the one-yard line for Cal with 1:20 left on the clock. On review, however, the referees ruled that the ball had not been immediately recovered – despite clearly being in the hand of a Texas player less than two seconds after the fumble. This would have given Texas the ball at the 20-yard line, down 50-43 with one last chance. Instead, Cal was given the ball at the one-yard line and ran the clock out to end the game.

This Saturday: Bye

4 – TCU HORNED FROGS (2-1) BIG-12

Last week: Won against Iowa State 41-20

The Horned Frogs opened Big-12 play against the lowly Cyclones the way that was expected. Running back Kyle Hicks had 117 yards on the ground and a TD, as well as one through the air. Quarterback Kenny Hill kept his name in the Heisman watch with 219 yards passing and one touchdown through the air and one on the ground.

This Friday: Away vs. SMU (2-1) 6:00 p.m. MT

3 – Baylor Bears (3-0) BIG-12

Last week: Won against Rice 38-10

Definitely not the score that you would like to see from the No. 3 team in the Texas 12 when they are playing the last place team in the Texas 12. Perhaps that is why they stayed behind the Aggies – for this week, at least. Apart from wide receiver KD Cannon, Baylor has no offensive players ranked in the top-25 of any of the major offensive statistical categories. The Bears also have no real defensive studs to speak of. It leaves one to wonder, when it might all fall apart – again – for the team from Waco.

This Saturday: Home vs. Oklahoma State (2-1) 7:30 p.m. MT

2 – TEXAS A&M AGGIES (3-0) SEC

Last week: Won against Auburn 29-16

The Aggies began their SEC schedule with a match-up against Auburn and really did not look very impressive. Five field goals by kicker Daniel LaCamera and four sacks and 13 tackles for loss were enough to get the job done against the Tigers in an off year. The Aggies may not however have enough to get past the Arkansas’s and Alabama’s of the world in 2016.

This Saturday: Home vs. No. 17 Arkansas (3-0) 7 p.m. MT

1 – HOUSTON COUGARS (3-0) AAC

Last week: Won against Cincinnati 40-16

This was supposed to be the challenge that exposed the Cougars for the fraud that they are – mainly because they won’t really face anyone until they see Louisville at the end of the season. It didn’t happen. Although, for a very long time it looked as if Houston had been exposed. With about 15:00 left in the game, the Bearcats were up by four. Then the Cougars remembered that they are supposed to be an elite team. Two straight touchdown drives, followed by two straight pick-sixes and all of a sudden the score looks like an absolute Cougs beatdown. Heisman candidate, quarterback Greg Ward Jr. threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more. Cornerback Howard Wilson had two interceptions and one of the two pick-sixes. Now the Cougars just ride it out until the AAC deciding game with the Cardinals.

This Saturday: Away vs. Texas State (1-1) 5:00 p.m. MT