Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word. And there’s an opening convey of generalities. A Texan outside of Texas is a foreigner. — John Steinbeck
The “Nation of Texas” has plenty of NCAA Division I football programs. Some of these are on the tip of the college football tongue from week to week, while others have just entered the scene and are building a new tradition from the ground up.
Over the course of the season, we’ll bring you our Nation of Texas College Football Power Rankings on Thursdays as we all prepare for the next week’s slate of games.
Here are the Week 2 NOT Rankings for your viewing pleasure:
1. Texas Longhorns (2-0)
2. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-0)
3. UT-San Antonio Roadrunners (2-0)
4. Baylor Bears (1-0)
5. TCU Horned Frogs (1-0)
6. Texas State Bobcats (1-1)
7. North Texas Mean Green (1-1)
8. SMU Mustangs (1-1)
9. Texas A&M Aggies (0-1)
10. Rice Owls (1-1)
11. Houston Cougars (0-2)
12. UT El Paso Miners(0-2)
The Texas Longhorns take a Week Three trip to the Grove to take on an Ole Miss Rebels team that is laying in wait, poised for what would be one of the biggest upsets of the young college football season. The Rebels, led by former Texas QB target Bo Wallace, have put up points in bunches over their first two contests, but have yet to face a defense of Texas’ caliber. While this one will be interesting, and should be hard-faught, look for Texas to be 3-0 by late Saturday night.
After a 58-10 dispatching of the Texas State Bobcats in San Marcos last Saturday, the 2-0 Texas Tech Red Raiders invite the hapless New Mexico Lobos to Lubbock on Saturday. Tommy Tuberville’s squad shouldn’t have much trouble here going 3-0 as they await a bye week and then a September 29th Big XII play opener against the Iowa State Cyclones in Ames. The Tech offense looks stout so far and could be a handful for teams in conference play if they can manage to keep all the pieces intact.
The UTSA Roadrunners are off to another great start in 2012, only their second year at the Division I level. Head coach Larry Coker has done a nice job plucking some low first-tier talent out of Central and South Texas and it’s starting to pay dividends. The Roadrunners travel to Atlanta on Saturday to take on an 0-2 Georgia State squad that has lost its first two games by a combined score of 84-19. UTSA should ease their way to 3-0 and be primed for a final non-conference home test against Northwestern Oklahoma State on September 22nd.
Art Briles’ Baylor Bears squad didn’t seem to have missed a beat from 2012– in spite of the loss of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin– as they pummeled the Baylor Bears 59-24 last Saturday night to kick off the 2012 season. Quarterback Nick Florence looked as solid as can be and will without a doubt lead the Bears to another shellacking on Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium, this time of the FCS Sam Houston State Bearkats.
The TCU Horned Frogs are another team the college football world is watching closely as they enter their first season in Big XII Conference play. Gary Patterson’s troops eased into the 2012 slate with a 56-0 thrashing of Grambling and prepare for a Week Three test against the Kansas Jayhawks this Saturday in Lawrence to kick off their conference schedule a little early. It should be a relatively easy win for the Frogs and I fully expect them to return to Fort Worth with a 2-0 record this weekend.
The Texas State Bobcats pulled off a surprising week one upset of Houston, but were roundly put back in their place by Texas Tech, 50-10, in Week Two. Dennis Franchione’s squad takes on Stephen F.Austin on Saturday and should roll with ease and move back to a positive record.
The North Texas Mean Green, predictably, suffered at the hands of the LSU Tigers in Week One, but aptly bounced back with a solid 34-7 win over Texas Southern last Saturday. Dan McCarney’s squad promises to be much improved this season, and will face another tough test against the 2-0 Kansas State Wildcats this coming Saturday in Manhattan.
By most all accounts, June Jones has to prove he can turn the SMU Mustangs into a winner, and soon. With a shaky 1-1 start– a 59-24 loss to the aforementioned Baylor and a 52-0 win over FCS Stephen F. Austin– there’s still plenty of work to be done. SMU takes on the Texas A&M Aggies in a non-conference tilt this Saturday at Ford Stadium and will be looking to prove they shouldn’t be an afterthought for Dallas-area recruits who will be watching very closely.
After a tough SEC opening loss to Florida, the Texas A&M Aggies will be looking to get back on track this week against SMU, and will hope for continued improvement from young signal caller Jonny Manziel who was as impressive as he could be in the early going against the Gators. Look for the Aggies to get back on track at SMU and work their way back up the NOT rankings and to a 1-1 record prior to their next non conference game against South Carolina State in College Station.
The Rice Owls finish the first two games of the 2012 slate at 1-1 after a surprise Week Two win over the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence. David Bailiff will be looking for more of the same and a positive start to the season as the Owls take on the tough Louisiana State Bulldogs this Saturday in Ruston.
The Houston Cougars are proof of how much a quarterback can mean as they struggled mightily in their first two games, going 0-2, and scoring a total of 62 points in the process. Case Keenum will be missed against greater competition, and new coach Tony Levine will have his work cut out for him this season at Robertson Stadium to keep the strong tradition alive built over the past few seasons.
The UTEP Miners looked like world-beaters in their season opener against the Oklahoma Sooners and have looked really freaking poor ever since. The newly-independent (by force not choice) New Mexico State Aggies come to El Paso on Saturday and could offer Mike Price’s squad some reprieve, even if it’s short lived given the September 22nd trip to Madison to take on a Wisconsin Badgers squad that will be looking to punish whomever they play the rest of this season.
Make sure to visit next Thursday for the next installment of the NOT College Football Rankings!
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of the Rant Sports College Football Hour on the TSC Radio Network on Sunday evenings at 8 Central Time and Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.