By TexasFootball.com staff
The miracles never cease. Seven days ago, we were basking in the green and gold glory of Baylor's ascension in the power poll and Robert Griffin's thrilling pursuit of the Heisman. Now, just a week later, everything is different — and an old face is sitting in a familiar chair.
Those Longhorns of Texas are back in the No. 1 spot, almost exactly a year after it left it for good in 2010. Are we anointing these young guns as the official team to beat? Not sure we'd go that far; right now, Mack Brown's kiddie crew are just one of the few that aren't moving in reverse. Tech and UH, both undefeated as well, round out the top three. Both have legitimate arguments for the top spot, but UT obliterated a UCLA team that UH barely survived, and Tech is making a habit out of flirting with the flames against lesser foes. It's tough to break the top three down any differently.
As talented as A&M is, it's scuttling along in fourth, courtesy of two late collapses that has Aggie Nation's head in its proverbial hands. There's no doubt as to the immense talent Mike Sherman sports on the roster, but until that talent starts delivering — when it counts — and the Wrecking Crew stops self-destructing, it's going to be a tough sell to move it any higher than where it is. Would A&M be favored over UH on a neutral field right now? Probably. But "probably" is starting to make us uncomfortable here.
Baylor slips to fifth after its loss to Kansas State in a game where even the untrained eye could probably guess who the better team really was. Those Bears just never made the few key plays needed to put the game away, and Bill Snyder's immense sack of tricks never quite ran out. SMU, on the other hand, took care of business with a thrilling win over rival TCU — in Fort Worth — to solidify its case as an eventual bowl team. Another win or two from the Ponies and they'll start moving up the board.
Rice, UTEP and UNT continue to bring up the rear, though Mike Price's Miners showed some signs of life against UH this weekend. If they can muster the same kind of effort they show against UH every year when it plays other C-USA foes, UTEP could find itself as high as 7th or 6th.
DCTF's 2011 Texas College Power Poll — Week 5
|#||School||Points (1st-place votes)||Previous week|
|1||Texas Longhorns||Points: 50 (5)||4|
|Greg Tepper: It’s amazing to think how low the Longhorns started in our initial Power Poll (7th) and have steadily risen simply by beating teams it should. I still don’t think this team has been tested yet, but they’re 60 minutes in the Cotton Bowl away from officially being “back.”|
|2||Texas Tech Red Raiders||Points: 43||5|
|Travis Stewart: I'm sure Tech fans want the Red Raiders on top, but Texas and Tech are both 4-0. And if Tech fans want to point to UT's 5-7 record last year … well, remember, you were one of the five. Besides, I still think A&M is the most talented team — it just keeps flinching when it's put under the gun. You can question UT's talent, but those young kids are busting their butts right now against inferior teams. Can we say the same for Tech right now?
|3||Houston Cougars||Points: 39||6|
|Brad Hilliard: The Coog' offense continues to bail out the defense, but UH plays in a league with few defenses that have the ability to corral its offense.|
|4||Texas A&M Aggies||Points: 37||2|
|Greg Tepper: The Aggies have the best resume, even if it includes two losses. But what in the world is causing these second-half collapses? It’s not for lack of talent; it’s either poor conditioning, poor coaching, poor mental toughness, or some combination of the three.|
|5||Baylor Bears||Points: 32||1|
|Greg Tepper: There may be an ‘O’ in Baylor, but there’s no ‘D’ in Baylor. I don’t think Kansas State is that good, but this is what happens when you rely on outscoring your opponents rather than getting stops. And now, there’s an ‘L’ in Baylor.|
|6||SMU Mustangs||Points: 26||7|
|Adam Hochfelder: Great, great win for the Ponies. I have them too low in this week’s poll (6), as they still have a black eye on their resume with the Aggie blowout loss early. One more win and I have the ‘Stangs jumping to the top two or three, especially with all the tough games for teams above them this Saturday.
|7||TCU Horned Frogs||Points: 20||3|
|Tom Sullivan: When you can’t rush the passer (which TCU can’t) and you can’t defend the deep ball (which they can’t), it leads to 2004 all over again.|
|8||Rice Owls||Points: 15||8|
|Travis Stewart: I never like reaching a final verdict just a few weeks into the season, but I think I've more or less got Rice figured out — good enough to beat anyone, but not good enough to beat everyone. This is a jack-in-a-box team; it'll pop up and getcha at any moment. This past week was not one of those moments.|
|9||UTEP Miners||Points: 8||10|
|Adam Hochfelder: The Miners put a real scare into the Coogs. People forget it is not easy to win in El Paso, and Mike Price’s team almost made that point hit home with a signature win. Can the Miners build on a great effort, or will the loss sting and carry over?|
|10||North Texas Mean Green||Points: 7||9|
|Travis Stewart: Just like in the game against Alabama, UNT played a team that it wasn't supposed to beat this week (Tulsa), and it didn't. The Tide and Hurricane were such heavy favorites that it doesn't even really make sense to try and draw conclusions from the end result.
ABOUT THE PANEL:
> Travis Stewart is the managing editor of DCTF
> Greg Tepper is the associate editor of DCTF
> Adam Hochfelder is the Executive Director of DCTF and several other IMG College properties
> Brad Hilliard is the operations coordinator for DCTF and several other IMG College properties
> Tom Sullivan is an account executive for DCTF