Darn right. June Jones' mighty Mustangs have stormed their way into the top three with their first win over a BCS automatic-qualifier in ten years, and even though the stay could and likely will be short-lived — SMU hosts national No. 4 TCU Friday night — the cameo is indicative of the turnaround magic Jones has worked in his short tenure at the Hilltop. Neither of the Ponies' wins have come against formidable opponents (UAB and Washington State), but three or four years ago, those could have been blue and red blood-lettings.
TCU reinforced its stance as best-in-show this weekend with a near-flawless dispatch of Baylor, while Texas battled to an ugly 24-14 win against conference rival Tech. Both are 3-0, but TCU has looked every bit of its national top-five status. It wins out the top spot by a near unanimous vote.
After the top three, the slate grows wholly unimpressive. A&M edges out Tech because it survived the weekend with a win, but the kind of performance it offered up against Florida International Saturday — Jerrod Johnson throws four INTs ... in one quarter? — should truthfully drop it a peg or two. Tech battled valiantly against a superior foe, but horrifying mental mistakes, poor offensive execution and all-around sloppiness went far beyond the normal performance you'd expect against an elite UT defense. Houston's loss — both the one against UCLA and that of Case Keenum for the season — fairly drop it from the top five. Baylor looked miserable against the Frogs, UTEP beat a terrible New Mexico State squad and Rice and UNT both fell flat.
Guess SMU at No. 3 doesn't look so unreasonable after all.
Next week promises to throw things into flux, one way or another. TCU travels to SMU and Rice hosts Baylor, while UH (even short-handed) and UTEP have winnable conference games.
DCTF 2010 Texas College Football Week 4 Power Poll
|#||School||Points (1st-place votes)||Previous|
|1||TCU Horned Frogs (3-0/0-0)||Points: 59 (5)||1|
|Adam Hochfelder: Made my mind up before the week that I'd pick the winner of UT-Tech at the top of my poll. Then TCU played a perfect first half of football. They are the best team in Texas. (Note: The only thing you can criticize the Frogs for is their high school-ish uniforms ... why mess with the purple and white?)|
|2||Texas Longhorns (3-0/1-0)||Points: 55 (1)||2|
|Travis Stewart: A road win in a hostile environment with a roster of young kids doesn't make you the best team in the state. Do you know what would? An offensive line that at least showed some fundamental soundness. The Longhorns' offense isn't great, but believe me — if you put a strong line out in front of those skill kids, some of these problems would evaporate.|
|3||SMU Mustangs (2-1/1-0)||Points: 41||7|
|Travis Stewart: Well! The Ponies have somehow snuck into third spot despite a season-opening loss to a team ranked two spots behind it. But unless SMU shows a little more fight this weekend against TCU than Baylor did, it's impossible to justify having it sit more than a spot or two above Art Briles' Bears, much less undefeated A&M and one-loss Tech.|
|4||Texas A&M Aggies (3-0/0-0)||Points: 40||4|
|Rick Epstein: I guess they won the game ... but oh my! This could get ugly in Big 12 play.|
|5||Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-1/0-1)||Points: 38||5|
|Adam Hochfelder: The birthday present for Tuberville was a steady diet of Curtis Brown, Blake Gideon, Jackson Jeffcoat and Co. all over the field, crushing his offense. Miss Mike Leach yet?|
|6||Houston Cougars (2-1/1-0)||Points: 32||3|
|Travis Stewart: Alright, well let's see what we have. Keenum? Out. Turner? Out. That leaves the gig in the hands of either true freshman Terrance Broadway or Southlake-ex David Piland. Now, I can't quite place it, but I swear a team ranked a few spots higher in this poll once lost its starter to injury and brought in a former Carroll grad. Case Keenum is impossible to replace, but Kyle Padron's success at SMU should provide hope that not all is lost.|
|7||Baylor Bears (2-1/0-0)||Points: 25||6|
|Dennis Hall: It's really too bad Griffin got hurt last year, because the Bears actually had a good defense in 2009. Even with Griffin back, Baylor won't accomplish much this year in the defense doesn't improve.|
|8||UTEP Miners (2-1/0-1)||Points: 22||8|
Brad Hilliard: Despite the early-season loss at Houston, don't count UTEP out of the C-USA West race just yet.
|9||Rice Owls (1-2/0-0)||Points: 12||9|
|Tom Sullivan: Good test for the Owls in Houston this Saturday — if they can't score on the Baylor defense, then the offense has some major problems.|
|10||North Texas Mean Green (0-3/0-0)||Points: 6||10|
|Dennis Hall: It's hard to believe that the QB competition we heard about all spring basically amounted to much ado about nothing. Both QBs are now out for the season and it's up to the sore-armed Riley Dodge to try and salvage the team.|
ABOUT THE PANEL:
> Adam Hochfelder is the Executive Director of DCTF and several other IMG College properties
> Dennis Hall is a managing editor with DCTF
> Travis Stewart is a managing editor with DCTF
> Brad Hilliard is the operations coordinator for DCTF and several other IMG College properties
> Tom Sullivan is an account executive for DCTF
> Rick Epstein is an account executive for DCTF