We went into the weekend thinking that Baylor and Texas Tech's showdown at the Cotton Bowl and A&M's clash with Arkansas at JerryWorld would be the deciding factors in creating this week's Power Poll structure. In a way, we were right. But credit is given where credit is due — C-USA probably formed our lineup more than any other conference this time around.
SMU's impressive (if unorthodox) win against Tulsa, UTEP's destruction of Rice and UH's wholly unimpressive showing against Mississippi State all caught our eye in one way or another. SMU's victory has to make you think that it has a great chance of taking the C-USA West crown, while the Coogs' 500+ yards of offense allowed to the Bulldogs this weekend drops them all the way down to eighth. If Tech loses about two more games, head-to-head results will have to be abandoned (like UTEP-UH; see below) for the Ponies' strong play.
Speaking of UTEP, what exactly do the 5-1 Miners have to do to at least get out of the bottom HALF of the poll? The Houston game has already passed, meaning SMU and Tulsa are really the only opponents left on the schedule worthy of note. Winning either or both of those would help Mike Price's claim for a top-five spot, and now UTEP needs just one more win to become bowl eligible for the first time in years.
As for Texas A&M, the simple truth of it is that the Ags need to finish the season above .500, or else head coach Mike Sherman is going to feel extreme heat from all angles. The Arkansas game, like the Oklahoma State game before it, was very winnable, especially in the fourth quarter. Yet, somehow, A&M fell just short again. And years of "just short" play doesn't cash a paycheck.
Next week may not change the poll much, but if Texas gets clobbered by Nebraska, look for a new team at the No. 2 spot ... even if we're not exactly sure who that would be quite yet.
DCTF 2010 Texas College Football Week 7 Power Poll
|#||School||Points (1st-place votes)||Previous|
|1||TCU Horned Frogs (6-0/2-0)||Points: 50 (5)||1|
|Brad Hilliard: The Frogs haven't allowed a point in over 131 minutes of game play, and their defense is back in a familiar position: Ranked No. 1 in the country.|
|2||Texas Longhorns (3-2/1-1)||Points: 45||2|
|Adam Hochfelder: This team is playing like it really wants to drop out of the top two in this power poll. A win over Nebraska will resurrect this season, but after UCLA got demolished by Cal, I am thinking Texas is staring 3-3 in the face. This one might get ugly.|
|3||Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-2/1-2)||Points: 38||5|
|Travis Stewart: This weekend's win against Baylor showed us a totally different team than the one that was eviscerated by Iowa State a week ago. The one constant? A defense that just can't seem to get opposing offenses off the field. I'll admit that, for once, I am baffled. Where's the defensive line that played so well against the Longhorns?|
|4||SMU Mustangs (4-2/3-0)||Points: 34||7|
|Tom Sullivan: I think the Ponies are the third-best team in the state. If only the SMU faithful felt the same way (i.e., weak attendance)!|
|5||Texas A&M Aggies (3-2/0-1)||Points: 32||4|
|Brad Hilliard: The Aggies still sorely need more consistency from Jerrod Johnson, but they played Arkansas a lot closer than almost anyone expected.|
|6||Baylor Bears (4-2/1-1)||Points: 24||3|
|Adam Hochfelder: Art Briles did the wrong thing in playing a guy who was arrested the week of the Tech game. Maybe kharma got the better of them at the Cotton Bowl.|
|7||UTEP Miners (5-1/2-1)||Points: 20||8|
Dennis Hall: Congrats to QB Trevor Vittatoe for breaking three school passing records on Saturday. He'll need to keep launching passes if the Miners are going to continue their winning ways.
|8||Houston Cougars (3-2/2-0)||Points: 17||6|
|Travis Stewart: Seems a little harsh to watch Houston drop below UTEP, who the Coogs beat earlier in the year. But this is not the same UH, and UTEP hasn't lost since. Over time, head to head results lose a little bit of meaning. This is one of those instances. Forget Keenum's absence — he showed (twice) this year that he can't tackle, which would rule him out on the defensive side of the ball that coughed up 409 rushing yards to Mississippi State this weekend.|
|9||Rice Owls (1-5/0-2)||Points: 10||9|
|Travis Stewart: Remember me saying not long ago that the defense was going to totally cave in soon? Yeah, that would have been this weekend, when UTEP torched the field at will. Right now, Rice simply lacks impact players, on either side of the ball. Sam McGuffie is the closest thing, but one running back can't make a bowl team.|
|10||North Texas Mean Green (1-5/1-2)||Points: 5||10|
|Dennis Hall: The Mean Green still has winnable games left on its schedule, but it's going to be tough to seal the deal when they're down to their fourth-string quarterback and don't have confidence in their passing game.|
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 (inactive this week)