All season, we knew that finding a clear-cut second place team behind TCU in the Power Poll was going to be a challenge. But possibly finding that group in Waco, where you have Baylor's first bowl-eligible group in 16 years, was ... well, a little weird.
But that's exactly where our points-based poll puts the Bears after toppling ranked Kansas State this past weekend, and with BU flying high at 3-1 in conference play, the Big 12 South is seeing green atop the conference standings for the first time in a long time. Granted, Baylor, the only ranked squad in the state besides TCU, has already lost to Texas Tech, and has yet to play A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, or Oklahoma State. Things could (and probably will) change in a hurry. But for now, we'll let the Bears enjoy the moment.
Having Baylor second also shows just how much separation there is between TCU and the rest of the pack — remember, the Frogs detonated Baylor in Forth Worth in non-conference play, a 35-point rout that could have been worse. Even if TCU loses to Utah in two weeks on the road, that kind of performance might more or less lock the Frogs into the top spot the rest of the way.
That second spot didn't come without controversy, however. Two of our five voters listed Baylor there, but one still had Texas, despite the crushing loss to Iowa State that knocked the Longhorns back out of the top 25 and out of the top two in our poll for the first time in years. Another voter had Texas Tech there. Your truly went with Texas A&M, which hasn't lost to any Texas team (yet). This weekend's BU-UT and A&M-Tech clashes will clear up the race for second rather quickly.
The rest of the poll is a bit erratic. Texas' previously mentioned defeat wrestled it into third — a monumental move for the program, trust me — and could have dropped it lower has the Horns' not already beaten two other teams on the poll. Tech's nail-biting win over woeful Colorado impressed absolutely no one, yet still got more applause from the voters than A&M's destruction of worst-in-show Kansas.
Houston's surprising blowout of previous conference leader SMU earned major kudos from us, but with the jaw-dropping loss to the two-win Owls two weeks ago still fresh in our minds, we could not in good conscience rank it any higher than sixth. SMU follows a step behind, then UTEP survives at No. 8 despite dropping an inexplicable home game against doormat Tulane. Rice follows at nine ... and UNT, still stuck at just one win and now in need of a head coach, follows at its customary spot: No. 10.
DCTF 2010 Texas College Football Week 9 Power Poll
|#||School||Points (1st-place votes)||Previous|
|1||TCU Horned Frogs (8-0/4-0)||Points: 50 (5)||1|
|Tom Sullivan: Is it me, or is RB Ed Wesley one of the most exciting and underrated players in the country? He actually makes a three-yard gain look entertaining.|
|2||Baylor Bears (6-2/3-1)||Points: 40||4|
|Dennis Hall: Congratulations to the Bears, who are bowl bound. Baylor fans should clip and save this week's Big 12 South standings, which show Baylor on top at 3-1.|
|3||Texas Longhorns (4-3/2-2)||Points: 39||2|
|Brad Hilliard: Even with the Longhorns' struggles, I'm not sure any one else is deserving of the No. 2 spot, which is where I have them. Baylor will have its shot Saturday night, though.|
|4||Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-3/2-3)||Points: 36||3|
|Travis Stewart: Because our points system works the same as the AP poll, Texas Tech can't keep itself out of placement controversy — it's actually ranked further behind a team that it beat (Baylor) than a team that beat THEM (Texas). Granted, times have changed since that Longhorn victory, but still ... the Raiders' wild and often senseless movement in the poll mimic the team's own maddening inconsistency.|
|5||Texas A&M Aggies (4-3/1-2)||Points: 30||6|
|Travis Stewart: I know Baylor's win against KSU looks good, but A&M is still the only team on here that doesn't really have a bad loss on the schedule. Oklahoma State lost one game by ten points, Arkansas is a top 15 team and Missouri just beat the No. 1 group in the nation. All the sudden, that three-game swoon doesn't look quite so bad. I had the Ags at No. 2 and don't feel bad about it.|
|6||Houston Cougars (4-3/3-1)||Points: 28||8|
|Dennis Hall: I sure thought the Cougars' C-USA title hopes were dead when they lost Case Keenum, and especially when they lost to Rice, but a blowout win over SMU has Houston back in the driver's seat for the West title.|
|7||SMU Mustangs (4-4/3-1)||Points: 22||5|
|Travis Stewart: SMU was crushed by the same process that made it a conference contender a year ago: replacing an injured starting QB with a former Southlake Carroll star. David Piland played excellent football on the road to beat these Ponies, and Kyle Padron had to be left shaking his head over a defense that simply didn't play anywhere near its standards.|
|8||UTEP Miners (5-3/2-3)||Points: 15||7|
Dennis Hall: OK, the Miners are officially not a good football team. You can't lose at home to Tulane and call yourself a good football team.
|9||Rice Owls (2-6/1-3)||Points: 10||9|
|Travis Stewart: One has to wonder, fairly or not, what David Bailiff's job status will be come the end of the season. Yes, 2008 was a wild, unparalleled success. But if the Owls lose ten games this year, which could happen, then the ache of 20 losses in two years will make those '08 joys feel awfully distant. How many years of grace did that double-digit win season and subsequent bowl berth earn the Rice leader?|
|10||North Texas Mean Green (1-6/1-3)||Points: 5||10|
|Travis Stewart: The firing of Todd Doge, while a painful admission of dismal failure, is the best possible scenario for both parties. UNT will get the fresh start it so badly needs, and Dodge is free to find a coaching job, college or high school, that will better fit his strong points as a football mind. This is one divorce that actually make everyone healthier.|
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)