College Power Poll Week 4: Miners soar, Longhorns stumble

Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

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Who runs this state? The Dave Campbell’s Texas Football staff gives their power rankings of the 12 FBS college football teams in Texas. In this subscriber-only piece, we'll give you detailed insight into our rankings.

Note: Teams are measured against the overall strength of their conference. Only teams that have played are ranked.

1. SMU Mustangs (-)

Record: 3-0
Previous: 50-7 win over SFA
Next: vs. Memphis

Since struggling in the first half against Texas State, SMU has become a powerhouse. The Mustangs have won the last two games by a combined 73 points. Whether it’s passing or rushing, SMU ranks among the best in the state. A test against Memphis this week can launch SMU to the class of the Group of Five.

2. UTSA Roadrunners (+1)

Record: 3-0
Previous: Beat Middle Tennessee 37-35
Next: at UAB

The Roadrunners are 3-0 and have been more dominant than even their scores show. Next week is a big opportunity against UAB’s Bill Clark, one of the best football coaches in America. If UTSA pulls off that win, suddenly Conference USA looks awfully appetizing. Another positive note for the Roadrunners? Even when Frank Harris went down, Josh Adkins looked more than ready for the quarterback job if needed. 

3. Baylor Bears (New)

Record: 1-0
Previous: Beat Kansas 47-14
Next: at West Virginia

Yes, it was against Kansas, but Baylor made it look like a game against Kansas on a weekend when so many other teams struggled to do so. To stay this high, the Bears will have to keep it going against way, way better teams. 

4. Texas Longhorns (-2)

Record: 2-0
Previous: Beat Texas Tech 63-56
Next: TCU

The Longhorns tried every way to lose a bad road game against Texas Tech. It took a miraculous Sam Ehlinger finish just to escape Jones AT&T Stadium with a win. That win over UTEP sure looks like just that – a win over UTEP – and less of a showcase of what UT can do this year. 

5. UTEP Miners (+1)

Record: 3-1
Previous: Beat ULM 31-6
Next: Bye

UTEP hasn’t won three games in a season since Aaron Jones was on campus. They haven’t been this high in the College Power Poll since I joined DCTF in 2018. Have the Miners turned a corner? It sure looks that way. 

6. Texas A&M Aggies (New)

Record: 1-0
Previous: Beat Vanderbilt 17-12
Next: at Alabama

It’s hard to understand what happened for Texas A&M against Vanderbilt in the opener. Clearly there are some kinks to work out on both sides of the ball, but giving the ball to the worst team in the SEC with a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter? Things had better improve quickly in College Station.

7. Texas State Bobcats (-3)

Record: 1-3
Previous: Lost 24-21 to Boston College
Next: Bye

There isn’t a better 1-3 team in America than Texas State, which can’t help but lose in progressively more painful fashions. The record may not be what they want, but it’s clear that the Bobcats are potentially a special team with Brady McBride in the lineup. With a bye to regroup, hopefully Texas State can also get healthier. 

8. Texas Tech Red Raiders (-1)

Record: 1-1
Previous: Lost 63-56 to Texas
Next: at Kansas State

Texas Tech didn’t look especially good on offense and defense, but the special teams were tremendous in a close against Texas. Still though, close games won’t be good enough for this team in 2020. 

9. TCU Horned Frogs (New)

Record: 0-1
Previous: Lost 37-34 to Iowa State
Next: at Texas

The Horned Frogs virtually surrendered the first half, but exploded with a great second half under Max Duggan. Still though, TCU has a lot of work to do and has a tough battle with Texas next week. The Frogs really could have used a tune-up game.

10. North Texas Mean Green (-5)

Record: 1-1
Previous: Game cancelled vs. Houston
Next: vs. Southern Miss

The Mean Green lost what should have been a big matchup against Houston due to COVID complications, and the early signs weren’t encouraging against SMU.

Not Ranked

  • Houston Cougars: Open Oct. 8 against Tulane

  • Rice Owls: Scheduled to open Oct. 24 against Middle Tennessee

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