Small College Power Poll: Upsets and close calls result in massive shakeup

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Each week Dave Campbell’s Texas Football staff gives their power rankings of the sub-FBS college football teams in Texas.

Note: Teams are measured against the overall strength of their conference. 

  1. Sam Houston (4-0) Last Week: 1 - The Kardiac Kats returned to win the Battle of the Piney Woods. The experience gained by sophomore QB Keegan Shoemaker could prove valuable later in the season.

  2. Mary Hardin-Baylor (5-0) Last Week: 2 - The Cru rolled into the bye week and posted their first shutout of the season. A possible challenge awaits later in the year.

  3. Trinity Valley (5-0) Last Week: 4 - The Cardinals are known for their stout defense. This year’s version may be the best in program history. TVCC is talented enough to overcome four turnovers and two blocked punts.

  4. Trinity (3-0) Last Week: 8 - A win over Berry on the road was not a huge upset. But the Tigers’ defense was purely dominant. This defense is playing at a championship level.

  5. UIW (4-1) Last Week: 3 - The Cardinals handled their business against Northwestern State and have a bye week before a showdown at home with Nicholls.

  6. Hardin-Simmons (4-1) Last Week: 6 - HSU was given all it could handle against McMurry last week. The bye week comes at a good time for the Cowboys.

  7. SFA (3-2) Last Week: 9 - It was another excruciating loss against the defending national champion. The growth of this program under Colby Carthel is incredible. They dominated for three quarters precipitating this climb.

  8. Howard Payne (5-0) Last Week: 10 - This team’s offense can score with anyone. However, questions surround the Yellow Jackets’ defense and how it will fare against the top two teams in the ASC.

  9. Texas Wesleyan (3-1) Last Week: 13 - The Rams’ only loss came on the road to a nationally ranked opponent. This team is for real and a 63-7 drubbing of Wayland Baptist made us a believer.

  10. Prairie View A&M (4-1) Last Week: 20 - The Panthers’ lone loss is to UIW, which looks better every week. The PVAMU win last Thursday over Arkansas-Pine Bluff was very impressive.

  11. Midwestern State (4-1) Last Week: 5 - The Mustangs have a turnover problem after committing six turnovers in a road loss. MSU must improve in its nine turnovers in the past two games.

  12. Angelo State (4-1) Last Week: 14 - The win over Central Washington looks very impressive after CWU beat MSU last week. The Rams have two challenging weeks in the LSC ahead.

  13. Kilgore (3-2) Last Week: 7 - Dreams of a national title are gone after two consecutive defeats. However, a chance to win the SWJCFC remains intact for the Rangers.

  14. Texas A&M-Commerce (3-2) Last Week: 11 - The Lions rolled to a win last week. A tougher opponent and perennial power, Saginaw Valley State, visits Commerce this week.

  15. UTPB (3-1) Last Week: 12 - After an unexpected bye week due to CoVID travel restrictions in Canada, the Falcons will not be tested again until Week 7 at Angelo State.

  16. Abilene Christian (3-2) Last Week: 15 - The Wildcats led Central Arkansas at the half. However, the second half was not so kind to ACU. A tough road game against Eastern Kentucky awaits.

  17. East Texas Baptist (3-2) Last Week: 16 - ETBU needed a win following two losses in its last three games. The Tigers earned a win and have a bye week to recover and prepare for Hardin-Simmons.

  18. West Texas A&M (2-3) Last Week: 17 - The Buffs suffered a heartbreaking loss to Western Oregon after the teams exchanged power punches all game. This week’s game against Angelo State will be physical.

  19. Tarleton (2-3) Last Week: 18 - The Texans fell to a solid team on the road. The Texans have a bye week before traveling to face Dixie State in a WAC contest which should give us the truest measure of where Tarleton stands in its DI transition.

  20. Texas A&M-Kingsville (2-2) Last Week: 19 - The Javelinas enjoyed a bye week. They will be prepared for an angry opponent this week when they visit Midwestern State.

  21. Tyler (2-2) Last Week: 21 - The Apaches’ two losses are to the two preseason favorites with one loss being non-conference. This team will be a challenge to any ranked team on its schedule.

  22. SAGU (3-2) Last Week: 22 - The Lions earned a decisive victory on homecoming last week. SAGU would make a huge jump in the rankings with a win over Texas Wesleyan this week.

  23. McMurry (1-3) Last Week: 23 - The record does not come close to showing how improved this team is this year. HSU found out last week and their record will reflect the improvement soon.

  24. Blinn (2-2) Last Week: 24 - The Buccaneers’ two losses are to ranked foes. However, the schedule does not ease up for Blinn with Navarro and Trinity Valley on tap.

  25. Lamar (2-2) Last Week: 25 - Hopefully Lamar used the bye week to continue to improve because the Cardinals’ remaining schedule is nothing short of brutal.

  26. Wayland Baptist (2-3) Last Week 26 - It’s been an all-or-nothing season for WBU to this point with four losses by an average of 51.7 points and both wins by an average of 22 points.

  27. Navarro (2-3) Last Week: 27 - The Bulldogs broke a three-game losing streak with an epic comeback to upset No. 10 Kilgore. Navarro will seek to put together two consecutive solid performances against Blinn.

  28. Southwestern (1-4) Last Week: 28 - The Pirates showed a ton of heart and fight against ETBU. They need to remain engaged against two tough opponents for the next two weeks.

  29. Cisco (1-3) Last Week: 29 - Cisco took advantage of a generous Trinity Valley squad last week and nearly pulled off the upset. The Wranglers probably feel they should’ve won that game.

  30. Sul Ross State (1-3) Last Week: 30 - The Lobos defense wore down against the high-powered and potent Howard Payne offense last week. This week provides a chance to get extra work and healthy during an exhibition game.

  31. Texas Lutheran (1-4) Last Week: 31 - The Bulldogs have struggled to three consecutive losses. The bye week offers some reprieve for TLU but No. 2 Mary Hardin-Baylor will not.

  32. Austin College (1-3) Last Week: 32 - The upcoming bye week will be very welcomed by the ‘Roos after physical contests against Belhaven and Mary Hardin-Baylor.

  33. Texas Southern (1-3) Last Week: 33 - Congratulations to Tigers coach Clarence McKinney for earning his first victory since taking over the program prior to the 2019 season.

  34. Houston Baptist (0-4) Last Week: 34 - The Huskies opened Southland Conference action with a 48-17 road loss to Nicholls in a game that was delayed by severe weather in the second half.

  35. Texas College (0-5) Last Week: 35 - The Steers struggled against NCAA DII Lane College last week. A home game against No. 12 Ottawa is on tap this week for TC.

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