Texas 47: Playoffs arrive at FCS level, regular season concluding for FBS programs

Photo by Dave Campbell's Texas Football

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The Texas 47 places each of the state's college football programs into one of six tiers. We left out the sub-FBS teams that are already done with the season. The FCS playoffs begin this weekend as the FBS programs finish up the regular season. The list is compiled by Cory Hogue and Mike Craven. 

National contenders

TCU (11-0) - A 40-yard field goal by Griffin Kell as time expired to beat Baylor kept the Horned Frogs undefeated and in the hunt for one of the four spots in the College Football Playoff. 

UIW (10-1) - The Cardinals secured the No. 7 seed in the FCS playoffs and a first round bye with a 66-7 thrashing of Northwestern State. They have outscored the opposition by an average of 53-19.

Angelo State (11-0) - Hopefully, the bye week benefits the Rams ahead of a second round game against Bemidji State on Saturday.

Mary Hardin-Baylor (10-1) - The Cru are beginning to find their groove, and that is terrible news for the rest of NCAA Division III

Trinity (11-0) - The Tigers won a tough, physical contest against Hardin-Simmons. They need to heal fast before UMHB visits Saturday.

Conference contenders

UTSA (9-2) - The Roadrunners are on an eight-game winning streak and clinched the host site for the C-USA championship game on Dec. 2. 

North Texas (6-5) - A win over Rice in Week 13 puts the Mean Green into the C-USA championship game against UTSA. 

Stephen F. Austin (6-5) - It wasn’t the season many expected from the ‘Jacks, but they will always be the 2022 WAC champions.

Hardin-Simmons (9-2) - The Cowboys were nine yards away from sending their playoff game against Trinity to overtime. How much more heartbreak with HSU need to endure?

Kilgore (8-3) - The best team I watched in the SWJCFC this year finished as the conference champion. Unfortunately, consecutive losses early in the season doomed national title hopes.

Stock rising

Texas (7-4) - Steve Sarkisian's group beat Kansas on the road and is favored at home against Baylor to close out the season. 

Texas Tech (6-5) - The Red Raiders won their first road game of the Joey McGuire era in a defensive battle against Iowa State. 

UTEP (5-6) - A win over UTSA in the final week of the year would put the Miners into bowl contention for the second year in a row. 

Tarleton (6-5) - The Texans are only the fourth team to post a winning record in their first three seasons of transition from Division II to Division I. Todd Whitten and staff deserve lengthy contract extensions.

Texas Southern (5-6) - TSU was one quarter away from earning a winning record. Still, 2022 was a successful season for a program on the rise.

Steady

Houston (7-4) - Preseason expectations means a potential eight-win regular season will feel like a disappointment for the Cougars. 

SMU (6-5) - Tulane dominated the Mustangs in Week 12 while snapping their three-game winning streak. A seven-win season would be a good first year for Rhett Lashlee. 

Texas State (4-7) - A Seth Keller field goal gave the Bobcats a much-needed win over Arkansas State. 

Abilene Christian (7-4) - ACU accomplished more in Keith Patterson’s first year than anyone thought possible. The future is bright in Abilene despite the disappointment of a loss to SFA.

Texas A&M-Commerce (5-6) - The Lions played eight FCS teams, and one team transitioning to FBS and still nearly posted a winning record. David Bailiff and his staff should be commended for an outstanding season.

Stock falling

Baylor (6-5) - The Bears are on a two-game losing streak following the heartbreaking defeat at home to rival TCU on a last-second field goal. 

Rice (5-6) - Mike Bloomgren's squad needs to beat North Texas in Week 13 to reach six wins and bowl eligibility. 

Prairie View A&M (6-5) - The loss to Mississippi Valley State is inexplicable. The Panthers still have a shot at the SWAC West Division title, an indictment of the rest of the West Division. 

Sam Houston (5-4) - It wasn’t the ending that K.C. Keeler envisioned, but the Bearkats will benefit in the future with all the experience his young team gained down the stretch.

Basement

Texas A&M (4-7) - The win over UMass didn't do much to quiet the criticism aimed at head coach Jimbo Fisher. 

Lamar (1-10) - The Cardinals were 1-5 in games decided by one score. Lamar should not be in the basement at this time next year.

Houston Christian (2-9) - A seven-game losing streak to end the season wore down a group of young guys gaining experience. 


 

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