Texas FBS Power Poll heading into summer led by Texas, Texas A&M

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Spring football wrapped across the state and players are currently in a reloading mode ahead of summer workouts. Almost every team in the state of Texas welcomes in new faces through the portal, as well as any incoming freshmen who didn’t enroll early, when the players report in June. 

The current landscape of college football doesn’t lend itself to painting pictures because of the hamster wheel of roster turnover. The teams that entered the spring weren’t the rosters that exited. And that makes projecting towards the 2024 season, which is less than 100 days from starting, nearly impossible. 

Here at Dave Campbell’s Texas Football we don’t shy away from a challenge, so here are the post-spring power rankings for the FBS programs in the Lone Star State ahead of the 2024 season.

This is a pound-for-pound list that ranks teams based relevant to conference contention. 



Early gambling lines place Texas firmly in the SEC and College Football Playoff championship races with an over/under of 10.5 wins. Go 10-2 in the SEC and the Horns are in the dance. Go 11-1 and play for, much less win, an SEC crown and Texas receives a bye through the first round. 

Head coach Steve Sarkisian told us in the spring that great teams he’s coached have great offensive lines and defensive lines and a talented quarterback with experience. Texas returns third-year starter Quinn Ewers at quarterback as well as one of the top offensive lines in the country. If the defensive line creates more pressure while handling the interior losses of Byron Murphy and T’Vondre Sweat, the Longhorns will play into January.  


Stop us if you’ve heard this before but the Aggies are too talented not to compete in the SEC. The schedule sets up favorably for new head coach Mike Elko because his team’s four toughest opponents – Notre Dame, Mizzou, LSU, and Texas – all visit Kyle Field. An 8-4 season feels like the expectation with a chance at 9-3 or even flirtations with a 10-win season if the Aggies keep a quarterback healthy. 

Elko is a defensive wizard. The Wrecking Crew should keep the Aggies in games throughout 2024. The ceiling for Texas A&M will be determined by Collin Klein’s offense, specifically its ability to improve along the offensive line with a lot of the same faces who struggled as a unit the last two seasons. Quarterback Conner Weigman is a former five-star recruit who shows flashes when healthy. The running back stable and the wide receiver corps are solid. 


The rapid rise of the Bobcats under head coach G.J. Kinne could result in a summit during the 2024 season. The Sun Belt feels ripe for the picking with James Madison and Troy breaking in new coaches. Why not the Bobcats. They return stars at running back and wide receiver while adding the reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year in quarterback Jordan McCloud. The schedule is littered with home games and the defense looked great in the spring under new defensive coordinator Dexter McCoil. The Week 2 contest against UTSA is must-watch. 


Some of this is about our belief that the American Athletic Conference isn’t that good in 2024. SMU is off to the ACC. Tulane lost its head coach to Houston. The Roadrunners must get past Memphis and avoid tricky road trips to East Carolina and Army. If UTSA can go 2-1 in those games, Jeff Traylor’s squad probably plays in a conference championship game for a third time in four seasons. They were one win short of reaching the AAC championship game in 2023 despite an injured quarterback. Replacing the leadership of Frank Harris and Rashad Wisdom is a legitimate concern, but this Roadrunner roster is the most complete of the Traylor era. 


Joey McGuire became the first Texas Tech coach to post a winning conference record in his first two seasons in charge of the Red Raiders. His next goal is to become the first conference championship coach in Lubbock since the late Jerry Sloan in 1976. The new-look Big 12 is a crapshoot. Utah and Kansas State enter as the favorites, but any of the teams outside of maybe Arizona State, BYU, Cincinnati, and Houston could rise as a Cinderella contender without raising too many eyebrows. If quarterback Behren Morton is healthy and can play 10-12 games, Texas Tech has the talent to play with anyone in the conference. Add in a schedule that doesn’t include Utah or Kansas State and there might be reasons to see the Red Raiders as a dark horse contender in 2024. 


The truth about the Frogs program under Sonny Dykes likely lies between the national championship run of 2022 and the five-win season of 2023. TCU struggled in the red zone last season, mostly with turnovers, as the offense failed to replace the leadership void left by Max Duggan and Steve Avila. Josh Hoover showed enough late in the year for the staff to roll with him as the unquestioned starting quarterback in 2024 despite missing the spring due to injury. Dykes brought in new coordinator Andy Avalos to create more big plays on defense. 


There is a chance that the SMU team in 2024 would beat the 2023 squad and still not look like it on the field because of the move from middleweight (AAC) to heavyweight (ACC). The Ponies were 11-0 against the G5 en route to its first conference crown since the early 80s, but were 0-3 against the Power Five, including a bowl loss to new conference mate Boston College. The 2024 schedule includes TCU in the non-conference and Florida State and Louisville in conference. 


Dave Aranda is banking on his prowess as a defensive coordinator as well as new offensive coordinator Jake Spavital to turn around a Baylor program that’s finished with losing seasons two years in a row. Former MAC Player of the Year Dequan Finn should slide in as the starting quarterback. Wide receiver and running back look like strengths, at least on paper. The concern is the offensive line. Aranda was one of the best defensive coordinators in America when Baylor hired him after the 2019 season, but he hasn’t worn that hat in his first four seasons in Waco.  


Recapping the North Texas 2023 season is easy. Offense, good. Defense, bad. The Mean Green couldn’t overcome slow starts and the 131st-ranked scoring defense in the country. Head coach Eric Morris and defensive coordinator Matt Caponi went back to basics this spring and emphasized body types in the portal, especially at defensive back. North Texas is determined to stop the run in 2024. The offense needs Chandler Morris to be his best to knock on the door as a legitimate contender. 


Mike Bloomgren might’ve been the only coach in Texas who could recognize most of his roster when spring practices started two months ago. The Owls are the most intact squad in the state, returning 17 starters from a six-win team in 2023. The big holes are at quarterback and wide receiver, but Bloom believes Temple transfer E.J. Warmer can carry the torch left by JT Daniels. Running back Dean Connors is a playmaker. Rice was better on defense last year, but more improvements on that side of the ball are required for the Owls to reach the seven- or eight-win mark. 


Sam Houston learned two lessons in its first foray into FBS football – closing out games is hard and that the program isn’t far away from contention. The Bearkats lost five games by one possession, including two in overtime after holding late leads. They lost by five on the road against CUSA champion Liberty and perennial contender Western Kentucky. They lost by seven in overtime to a good Jax State team. And they won three of their last four. Liberty’s budget makes them the favorite every season, but Sam Houston is closer to tier 2 than most realize, and that’s as much to do with CUSA as it is the Bearkats. 


Willie Fritz always wins, but it doesn’t happen right away. Only Georgia Southern impressed in Year 1 of Fritz. The Cougars lost a ton to the portal after firing Dana Holgorsen and it’ll take a year or two for Fritz to work his magic. The Big 12 isn’t as top heavy as it used to be in terms of roster equality, so it shouldn’t be long before the Cougars move up the list.


Scotty Walden, like Fritz, inherited a decimated roster and a culture that needed a reboot. That takes time, even in the current landscape of college football. Especially at a G5 program in El Paso. That said, the spring game was a party and Walden’s personality and offensive philosophy will make the Miners a ton of fun to watch in 2024. That joy might not include more than three or four wins, however.


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