Finest college football team in Texas lives in Lubbock

Posted Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Eight weeks into a topsy-turvy season, we finally have a clear-cut leader in the race to be identified as the best college football team in Texas.

That honor, at least for this week, belongs to No. 14 Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1 in Big 12), the only FBS school in the Lone Star State that has made itself bowl-eligible this season. Others will follow. But the Red Raiders, a 5-7 team last season, got there first by edging TCU 56-53 in a triple-overtime thriller that should take some heat off embattled coach Tommy Tuberville.

No college coach in Texas began the season with more questions about his job security than Tuberville, whose squad has posted back-to-back victories over Top 25 teams in the BCS standings and will get a chance for a threepeat Saturday against No. 3 Kansas State (7-0, 4-0) in Manhattan, Kan. If Tech wins that one, the Red Raiders would be tied for first place in the Big 12 standings heading into November.

If not, the floor will re-open for nominations about the best college football team in the Lone Star State, with No. 20 Texas A&M (5-2), TCU (5-2) and No. 23 Texas (5-2) eligible to fight back to the top of the heap.

Tuberville points to quarterback Seth Doege, who has matched last year's total for touchdown passes (28) in just seven games, as a driving force in the team's turnaround. Doege, a fifth-year senior, ranks fifth nationally in passing efficiency (169.65 rating) and deflects some credit back in the direction of Tuberville and his staff.

"On the sideline [against TCU], you could tell that nobody had any thought of losing this game," Doege said after throwing for a career-high seven TDs against the Horned Frogs. "That's all credit to our coaches. No matter what hole we were in, we were always digging our way out of it. It's huge for us, because all we've been preaching is taking it to the next level ... and consistently beating big-time teams."

Also around the college football landscape:

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is your new Heisman Trophy front-runner, replacing West Virginia's Geno Smith, after throwing for a career-high 323 yards and accounting for seven TDs (4 rushing, 3 passing) in a 55-14 rout of Smith's Mountaineers. Klein was selected Sunday as the Walter Camp offensive player of the week.

The under-the-radar Heisman hopeful poised to make the best November surge is Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron. He leads the nation in passing efficiency (183.63 rating), has a 16-0 ratio of TD passes-to-interceptions and plays for the No. 1 Crimson Tide (7-0), a team unlikely to lose before Heisman ballots are due in December.

Midseason records and conference affiliations suggest one intriguing bowl possibility could be a matchup of rivals Texas (5-2) vs. Texas A&M (5-2) in the Cotton Bowl, Jan. 4 in Arlington.

Duke (6-2, 3-1 in ACC) officially is a football school after beating rival North Carolina 33-30 to move atop the league's Coastal Division standings. The Blue Devils meet No. 12 Florida State (7-1, 4-1) this week in what could be a preview of the ACC title game. Seriously.

Saturday's showdown in Norman, Okla., between No. 5 Notre Dame (7-0) and No. 8 Oklahoma (5-1) will eliminate the loser from the national title race. Too many good teams are ahead of both for the loser to rebound.

Why are unheralded Mississippi State (7-0) and Ohio (7-0) still among the nation's 11 undefeated FBS schools? They rank first and second nationally in turnover margin. MSU is plus-17. Ohio is plus-15.

Auburn's Gene Chizik could become the first coach to make a two-year journey from a BCS national title to the unemployment line if the Tigers (1-6, 0-5 in SEC) continue to flounder.

Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Portland 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte TV: CSN-NW, SPSO
Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CSN-DC, FSN-OH
Golden State 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Orlando TV: CSN-BA, FSN-FL
Brooklyn 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: YES, CSN-PHI
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Atlanta TV: SN 360, SPSO
New York 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN, MSG, FSN-SW
LA Clippers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: FSN-PT, FSN-DET
Sacramento 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CSN-CA, ROOT-SW
Milwaukee 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-WI, FSN-N+
Utah 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: FSN-OK
Indiana 11/26 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: FSN-IN, FSN-SW
Denver 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Phoenix TV: Altitude2, FSN-AZ
Memphis 11/26 10:30 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: NBA TV, SPSO, TWC SN
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Chicago 12:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Seattle 8:30 PM ET
San Francisco TV: NBC
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Monday
Miami 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Washington 11/26 7:00 PM ET
NY Islanders TV: CSN-DC+, MSG+
Winnipeg 11/26 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: SN1, MSG-BUF
Philadelphia 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: NBCSN, TCN, FSN-DET+
NY Rangers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: MSG 2, SUN
Carolina 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Florida TV: FSN-CAR, FSN-FL
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: TVA Sports, SN, ROOT-PIT
Los Angeles 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-W, FSN-N
Chicago 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: TVA 2, CSN-CH, Altitude
Calgary 11/26 10:30 PM ET
San Jose TV: SN-W, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard