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Texas college football rankings: Longhorns look to improve on No. 1

Houston Chronicle logo Houston Chronicle 9/20/2020 Reid Laymance
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger had an extra week to improve before this week’s Big 12 opener in Lubbock. © Austin Gay/Associated Press

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger had an extra week to improve before this week’s Big 12 opener in Lubbock.

All 12 of the Football Bowl Subdivision schools in the state of Texas have decided to play football during the coronavirus pandemic. Some have had better success than others just starting the season. At least half of the teams have played, so we continue our weekly ranking of the 12:

1. Texas (1-0) | Last week: 1

Sam Ehlinger says he can do better than the 5-TD performance against UTEP two weeks ago. He’s had an extra week to improve before this week’s Big 12 opener in Lubbock.

2. Texas A&M (0-0) | Last week: 3

The Aggies didn’t lose a game but lost their top receiver in Jhamon Ausbon, who decided last week to opt out of his senior season. They probably won’t need him in their opener against Vanderbilt at Kyle Field.

3. SMU (2-0) | Last week: 4

Shane Buechele passed for three TDs in the first quarter to set the tone in an easy win over North Texas. He has seven 300-yard passing games and 39 passing TDs in his brief tenure in Dallas. The Mustangs have one more non-conference game (SFA) and then maybe they can open AAC play against Memphis, if the Tigers have got their COVID-19 house in order.

4. Houston (0-0) | Last week: 5

Maybe this week, the Cougars will be able to play after the Memphis/Baylor COVID-19 problems from last week. At least they were home from Waco in plenty of time to watch D’Eriq King lead Miami over Louisville. But this is Clayton Tune’s team now and maybe he’ll get a chance to play this week as UH hosts North Texas.

5. Texas Tech (1-0) | Last week: 7

The Red Raiders had the week off to prepare for hosting the Longhorns and getting their COVID-19 numbers in shape.

6. UTSA (2-0) | Last week: 8

It’s only two weeks, but Jeff Traylor is undefeated in his tenure as the Roadrunners head coach. A lot of that is because of quarterback Frank Harris, who was strong again in a win over SFA at the Alamodome.

7. North Texas (1-1) | Last week: 6

Allowing 710 yards as the Mean Green did in their loss to SMU is no way to win ball games. North Texas will be at UH on Saturday.

8. Texas State (1-2) | Last week: 9

The Bobcats had come close the first two weeks in losses to SMU and UTSA but broke through against Louisiana Monroe. The Bobcats may have found a quarterback in Tyler Vitt.

9. UTEP (2-1) | Last week: 10

As long as the Miners play FCS teams, they will do all right. They beat Abilene Christian this week to go along with a win in the opener over SFA. But in between, UTEP lost 59-3 to Texas.

10. Rice (0-0) | Last week: 11

The Owls say they haven’t had a positive COVID-19 test this month but they are still proceeding with caution on starting the season.

11. TCU (0-0) | Last week: 12

The Horned Frogs will go straight to Big 12 play this week against Iowa State, and the way things have gone for the conference so far that’s probably a good thing.

12. Baylor (0-0) | Last week: 2

The Bears drop to the bottom after having to cancel their game against UH because of COVID-19 positive tests that exceeded the Big 12 limits. They get style points for keeping the future home-and-home with the Cougars.

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