First, Houston (where I live)...
1. Houston Cougars. A good team played a bad game. Period. And, as good of a coach as he is, even Herman showed that it's hard to prepare for the triple option in one week. Add in rain and a motivated road opponent? The problem for Houston is that, after this loss, all of their season hopes are now in jeopardy. CFP? Gone. New Years Six? Unlikely. Conference championship? Need help. And, no, this loss does not change the likelihood of Herman staying or leaving one iota. Stop saying it does.
2. Houston Texans. Already in the media people are asking "what's wrong" with this football team? The problem with this is that it supposes that the Texans issues can be solved through tweaks, or strategy fixes. They can't. "What's wrong" with this team is that it's light on talent at several key positions, including O-line, LB, Corner, Safety and (sadly) quarterback. Coaching is also just average (at best). They'll win the games they should win, but they are losing games to good teams and looking uncompetitive while doing it.
Unfortunately, the owners of the team aren't concerned about making changes because the fans continue to throw money their way as a reward for building a middling, uninspiring, non-winning product. As long a the fans continue to suffer from abused fan syndrome the Texans will continue to hover around .500.
Next, the teams I root for....
3. Michigan. That was harsh. Michigan's 78-0 thrashing of Rutgers was so complete that I almost started to feel bad for the State College of New Jersey. Almost. Then you realize that Michigan had it's 3rd and 4th string in the game by the 3rd quarter, and that they basically ran the same running play for most of the 2nd half. This wasn't a case where Harbaugh ran up the score. Rutgers is just that bad. Hell, the Jayhawks would probably beat Rutgers by 30.
4. San Francisco 49ers. Blaine Gabbert is the worst starting quarterback in the National Football League. Worse off, it appears that he's the starter only because the team would take a financial hit should Colin Kapernick play. That's all changed after Thursday with the announcement that the team has renegotiated Kaepernick's deal. If he plays in two weeks we know that Jed York and Trent Baalke are the problem.
Teams with new stadiums, huge revenue streams, and fans who are paying a premium to watch games that make decisions in this manner are losing teams. I'm worried this mess is going to get much, much worse before it gets better.
Surveying the rest of the country....
5. Tom Terrific. Do you still think that Tom Brady isn't mad? That the New England Patriots aren't going to take out a lot of frustration on their opponents for the remainder of the season? If I'm the Buffalo Bills, I'm worried about the next date with Belicheck. Yes, it was the Browns and yes, 11 random guys could probably score on them but they were boat-raced by a quarterback who was "rusty" from over a month of inactivity.
6. San Diego. Ooops, they did it again. The Chargers botched a game-tying field goal attempt to tie the game and fell to possibly the saddest 1-4 opening record ever, The team is wasting the career of quarterback Philip Rivers. I wouldn't be surprised if McCoy gets let go today. It's that bad.
7. Antonio Brown. At some point, the NFL is either going to beat the fun out of this man or, due to fan outrage, relent and let him have fun. If anything is indicative of the cesspool of boredom that the NFL is morphing into it's the situation between the Shield and Brown.
8. Cincinnati Bengals. Welp, they've done it, they've finally killed the coaching career of Marvin Lewis. Of course, it's the Bengals, so they'll find a way to mess this up as well.
9. Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott is playing well enough that the "will he/won't he" debate over Tony Romo is a thing. I still think Romo gets the starting nod when he gets back, because he's earned it. I do not however think he will be in Dallas next year.
10. Chicago Bears. Jay Cutler is done here. Hopefully, as an NFL starter, Jay Cutler is done everywhere. But there's always going to be a team, such as Cleveland, looking for a QB so he probably won't be.
11. Ohio State. That a 28 point win, in which your team was never in danger, over a bowl team upsets your fan base says something about the unrealistic expectations that fans in the Horseshoe have for their team.
12. Anyone want to try and win the Pac-12 South? No seriously, someone step up and try to take it.
13. Another year, another realization by the media that they have overrated Boston College. Don't be surprised though, it happens every year.
14. Pitt wins the "best uniform" derby this week, and it's not close.
15. Despite losing to Florida State on a blocked extra point (#collegekickers) I still think Miami will be in the ACC Championship game.
16. Lee Corso is a National Treasure
17. As is Brent Musberger
18. LSU and Florida need to play that game. And it's very clear that the Gators really don't want to.
19. Virginia Tech is for real. They showed that with a 34-3 shellacking of a pretty solid North Carolina Team.
20. Washington taking out 12 years of frustration against the Oregon
21. Cincinnati is now understanding just how much of a program killer Tommy Tuberville really is. He's another coach that I think will not be back coaching next year.
22. TCU and Gary Patterson can never seem to get the whole "playing a game in Lawrence" right. And they didn't this week either. There is the possibility that this TCU team is not very good.
23. Illinois lost to Purdue. Which means that next week's game between the Illini and Rutgers will be for the bottom of the B1G. Illinois head coach Lovie Smith is not having the results that boosters wanted him to have. I never liked the Smith hire. He's an NFL coach who I never thought would do well in the college environment. Illinois should cut bait and bring in PJ Fleck.
24. Vanderbilt is another team that I think will be on the coaching market next season.
25. Kirk Herbstreit said some things about UT-Austin during GameDay on Saturday that has the Longhorn faithful in a tizzy. Here's the thing though, Herbstreit is 110% correct in his assessment of the culture in Austin right now. The program is a mess, big donors such as Red McCombs have outsized influence and are ruining the situation. I think this is a big reason why Tom Herman might take a look at this whole thing and say "screw it" and stay at UH until something better opens up. UT-Austin is a job with top-5 potential. Right now they're bottom 5 fodder.
Also receiving votes:
The FIVE is in shambles. Shambles.
Notre Dame is a mess of a program right now, but they will probably keep coach Kelly for at least another year.
If Jacksonville loses tonight their head coach might be fired tomorrow.
UNLV needs to give coach Sanchez time. He took over a mess. But I thought they held their own against a much more talented San Diego State team.
Sparty. Ooooooh Sparty.