Texas State Bobcats

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Texas college football programs send equipment trucks in relief convoy in Houston

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With the Houston region still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey, the University of Houston has taken on a role of organizing relief efforts in any way they can. Basketball coach Kelvin Sampson‘s effort to encourage other programs to send in shirts and shoes and other forms of equipment to help spread around to those in need has been well received. Continuing on that effort, football programs around the state of Texas have put their equipment trucks to good use to help deliver goods to those who need it.

Trucks provided by Baylor, Texas, Texas State, North Texas, SMU, and Texas Tech have joined Houston’s own equipment truck to help out with distributing donated goods.

Houston’s season opening game at UTSA was postponed earlier this week so Houston could focus on taking care of matters closer to home rather than focus on a football game.

Texas State-Houston Baptist to be played as scheduled Saturday night

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Hurricane Harvey has jostled the plans for a number of college football teams across southeast Texas, but Texas State announced Tuesday its opener against Houston Baptist will be played as scheduled on Saturday night. The Bobcats and Huskies will meet at 6 p.m. local time and broadcast on WatchESPN.

“First of all, I want to say that our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by Hurricane Harvey,” Texas State AD Larry Teis said in a statement. “We encourage our fans to support relief efforts for the victims. We have reached out to HBU’s Athletics staff and both schools agreed to play the game at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium.”

Texas State’s home of San Marcos, located roughly equidistant between Austin and San Antonio, has experienced heavy rainfall but avoided the flooding that has so devastated the coastal areas of Texas.

Texas State cancelled classes and university events last weekend, and some areas on campus did experience minor flooding. Some 500 San Marcos residents experienced power outages as well, according to the University Star.

“At this time, while our prayers are with all those affected by this storm, we believe we will be able to get to San Marcos in time for kickoff on Saturday,” HBU AD Steve Moniaci said. “We are all going to be thinking about those we know who have been so heavily affected by the overwhelming devastation we have all seen, but the game itself will hopefully be a good diversion to what many of our families here in Houston and throughout south Texas are experiencing.”

Houston Baptist launched its football program in 2013 and has competed in the Southland Conference of FCS since 2014. The Huskies are 11-29 all-time, and the Texas State match will represent HBU’s second game against an FBS opponent (their first was a 42-10 loss to UTEP last November.) Texas State is looking to improve upon a 2-10 mark in its second season under head coach Everett Withers.

As for other Houston and southeast Texas-area games: Houston-UTSA has been canceled; Prairie View A&M-Texas Southern has been postponed; No. 13 LSU-BYU has been moved from Houston to New Orleans; and Sam Houston State’s home date with Richmond has been moved to Baylor’s McLane Stadium on Friday night. No. 23 Texas will host Maryland at 11 a.m. local time Saturday as scheduled; Lamar will visit North Texas as scheduled Saturday evening; and Texas A&M is on the road at UCLA on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET, FOX). Rice is off this weekend.

UTSA-Texas State series rebranded H-E-B I-35 Showdown

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For those not familiar with HEB Grocery Company, it’s a grocery giant founded in Kerrville, Texas, in 1905 by a man named Florence Butt. H-E-B now owns nearly 400 stores stretching across south and central Texas and central Mexico. H-E-B essentially owns the San Antonio area and leases back to its million-plus residents, so it makes sense that when UTSA and Texas State wanted to brand their rivalry, they turned to H-E-B.

Starting this season, the UTSA-Texas State series will now be known as the H-E-B I-35 Showdown

Cue the AD boilerplate!

“We’re thrilled that H-E-B has become the title sponsor for the I-35 rivalry football games between UTSA and Texas State,” UTSA Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey said. “No matter the sport, both fan bases always show up in strong support when the Roadrunners and the Bobcats get together on the playing fields. This newly-branded name for the football games this season and next will only add to the rich history between the two schools.”
 
“It is great to have H-E-B supporting the I-35 football series between Texas State and UTSA,” Texas State Director of Athletics Larry Teis said. “H-E-B has a great relationship with the state of Texas and both universities. We have continued to play UTSA in other sports and the rivalry is strong for our student-athletes and fans.”

The two schools are natural gridiron rivals. They sit just 50 miles apart — connected by Interstate 35, of course — and compete for athletes and regular students alike. The Roadrunners and Bobcats have been Olympics sports rivals for years, primarily as members of the Southland Conference. Each football program is (obviously) in FBS now and have met only once, a 38-31 UTSA win in 2012, since the Roadrunners’ program launched in 2011.

The series will resume Sept. 23 in San Marcos, with Texas State making a return visit to San Antonio on Sept. 22, 2018.

Independents and Group of Five National Signing Day Recap: Irish bounce back, Memphis tops AAC

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Outside of the Power Five conferences, recruiting went about as expected in 2017.

Notre Dame continued to pound the national trail and landed a top 12 class full of players who will be expected to play early. BYU managed another impressive group that was one of the most diverse out there. The schools with a talent-rich backyard to draw on did well in the AAC.  Boise State was once again tops in the Mountain West and did better than a few peers in the region. And yes, Lane Kiffin earned that recruiting reputation by pulling in the best class of Conference USA.

Though there wasn’t much drama outside the top schools, there nevertheless was plenty of action for many programs on National Signing Day.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 67 overall Brock Wright (TE, Notre Dame), No. 154 overall Chaz Ah You (DB, BYU), Aisa Kelemete (DE, Boise State), Nick Robinson (TE, Memphis), Nicholas Sims (RB, Toledo)

Top classes: Notre Dame (No. 11 overall), Memphis (No. 58 overall), Boise State (No. 60 overall), BYU (No. 65 overall), Florida Atlantic (No. 71 overall), Toledo (No. 74 overall), Texas State (No. 87 overall)

Biggest storyline: Irish still land solid recruiting class

Despite the worst season in South Bend since Charlie Weis and a nearly brand new coaching staff, Notre Dame still managed to cobble together a top 12 class on Signing Day. Tight end Brock Wright was the highest rated player and should see early playing time but the number of quality offensive linemen was really evident in the group Brian Kelly signed. Will it be enough to help with a big turnaround? We’ll see.

Biggest surprise: Memphis runs away with things in the AAC but new coaches still fared well

Given all the turnover in the American this year, it should probably come as no surprise that the Tigers pulled the top recruiting class in the conference. That’s a testament to what Mike Norvell is building with the program and the fact that they don’t have to go far for players. Many of the same factors played a role in Scott Frost landing the second-best class at UCF. It was also pretty impressive what Luke Fickell did on the recruiting trail at Cincinnati and Charlie Strong did at USF given those two didn’t have a ton of time to get things lined up.

Don’t sleep on: Boise State, Colorado State

The Broncos were once again the class of the Mountain West on the recruiting trail and fended off several Pac-12 schools for prospects. That will put them firmly in the mix to win the league again in 2017 but don’t overlook another good job by Mike Bobo and staff at Colorado State in landing 17 three-star players.

We’ll see about: Everybody else

New Mexico State putting together FBS independent schedule for 2018

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The Sun Belt is giving Idaho and New Mexico State the old heave ho after next season, and college football’s newest orphans are going about their futures in separate ways. Idaho has announced it will join the Big Sky Conference beginning in 2018, while New Mexico State is going to go it alone as an FBS independent.

Which means, obviously, New Mexico State will have to build its own schedule, each and every year.

The Aggies have begun doing so for 2018. On Monday they announced a home-and-home with Wyoming that will see the Cowboys visit Las Cruces on Aug. 25, 2018 — New Mexico State’s first game as an independent — while the Aggies will make a return visit to Laramie on Sept. 21, 2024.

It will be the two programs’ first meetings since 1953 — the only time New Mexico State and Wyoming have met on the field.

“Deputy AD Braun Cartwright and I have put in an enormous amount of time on football scheduling with the focus on securing games with regional Group of 5 opponents,” New Mexico State AD Mario Moccia said earlier this week. “Unlike in 2013 when we played four Power 5 conference programs, which had ripple effects on future year’s schedules, we have really focused on the home-and-home model.”

On Thursday, New Mexico State another home-and-home with current Sun Belt bunkmate Louisiana-Lafayette. New Mexico State will visit Lafayette on either Sept. 8 or Oct. 6, 2018, while the Ragin’ Cajuns will return the favor on Nov. 16, 2019.

New Mexico State also has a previously scheduled game at Minnesota on Aug. 30, leaving nine games still to be filled. The Aggies could seemingly find dance partners in fellow FBS independents BYU, Army and Massachusetts (Notre Dame is a different story), but even then New Mexico State still has to fill seven more games with the 2018 season only 20 months away.