With Dave Campbell’s Texas Football out, there are now predictions as to how the Lone Star Conference will play out. After conferring, we decided to put out our own power rankings heading into the preseason.
- Tarleton State Texans-12-1 in 2018, Super Region 3 finalists, Conference Champions. Overview: Tarleton is the defending LSC champion and therefore the team to beat. Todd Whitten has returned to Stephenville and the Texans are a tough bunch. The Texans open up the season against Colby Carthel and Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches. How well they play against an FCS school will be telling. The Texans host the Lions October 19, and we are their Homecoming. Game on, Texans.
Texas A&M-Commerce Lions-10-3 in 2018, NCAA Second Round, 2nd place in the LSC. Overview: In our annual preview here in a few weeks we will get into more detail, but the Lions looked primed to make a serious run at the LSC title. The Lions open the season against Universidad Nuevo Leon. The Lions return a lot on offense and defense. The key will be how well the Lions adapt to the new offense of Coach Billy Reibock and the 4-2-5 strategy of new HC David Bailiff and new DC Xavier Adibi.
Midwestern State Mustangs-8-2 in 2018, 3rd place in the LSC. Overview: The Mustangs lose the best quarterback in the LSC in Layton Rabb which will greatly reduce the offensive firepower the Mustangs have. MSU does have a rough schedule as they will have to travel to Commerce and Stephenville, along with tough tilts to Canyon against West Texas A&M and Angelo State. This could very well be a tough season for MSU, but never count out Bill Maskill. Say what you will about him, Maskill is a great coach and always puts a good product on the field. Beware when playing the Mustangs. They open the season against FCS Northwestern Louisiana State.
- West Texas A&M Buffalos-6-5 in 2018, T-4th. Overview: Coach Hunter Hughes has returned to the basics in Canyon, and the Buffs will have a new stadium to play in as they open the season against Azusa Pacific. It is almost a reset for the Buffs as their program was essentially derailed by the firing of Don Carthel and their own athletic department sabotaging their football program. That being said, expect the Buffs to back in contention. They are a team that is on the rise and will be a better squad. I am thinking 7-8 wins this year for the Buffs and a Bowl berth.
- Angelo State Rams-6-6 in 2018, T-4th in the LSC. Heart of Texas Bowl, Lost to Central Oklahoma 41-34. Overview: The Rams faced a tough season last year. Will Wagner is no longer the head coach in San Angelo, Lone time d-coordinator Jeff Girsch is now the head man in SA. ASU is a team that can very much be a team that could beat any of the top 3 picked, and they are not a team that is foreign to success. Just as recently as 2014 did they make a 2 rounds deep run in the NCAA playoffs. They will be tough to play for anyone, and could break into the top 3, especially with a lot coming back on both sides of the ball. The Rams open the season internationally as well by playing Simon Fraser from British Columbia, Canada, which is a member of the NCAA and an in-region opponent.
Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds-2018: T-4th in the LSC. 5-6 Overall. Overview: The Hounds disappointed a bit, but their offense of pound it and ground it that frustrates defenses and puts up a load of rushing yards will be their trump card. Quarterback Wyatt Strand returns for his Senior season, and few people can run the Hounds flexbone attack like he can. He is also an efficient passer when he needs to throw and that will be invaluable. The Hounds open the season at home against Missouri S&T.
Texas A&M-Kingsville Javelinas-2018: 4-7, 7th in the LSC. Overview: The Javelinas could be a team that collapses back into another tough season, or they could be a resurgent team. Koy Detmer Jr is back to pull the trigger for the Hogs offense and he might be the best dual threat QB in the conference. He runs well and throws just as well. How well he plays will have direct correlation with how the Hogs finish this season. The Hogs start the season with Saginaw Valley State in Kingsville.
- Texas-Permian Basin Falcons-2-9 overall, 8th in the LSC. Overview: Entering their 4th season as a program, the Falcons of UTPB could make some strides into getting near .500 territory. Head Coach Justin Carrigan is a guy that has high expectations for his group regardless of past records and lack of success. He does return one of the better statistical passers in the league in Kameron Mathis, however, the Falcons must find an offense that is consistent as their defense has shown it can play well even against top teir talent, as evidenced in their near upset of last year’s defending national champion A&M-Commerce. The Falcons open their season at Ratliff Stadium against Wayland Baptist.
- Western New Mexico Mustangs-0-10, 9th in the LSC. Overview: There is really nowhere to go but up for the Mustangs. Like many teams they do have talent, and have recruited California and Arizona very heavily to get good players to Silver City. The key is how well they are coached. The administration at WNMU is putting money into the program to get the program. The Mustangs have skill position talent, but they need to find their quarterback who will run their offense and are also in dire need of finding a defense that can stop someone. Last year their offense put up some pretty impressive number against teams like Midwestern State (35) but then gave up 47 against MSU and many teams scored above 40 on them. Western opened the season last year against 2 FCS teams and will do the same this year, as they hit the road and open against Ottawa University of Arizona.