Texas Football Magazine a great read and full of predictions

Published 9:03 am Friday, June 29, 2018

After zipping through it up and down, the Texas Football Magazine was a great read once again as the so-called “Bible of Texas Football” is never a disappointment.

Of course, I have always hit the high school section first and as usual, there were very few surprises.

West Orange-Stark had a tremendous run again last year, rolling all the way to the Class 4A Division II State Championship Game for the fourth straight year, finishing as runnerups last season. The Mustangs claimed back to back titles in 2015-16.

Well, the magazine has the Mustangs ranked No. 1 in the state in the Class 4A Division II rankings along with winning their district and region.

The No. 1 ranking is high to many, after all, the Mustangs return just three starters on offense and four on defense.

In the last four seasons, the Mustangs compiled an amazing 57-5 record, including a massive 40-game winning streak that ended in December with a loss to Pleasant Grove in the state title tilt.

The Mustangs outscored opponents 1,781-259 in that 40-game streak with the average score being 44.5-6.5. In the playoffs, not much changed as WO-S outpointed the opposition 717-151 with the average tune being 42.2-8.9.

WO-S head coach Cornel Thompson’s seven years at the helm, the Mustangs have a 91-12 mark (.883 winning percentage) with four state appearances, two titles and have made the 4A Division II Region III Finals all seven years.

In 41 years since West Orange and Stark merged, the Mustangs have averaged 9.7 wins a season, eight state title appearances and four crowns with just one losing season.

There is no doubt that tradition paves the way in a lot of these predictions. A State Championship prediction is a long hill to climb and it’s hard to have that target on your back all season but the Mustangs, especially the last four years, wear it well.

The Mustangs will have a new “old” foe entering their revamped District 10-4A Division II in the form of the Silsbee Tigers. The Tigers dropped down from 4A Division I and are ranked No. 4 in the state. Liberty is picked third in the 10-4A loop followed by Hardin-Jefferson, now led again by former Bridge City coach Dwayne DuBois, and Hamshire-Fannett.

As usual, four of the five teams will make the postseason so the odds are 80 percent.

Both the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears and Bridge City Cardinals will see some new faces in their newly-formed District 11-4A Division I.

Gone now are Silsbee, Cleveland and Navasota. Entering are former 5A schools Lumberton, Splendora and Livingston.

Both the Cardinals and Bears will likely pin Texas Football’s predictions as motivation as the magazine has Lumberton winning the district followed by Huffman, Splendora, Bridge City, LC-M and Livingston.

Nobody is happier than the Orangefield Bobcats as Coach Josh Smalley and company will drop down to the Class 3A Division I ranks. After being one of the smallest schools at the 4A level, the Bobcats are one of the largest schools in 3A now.

It doesn’t mean it will be a cakewalk for the Bobcats in their new District 12-3A Division I league as they face plenty old rivals from their past.

The magazine has the Bobcats picked third in the eight-team district. Woodville was picked first followed by East Chambers, the Bobcats, Buna, Anahuac, Kirbyville, Hardin and Warren.

After making the postseason last year, the Vidor Pirates will look to make waves in a revamped District 12-5A Division II that will include eight teams.

The Pirates will still face the likes of Port Neches-Groves, Nederland and Baytown Lee but will also being hitting the road to face new district foes Crosby, Barbers Hill, Dayton and Santa Fe.

PN-G, with thrilling quarterback Roschon Johnson back in the mix, is picked to win the district followed by Crosby, Nederland, barbers Hill, Dayton, Vidor, Santa Fe and Baytown Lee.

In the college section, those dreaded Oklahoma Sooners were picked to win the Big 12 followed by West Virginia, TCU, Texas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kansas.

Texas A&M, led by new coach in former Florida State head man Jimbo Fisher, is picked fourth in the stout Southeastern Conference West Division behind Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State.

Once again, there was not much love shown to our Lamar Cardinals in the Southland Conference poll as the Redbirds were picked eighth out of 11 teams with Nicholls State picked to win it.

Overall, the magazine was a great read again and I don’t know what us Texans would do without it. It’s like hot dogs and apple pie.