A look at the schools of interest in the Houston area and how they fared the opening weekend of college football season:
Texas A&M 52, Rice 31: The Johnny Manziel narrative was supposed to return to being a football story, but a first-half suspension, some classless hotdogging and a stupid taunting penalty brought back all the off-season demons. On the field Manziel was as exciting as ever, with three TD passes. But his antics got him benched for the last series and raise serious questions about his maturity in a season where the Aggies have the highest goals imaginable, they need their quarterback to avoid being a distraction. The bigger issue for A&M might have been a defense that was decimated by suspensions. The Owls dominated the line of scrimmage against the Aggie D line throughout the game. A&M will simply have to be better on that side of the ball moving forward. As for Rice, the Owls look like a team that can contend in Conference USA. Defensively they have holes -- Aggie QBs had all day to throw -- but offensively they should be very solid.
Texas 56, New Mexico State 7: After a slow start, the Longhorns took care of business. David Ash was an efficient 20 of 28 for 343 yards and four TDs but also two picks. The Longhorns also rushed for 359 yards. While NMSU is not much of a gauge, the Longhorns took care of business. The way the rest of the league looked, the Longhorns should be the favorite in the Big 12 moving forward. Ash needs to cut down on the mistakes but it was just game one.
LSU 37, TCU 27: LSU seems to be the forgotten team in the SEC, but Les Myles has another very talented squad. They didn't play their best, but still handled a solid, veteran TCU team with relative ease. Zach Mettenberger completed just half of his 32 passes, but a running game that provided almost 200 yards was a big key. This team should get better as the season goes on. As for TCU, it needs to prove it can actually play at this level. The Frogs were a dominant program in Conference USA and the Mountain West, but were mediocre in year 1 of the Big 12 and simply weren't in the same class as LSU.
Houston 62, Southern 13: While the score looked pretty, the Cougars left the game with more questions than answers. They have a legitimate quarterback controversy with true freshman John O'Korn looking terrific. The defense struggled at times, and a ridiculous 14 penalties for 126 yards does not bode well for a head coach who is under fire after a disaster of a 2012 season. The Cougars ran the ball very well and may not miss Charles Sims after all. As a team they rushed for 372 yards on 50 carries. The Cougars will get better tests moving forward, and as we have said a few times; it was week 1 and they should get better.