Until reason is restored and Texas schools come back together to form the new SWC, we're left with the table scraps of non-league matchups. This year's table scraps aren't bad. In fact, there are a few games that you'll want to set your DVR for.
Houston at Texas Tech
The Cougars may fashion themselves an AAC contender, but this early season test in Lubbock will tell us a lot about both teams. Last year Houston's offense sputtered against Tech, turning the ball over and failing to sustain drives while the Tech defense asserted itself for the first time since 1997. This season Gibbs' group might be the strength of the team as Tech fills voids on offense. For Houston, the question is whether D'Eriq King and Kendal Briles can put up enough points to pressure the Red Raiders and quiet the crowd in Lubbock.
Baylor at UTSA
Last year the Roadrunners beat the Bears in Waco. This season UTSA's new-look offense will have to find answers quickly if they want to replicate that success. For Baylor's part, they'll be better if only because Charlie Brewer is back and potentially one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12. He'll try to succeed in the teeth of UTSA's potent defense. The Dome will be rocking for this one.
SMU at North Texas
The Ponies and Mean Green renew the burgeoning Metroplex rivalry, this time in Denton. SMU held a decided skill talent advantage last year with Courtland Sutton running loose, but this year the skill advantage is decidedly in the Mean Green's corner with Jalen Guyton, Michael Lawrence, and Rico Bussey all back. For SMU it's Ben Hicks show now, his progression over the last two seasons give reason for hope.
Texas State at UTSA
The Bobcats and Runners will engage in off the field shenanigans, but the on-field product should be compelling as well. Everett Withers has worked to turn his roster over, and 2018 is the first season where those efforts should bear fruit in the win column. For UTSA, a new quarterback, new offensive line, and new receivers will lead to some growing pains, but the defense will be salty.
TCU at SMU
TCU's September schedule could make or break the Frogs. A week after they play the Ponies, Ohio State comes calling and a week later they travel to Texas. For Sonny Dykes, a game leading into that gauntlet is a perfect opportunity to set a trap and win the Skillet back. Last year Chad Morris' aggressive play calling had TCU on its heels for two quarters at home. Dykes is an offensive mastermind on his own, and he spent last year watching Gary Patterson make TCU's secret sauce first hand.