When the top four teams in your rankings lose your rankings are thrown into a tizzy, so now we’re left to pick up the pieces. Add to that two of your three worst teams pull of huge wins, you question yourself, you regress, you take a good long look in the mirror. We know everything, and yet we know nothing.
1. Houston (7-2)
We just can’t quit you Major. We’re going to assume last week was one of those patented Houston missteps and not a sign that this team isn’t good. Chalk it up to D’Eriq King’s injury or conservative play calling or a great SMU game plan, but we still think this team can run the AAC table. Then hunt for a new defensive coordinator.
2. Texas (6-3)
Big week for Texas. The Longhorns travel to Texas Tech with a defense potentially missing some key contributors and facing the possibility of a third Big 12 loss. Tom Herman loves to point to these “cultural moments,” and this one is a big one.
3. Texas Tech (5-4)
Big week for Kliff Kingsbury and the Red Raiders. After giving Oklahoma all they could handle, Tech has a chance to beat the Longhorns for the second year in a row, potentially saving Kingsbury’s job.
4. Baylor (5-4)
The Bears are on the cusp of a bowl birth; it’s easy to overlook how impressive that is considering the pit this program was in back in 2016. This week a trip to Iowa State won’t be easy, young teams winning on the road is a tricky proposition.
5. Texas A&M (5-4)
Speaking of winning on the road, Texas A&M is the poster child for why winning is hard and winning on the road involves a different skill set. Losses at Auburn and Mississippi State have set Jimbo’s rebuild back. The porous Aggie pass defense faces a real challenge in Ole Miss.
6. North Texas (7-2)
Seven win North Texas comes off a bye week with a trip to Old Dominion on the horizon. The Monarchs are 2-7, but one of those two was a win over Virginia Tech. The Mean Green need to get out of Virginia with a W and prep for FAU.
7. SMU (4-5)
Putting September aside, no team has shown more improvement week to week than SMU. The Ponies beat Houston last week in part because Ben Hicks started playing like good Ben Hicks and they discovered a running game. Those are phenomenal developments.
8. TCU (4-5)
The Frogs barely escaped Kansas State. Injuries and depth chart attrition from 2017 have taken their toll on Gary Patterson’s team. This week a trip to Morgantown comes at the worst time.
9. Texas State (3-6)
This must be the highest we’ve rated the Bobcats since week one of 2016. The ‘Cats are in the midst of their first winning streak since 2014, and Willie Jones looked every bit the part last week in Atlanta. Appalachian State is a step up this week.
10. UTSA (3-6)
The Roadrunners are in free fall after a blowout loss to UAB. They haven’t been able to score this season and last week for the first time; they couldn’t stop UAB from doing whatever they wanted last week. FIU comes to town in what might be the last gasp chance for another win.
11. UTEP (1-8)
Congratulations to the Miners for breaking their 20-game losing streak and giving us several of the best moments of the season as the celebration went deep into the night. Dana Dimel’s program continues to do the little things, and they paid off big last week.
12. Rice (1-9)
The Owl rebuild was never going to be easy and last week’s loss to UTEP might be the low point. The good news is Wiley Green looks up for it, and Austin Trammell continues to be one of the more dangerous receivers in CUSA. We won’t go into the bad news.