1. TCU — Last Week: 1 (8-1)
TCU bested the Longhorns for the fourth consecutive victory — the longest win streak against the program since the 1930s. The game was simply a tune-up for their biggest challenge yet: the long awaited Oklahoma showdown happens this Saturday.
With a win, the Horned Frogs are all but assured a place in the inaugural Big 12 championship game, judging by the simplicity of the rest of their schedule. A loss could still result in a championship berth, but their status at CFP inclusion becomes murky.
2. Houston — Last Week: 5 (6-3)
Houston earned their fifth consecutive bowl bid with a blowout against East Carolina. Coach Major Applewhite seems to have finally found an effective shot caller in D’Eriq King, who debuted with 15-for-21 completion for 330 yards and three touchdowns.
The offense ran just 48 plays, yet accumulated 472 yards and 5.5 yards per rush. An 8-3 finish for an inconsistent rebuild season now seems possible, considering upcoming opponents Tulane and Navy have dropped their last few games.
3. North Texas — Last Week: 3 (6-3)
The Mean Green earned a bowl berth with a tight win against Louisiana Tech and will have their first winning season since the 2013 campaign. UNT has essentially won the Conference USA West Division title with the win, sitting alone at first place at 5-1 in the conference.
Their final two conference games are against Rice and UTEP, both of which have a combined record of 1-17, so their chances of making it to the C-USA title game are very high.
4. SMU — Last Week: 2 (6-3)
The Mustangs have nothing to keep their head down about: they fell to a still unbeaten UCF team in a game they were in all the way to the end. The offense accounted for nearly 500 yards as per expected for the 12th best unit in the FBS and had plenty of opportunities to put this one away.
Crucial stops on two consecutive fourth downs in the final quarter and a fumble by SMU running back Ke’mon Freeman at the goal line gift wrapped the victory to the opposition. The Mustangs defense does need some work after giving up more than 600 yards to the Knights
5. Texas Tech — Last Week: 8 (4-5)
I’m obligated to fill this fifth spot with a Texas team, but no one was worthy of a top power ranking this week since every other team lost. Texas Tech had their game against Kansas State in the bag, before they choked to a third-string quarterback, who rallied back down 11 in the fourth quarter.
Kilff Kingsbury is likely out after the Red Raiders have dropped five straight after such a promising start. Tech should be able to get back on track playing Baylor next weekend, but a TCU home game and a visit to Darrell K. Royal Stadium could be tedious tasks.
6. UTSA — Last Week: 5 (5-3)
7. UT — Last Week: 7 (4-5)
8. A&M — Last Week: 6 (5-4)
9. Texas State — Last Week: 9 (2-7)
10. Baylor — Last Week: 11 (1-8)
11. Rice — Last Week: 10 (1-8)
12. UTEP — Last Week: 12 (0-9)
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