1. TCU — Last Week: 1 (5-0)
Who needs Trevone Boykin or Andy Dalton when you have Kenny Hill leading the Horned Frogs’ explosive offense. The senior recorded a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown as TCU outlasted West Virginia 31-24 last Saturday. The same day, Oklahoma fell in an upset to Iowa State, leaving coach Gary Patterson’s unit as the lone, undefeated team at the top of the Big 12 standings.
What really benefits their CFP chances: the No. 6 ranked team possesses the easiest remaining schedule of any undefeated Power Five team, in regards to the opponent’s record.
2. Texas Tech — Last Week: 2 (4-1)
Who would have thought the Red Raiders would be a AP Top 25 selection after winning only five games last season? Tech cracked the national rankings for the first time since 2013 — the first time on the poll since Kliff Kingsbury was a rookie head coach.
Defensive coordinator David Gibbs has figured out how to get the Red Raiders to play defense. Three opponents have had 24 or fewer points — matching the total of the past two seasons.
3. Houston — Last Week: 3 (4-1)
The Houston offense seems to have found their identity relying on the ground game. Junior running back Duke Catalon rushed for a career-high 22 rush attempts for 177 yards and two touchdowns, contributing mightily to Houston’s 265 rushing yards.
The concern is definitely a defense that let the Mustangs do whatever they wanted through the air, compiling 544 total yards and keeping the contest close through three quarters.
The remaining schedule is the opposite of TCU’s. Four of the remaining six opponents currently have winning records, including three with one defeat or less.
4. Texas A&M — Last Week: 4 (4-2)
Alabama didn’t allow a touchdown in three weeks, before Aggies quarterback Kellen Mond hurled two of them in a closely contested loss to the Crimson Tide. After numerous shaky first half starts, A&M has now put together three solid consecutive efforts to begin SEC play, going back to the overtime victory over Arkansas last month.
The pressure is still on the Aggies anad head coach Kevin Sumlin, but they’re far removed from the laughing stock everyone assumed they were during the early portions of the year.
5. Texas — Last Week: 6 (3-2)
Four starters were absent from the Longhorns offensive line. Despite this, the unit stepped up last weekend, helping to lead the way for 546 yards and 40 points against coach Bill Snyder’s defense. Freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger was so stoked to be protected that he bought all the sizable teammates boxes of donuts.
Coach Tom Herman is implementing a two quarterback system against rival Oklahoma next week, an experiment that may not work after the Sooners were embarrassed by Iowa State. For now, a overtime victory against the Wildcats warrants a top five finish in the Lone Star State.
6. SMU — Last Week: 7 (4-2)
7. UNT — Last Week: 8 (3-2)
8. UTSA — Last Week: 5 (3-1)
9. Baylor — Last Week: 9 (0-5)
10. Rice — Last Week: 10 (1-5)
11. Texas State — Last Week: 11 (1-5)
12. UTEP — Last Week: 12 (0-6)
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