1. Houston — Last Week: 1 (3-0)
The Cougars tore the throats out of Big-12 hopefuls Cincinnati 40-16, players likely celebrating in the locker-room postgame by sloshing each other with bottles of their new “Brew of H Red IPA.”
But outside of any festivities is a cold breeze creeping from the distant horizon, chilling any celebratory soaked festivities. Something wicked this way comes in the form of a Louisville team that slaughtered FSU 63-20 and jumped to no. 3 on the AP Top 25 poll.
The Cards’ dominance coupled with Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. lingering shoulder injury could be a skunked brew for Houston’s playoff chances come Week 11.
2. Texas A&M — Last Week: 3 (3-0)
The Aggies offense consistency is still on-and-off, even with veteran QB Trevor Knight at the helm.
The defense is the bread winner of the A&M football family, in particular DE Myles Garrett. The likely no. 1 pick of the 2017 NFL draft has recorded 27 sacks during his career (two during a 29-19 victory of Auburn) and spearheaded an Aggie defense that produced 13 tackles for loss.
3. Baylor — Last Week: 4 (3-0)
Unless you have a crystal ball and psychic powers gained from a magical artifact that bonked you on the head when you were a kid, it’s impossible to predict anything in college football.
Take the current standings of the Big 12: the Bears and West Virginia Mountaineers are the only remaining undefeated programs in the conference. Baylor played mostly scrubs up until this point, and will have a tough test against an Oklahoma State team that should be undefeated.
The Bears haven’t lost a game in September since 2012, and are 11-0 in that span.
4. UT — Last Week: 2 (2-1)
The newest Lincoln commercial shows Longhorns super fan Matthew McConaughey casually approaching the threshold of his pool, before turning around and falling in. The message is supposed to be a metaphor for reawakening the senses, or whatever.
The UT defense did an amazing recreation of the TV spot Friday, falling on their backs against a Cal offense that scored seven touchdowns (eight if the ball wasn’t dropped at the one yard line).
It was such a submissive, timid-puppy-with-his-tail-shivering- beneath-his-legs performance that coach Charlie Strong announced a thorough analysis of team personnel this week.
Will struggling defensive coordinator Vince Bedford finally be demoted? This season, his defensive schemes have allowed 104 points (34.7 per game) in three efforts.
5. TCU — Last Week: 5 (2-1)
After a lopsided victory against Iowa State 41-20, TCU was only a handful of votes short of an AP Top 25 spot. They’ll start ascending the ranks against with an easy this weekend against SMU.
Coach Gary Patterson has tamed the Mustangs and is 12-2 all-time against the program; TCU has won eight of the last nine against SMU.
6. Texas Tech — Last Week: 6 (2-1)
7. SMU — Last Week: 9 (2-1)
8. UTSA — Last Week: 7 (1-2)
9. Texas State — Last Week: 8 (1-1)
10. UTEP — Last Week: 10 (1-2)
11. UNT — Last Week: 11 (1-2)
12. Rice — Last Week: 12 (0-3)