Texas FBS rankings week 11

The Cougars fall short in their chance to take their place as the No. 1 program in Texas

Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns kept the top spot. Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Texas has 12 FBS teams. Each week we rank them based on season-long performance, the prior game, and success relative to their competition. These are the updated rankings following Week 10 and looking forward to Week 11.

No. 12: Rice

For the first time this season a new team takes over as the worst FBS program in Texas. The Rice Owls have done so by losing to the UTEP Miners 34-26 this past weekend and now have failed to win a game since their victory in week 1.

No. 11: UTEP

While moving up to the eleventh ranked team in Texas may not be an impressive achievement it is reason to celebrate for a UTEP team who just saw their first win in almost two full years. The Miners most likely will not win another game this season, but at least they were able to break their winless curse.

No. 10: UTSA

The Roadrunners drop one spot in this week’s rankings after being dominated by UAB 52-3. UTSA has now lost their last three games and will head into a matchup against the 6-3 FIU Panthers that does not look promising.

No. 9: Texas State

Believe it or not by the Texas State Bobcats are on a two-game winning streak. The Bobcats took down Georgia State 40-31 to improve their record to 3-6. Texas State has a difficult task ahead of them in Week 11 when they face off with 6-2 Appalachian State. One bright spot that can be taken from this upcoming matchup is the fact that App State lost by 20 points to a Georgia Southern team that the Bobcats came just two points away from defeating in Week 7.

No. 8: TCU

For the second week in a row the Horned Frogs sit in the No. 8 spot. TCU squeaked by Kansas State last weekend in an unimpressive 14-13 victory. The Horned Frogs continue to struggle to find any dependable offensive production since the loss of quarterback Shawn Robinson but are glad to get back into the win column after suffering three straight losses. TCU will likely have little hope in their Week 11 matchup against No. 9 West Virginia.

No. 7: SMU

The Mustangs redeemed themselves after a heartbreaking overtime loss in Week 9 by notching a big win over the extremely talented Houston Cougars. SMU’s defense showed up in a big way last Saturday when they held star quarterback D’Eriq King to under 200 yards passing. The Mustangs should be able to collect their fifth win of the season this coming weekend as they go up against a very porous Connecticut team who has won just one game all year.

No. 6: Texas Tech

The Red Raiders were unable to move up from the No. 6 spot despite their very impressive performance against one of the best teams in the nation. Texas Tech came up just five points short against No. 6 Oklahoma which made it difficult to keep them idle in this week’s rankings. Despite the urges to reward Tech for their showing this past Saturday, it is hard to overlook the fact that they have lost their last two games. The Red Raiders will have another chance to make a statement in week 11 against the No. 19 Longhorns but will need quarterback Alan Bowman to stay on the field if they hope to complete the upset this time around.

No. 5: Baylor

Baylor jumped up to the Top 5 in this week’s ranking after a big win over Oklahoma State. The Bears were able to hold off the Cowboys 35-31 to collect their fifth win of the season, despite not even eclipsing 200 yards passing. Baylor has a big matchup against the 23rd ranked Iowa State Cyclones in Week 11 who have been on a four-game tear, dominating some of the top teams in the Big 12.

No. 4: UNT

North Texas moves up one spot after gathering their seventh win of the season. While UNT’s win over Rice was a seemingly unimpressive feat, the Mean Green were able to move up in this week’s rankings due to losses by some of the top tier teams on this list. UNT should be able to easily secure their eighth win in week 11 when they face off against the 2-7 Old Dominion Monarchs.

No. 3: Texas A&M

The Aggies suffered their second consecutive loss and fourth of the season in week 10 after falling to the Auburn Tigers 28-24. A&M was able to get back to their normal form offensively, but their defense continues to be their downfall. Unfortunately for Texas A&M the SEC is an extremely even conference this season as only one team has less than four wins and A&M has a dangerous matchup with a high flying Ole Miss offense in week 11. The Aggies now find themselves tip toeing the edge of relevance in the 2018 college football season.

No. 2: Houston

While the Cougars looked to have a promising opportunity to overtake the No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings, they blew their shot with a big loss to SMU. Houston had been one of the hottest and most exciting teams as of late, after going on an impressive five game winning streak. Luckily their loss did not cause them to fall in this week’s rankings because of losses by both Texas A&M and Texas Tech. The Cougars will line up against a sneaky Temple team in Week 11 and cannot afford to take another game for granted.

No. 1: Texas

The Longhorns lost in heartbreaking fashion in week 10 when West Virginia quarterback Will Grier threw a last-minute touchdown to steal the win out from under them. Despite their loss, UT was able to hold their title as the No. 1 team in Texas because of losses suffered by the next three teams in line to take over: Houston, Texas A&M and Texas Tech. The Longhorns will hope to bring an end to their two-game losing streak with a win against rival Texas Tech, who always puts up a good fight.


 

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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