Find out which teams could be making a second half push for the No. 1 spot in Texas

Texas is still No. 1 in the state. Tim Warner/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 8 and looking forward to Week 9.

No. 12: UTEP

UTEP’s Week 9 matchup will be one of opposites. While the 0-7 Miners continue to suffer through a winless season they will line up against a 6-1 UAB team that is having one of the most surprising seasons in college football. With that said, one glimpse of hope for UTEP is the fact that they have stayed within 10 points of their opponents in each of their last four games.

No. 11: Rice

The Rice Owls losing woes continue as they have now endured a seven-game losing streak. Chances are that this streak will continue for at least one more week when the Owls face off against the No. 5 team on this list, 6-2 North Texas.

No. 10: Texas State

Texas State rounds the bottom teams in Texas, all of which who have just one or no wins this season. The Bobcats have now lost five straight but should remain optimistic with a Week 9 matchup vs. New Mexico State. The Aggies lost to  Georgia Southern by 17 points in week 8, a team that was only able to defeat Texas State by three points in week 7.

No. 9: UTSA

The Road Runners sit in the No 9. spot for yet another week as they continue to try to keep their season from slipping away. UTSA has lost their last two games but will get a chance to regroup during their bye week before heading into a tough matchup vs. the UAB Blazers in week 10.

No. 8: SMU

The Mustangs look to be turning things around for the better now that they have won three of their last four games since their disappointing 0-3 start. While SMU has enjoyed their recent success, they may be heading into a quick reality check in week 9 when they will be challenged with the task of taking on the 6-1 Cincinnati Bearcats. Though the Bearcats carry an impressive record, they have not been truly challenged yet this season as only one of the six teams they have defeated have a winning record. This may be a good confidence building game for the Mustangs if they can secure a victory.

No. 7: TCU

Things are not looking good for the Horned Frogs as their record has now fallen below .500 after they suffered their fourth loss of the season to Oklahoma in Week 8. What is even more troubling than TCU’s poor play is the loss of star quarterback Shawn Robinson who will undergo season ending shoulder surgery. While the Horned Frogs have what seems like a favorable matchup vs. Kansas in Week 9, it is hard to tell just how much Robinson's absence will impact this already struggling team.   

No. 6: Baylor

After enjoying a welcomed chance to rest in Week 8 because of their bye week, the Bears will be thrust back into action vs. the 13th ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. So far this season the Bears have proven themselves to be a very talented team with playmakers capable of competing with the best in the country. Keep an eye on this dangerous team that is flirting with a chance to land a spot as one of the top 5 teams in Texas.

No. 5: UNT

Despite an impressive 300-yard passing performance with three touchdowns by quarterback Mason Fine, the Mean Green suffered their second loss of the season in week 8. UNT was unable to top a talented UAB team that is on a five-game winning streak and has only lost once this season. North Texas will have an easy matchup in Week 9 vs. the 1-7 Rice Owls and will look to end the season strong to keep their bowl game hopes alive.

No. 4: Texas Tech

Texas Tech holds on to the No. 4 spot in this week’s rankings after handling the Kansas Jayhawks with ease this past weekend. Quarterback Alan Bowman returned in big fashion from his two-game absence after suffering a partially collapsed lung. Bowman picked up exactly where he left off with 408 yards passing and three touchdowns. The Red Raiders have an interesting showdown with an Iowa State team that is still riding the high of their upset victory over West Virginia. Coach Kingsbury will look to get his team and young quarterback playing at their highest level before having to face No. 8 Oklahoma and No. 6 Texas in back to back weeks.

No. 3: Houston

After their fourth victory in a row in which the Cougars scored 40-plus points, Houston stays put in the No. 3 position of this week’s rankings. The Cougars defeated Navy on the back of quarterback D’Eriq King who not only throw for over 400 yards passing and 3 touchdowns but also leading his team in rushing. Houston will arguably face their most difficult opponent of the season this coming weekend in undefeated South Florida. Ranked No. 21, the Bulls have had an impressive season thus far, but have yet to face a quarterback as talented as King. If King is able to perform up to his season standards, this matchup should be a lot more even than it seems on paper.

No. 2: Texas A&M

The Aggies once again find themselves in the No. 2 position, fighting to stay in arm’s length of the Longhorns. After three consecutive, hard fought victories, A&M enjoyed their bye week and a chance to prepare for the final stretch of their season. Now ranked 16th in the nation, the Aggies are quietly climbing back into relevance and despite having two losses, could possibly even reach the top 10 based on the sheer strength of their schedule. Texas A&M will try to pick up where they left off in Week 9 vs. the 4-3 Mississippi State Bulldogs. While the Bulldogs are a middle of the pack SEC team, they are very capable of handing the Aggies their third loss of the season. Texas A&M will rely heavily on their defense to give them a leg up in this matchup after Mississippi State was held to just three points by LSU in week 8.

No. 1: Texas

After sitting out in week 8 the Longhorns will return in full strength with star quarterback Sam Ehlingher back at the helm. Texas will have to avoid any sort of bye week lull with a dangerous Oklahoma State team waiting to ruin the Longhorns season. Even though he Cowboys have lost two games in a row, UT has had a bad history of playing down to their opponent in games they are expected to win easily. This coming weekend will be a good chance for the Longhorns to smooth out any rough spots and prove to the nation that they have overcome their usual ailments.


UH Footbal Official Twitter Account

There were only four games in the AAC this week, but three of them featured the conference's ranked teams. One of those ranked teams visited UH this week. Here's how I saw Week 12 in the AAC:

Coogs start hot but finish flat again

The Coogs jumped out to a 17-7 lead after the 1st quarter and looked like they were on their way to an upset. Then the second quarter happened. The Tigers outscored the Coogs 21-3 in the second quarter and never looked back cruising to a 45-27 win. UH was more than doubled up in offensive output 531 to 256. Good news: this team should be better next year and years to come. Bad news: there's two more games left this season and the offseason to wait through. If they can improve their efficiency on offense and improve to be an average to better than average defense, this team will be a top team in the conference again.

Other Key Results

Temple 29, Tulane 21: The nine points scored in the third quarter proved to be the difference between these two 6-3 teams. The Owls were up 22-7 heading into the fourth quarter when the Green wave finally found some offense.

#17 Cincinnati 20, USF 17: It took a heroic effort from Michael Warren II and a 37-yard field goal as time expired for the Bearcats to beat the Bulls. USF outgained Cincy by 160 yards, but couldn't pull off the upset of the conference's highest ranked team.

#23 Navy 20, #16 Notre Dame 52: The Midshipmen were dominated by their historic rival. The Fighting Irish recovered four fumbles on their way to a dominant performance. However, Navy still rushed for 281 yards in their loss.

Stars Of The Week

Brady White, QB, Memphis: If you saw a Power 5 quarterback threw for 341 yards and five touchdowns in an 18-point win over a conference rival on the road, you'd think he'd be in the Heisman race right? Someday, things will change for Group of 5 players, specifically in the AAC.

Michael Warren II, RB, Cincinnati: As I stated earlier, Warren kept the Bearcats in the game and helped them win almost singlehandedly. He totaled 164 yards on 28 touches and a touchdown. He accounted for 58.9% of their total yards on offense.

Jadan Blue, WR, Temple: At 12 catches for 131 yards and a touchdown in the Owls win over the Green Wave, Blue accounted for 54.5% of the receptions, 44.1% of the passing yards and a third of the touchdown passes. He's the team's leading receiver this season and is only a sophmore.

Games To Watch This Week

UCF @ Tulane

SMU @ #23 Navy

Temple @ #17 Cincinnati

Players To Watch This Week

Doug Gabriel, UCF: The Golden Knights are a prolific passing team. The Green Wave are stingy against the pass. The one that wins this battle should also win the game.

Malcolm Perry, Navy: Perry is Navy's leading passer and rusher in their triple option attack. However, SMU is worse against the pass than they are against the run. Perry's performance in both phases of the offense will be key to the outcome.

Anthony Russo, Temple: If the Owls want to pull off the upset against Cincy, Russo will have to have a great game. If he can keep the chains moving via the pass game against a Bearcats defense gives up more yards in the air than on the ground, The Owls will have a shot.

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