Texas FBS Football Rankings

The Longhorns have impressed as of late, but have they done enough to secure the No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings?

The Longhorns have impressed as of late, but have they done enough to secure the No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings?
Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies are near the top. Where do they rank? Cooper Neill/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 5 and looking forward to Week 6:

No. 12: UTEP

Things have yet to turn around for the Miners who are now 0-5 after their most recent loss to UTSA in Week 5. UTEP has the unfortunate task of facing off against 4-1 UNT in Week 6 so I would not expect them to secure their first victory just yet.

No. 11: Texas State

After enjoying their bye week with extra time to rest and prepare, Texas State will go up against 1-3 Louisiana Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns are coming off a 56-14 loss to Alabama, so the Bobcats will look to capitalize on the aftermath left by the nation’s top team.

No. 10: Rice

After a disappointing performance in Week 5, Rice now falls to 1-4. The Owls struggles on defense continue as they have given up more than 40 points to opposing offenses for the fourth straight week in a row. Rice has an interesting matchup against UTSA this coming weekend and hope to end their losing woes.

No. 9: UTSA

While UTSA secured their third victory of the season, the three teams they have beat only have a combined two wins. UTSA will look to lengthen their win streak to three games in week 6 vs. the 1-4 Rice Owls, who have struggled heavily since their only win in Week 1.

No. 8: SMU

After losing their first three games of the season, SMU has begun to bounce back with two consecutive victories in Weeks 4 and 5. With that said, the Mustangs will have to play a perfect game in Week 6 if they hope to continue their recent success, as they will face off against No. 12 UCF.

No. 7: Baylor

Despite a loss to Oklahoma last weekend, the Baylor Bears will look to build on their impressive start in 2018 by securing their fourth victory against Kansas State. So far this season, both Baylor and Kansas State find themselves in the middle of the pack in the Big 12, so if the Bears hope to keep up with the upper half of the conference, a victory in Week 6 will be much needed.  

No. 6: Houston

After a week of rest, the Cougars will look to get back into the swing of things with a favorable matchup against Tulsa. Tulsa will also be coming their bye week, which means both teams will be well rested and well prepared for Thursday’s showdown. Look for this game to be a tough battle, and for both teams to return in full force.

No. 5: TCU

TCU holds on to the No. 5 spot this week after a close victory over the Iowa State. Coming off of their two consecutive losses, the Horned Frogs squeaked past the Cyclones by just 3 points and looked far from perfect but should be glad to simply get back to winning. TCU will get a chance to rest and regroup in Week 6 going into their bye week, and will hope for a fresh start for the second half of their season when they return to action vs. Texas Tech.

No. 4: Texas Tech

After three victories in a row, the Red Raiders fell to the No. 9 West Virginia Mountaineers and Heisman candidate Will Grier. Despite their loss, Texas Tech fought hard and came up short by just 8 points to one of the best teams in the nation. This should give Tech fans a serious sense of optimism for the rest of the season. The Red Raiders will have a big challenge awaiting them in week 7 vs. TCU when they return from their bye week. A win over the Horned Frogs would speak volumes about the legitimacy of this 2018 Tech team.

No. 3: UNT

After a very disappointing loss in Week 5 to Louisiana Tech, the Mean Green lost out on their chance for a perfect season. UNT gave up a 21-6 lead when they allowed 20 unanswered points to the Bulldogs in the second quarter. Once Louisiana State settled into a 29-27 lead in the third quarter, they were able to hold the high-powered North Texas offense to a scoreless fourth quarter and shatter their hopes of an undefeated season. With the lack of their strength of schedule heading into the second half of their season, this loss has caused UNT to fall two spots on this list and will make it difficult for them to climb much higher. The Mean Green should have an easy time of winless UTEP in Week 6 and get back to their winning ways.

No. 2: Texas A&M

Despite losing to No. 1 Alabama in week 5, the Aggies take a step up in this week’s rankings. Though Texas A&M does not have the most impressive record at 3-2, the strength of their opponents needs to be taken into serious consideration and hold significant value when considering their ranking. With their two most difficult games out of the way, the Aggies will have their eyes set on finishing out the season strong and proving they can truly compete amongst the nation’s best. With that said, the road ahead will be far from easy. Texas A&M will have their hands full with No. 13 Kentucky this coming weekend ,who holds impressive victories of Florida and South Carolina so far this season. Look for the Aggies to come out energized vs. the Wildcats in hopes of securing a statement victory in Week 6.

No. 1: Texas

The Longhorns find themselves back on top at the No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings. Yes, I understand that many people will be hesitant to put much faith in a Texas program that has failed repeatedly in recent years. With that said, there is no way to overlook their dominant victories so far this season over TCU and USC, and their continued success with their fourth straight win coming in week 5 against Kansas State. Texas will undoubtedly have their toughest matchup of the season vs. rival Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown this coming weekend. Texas will have to be firing on all cylinders vs. the sooners if they hope to earn the respect they believe they deserve.

 

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The Astros are back in action Friday night against Seattle. Composite Getty Image.

The Astros were a season low 12 games under .500 (12-24) on May 8th but were able to turn things around and entered the All-Star break with a respectable 50-46 record.

The turnaround can be attributed to better performances on the field by a multitude of players, but there are still things that could be improved to ensure a successful second half of the season.

As it currently stands, Houston is only one game behind the Seattle Mariners in the American League West division race, and the Astros should have key players returning from injury to further bolster their playoff ambitions.

The return of the King

Kyle Tucker has been on the injured list with a shin contusion for six weeks now, and looks to return in the near future.

The Astros have done surprisingly well without their three-time All-Star outfielder thanks to contributions from guys like Joey Loperfido, Jake Meyers and Marcio Dubon in the outfield. Plus, Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, Yanier Diaz and Jeremy Pena carrying the offense while King Tuck is away.

Before getting hurt, the 27-year-old was hitting .266/.395/.584 through 60 games. Houston already has one of the best offenses in baseball, and adding Tucker back would give the Astros another high-quality bat to further bolster their lineup.

The latest update is Tucker has been playing catch and could start a rehab assignment soon if all goes well.

Fix the rotation

Starting pitching has been a major issue this season due to a multitude of injuries.

Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy and J.P. France have all been lost for the year with various surgeries and guys like Justin Verlander and Luis Garcia are trying to work their way back from their injured list stints.

Garcia was recently pulled from his rehab assignment and won’t pitch again until he is ready. Meanwhile, Verlander could be closer to his return and is throwing bullpen sessions as of July 14. Getting both of these pitchers back at some point this season will be a huge boost to this roster.

The current Astros’ rotation consists of Framber Valdez, Ronel Blanco, Hunter Brown, Spencer Arrighetti and Jake Bloss. Although not a bad rotation by any means, the starting pitching depth is getting pretty thin and Houston can ill afford another injury to their staff.

Astros general manager Dana Brown has been vocal about his desire to add starting pitching, and could have some options heading into the trade deadline. Players like Jack Flaherty, Garrett Crochet or Yusei Kikuchi, just to name a few, could be low risk high reward pitchers the Astros could acquire to add depth to their rotation.

Another option would be to call up A.J. Blubaugh from Sugar Land. The 24-year-old has a 6-2 record with a 3.46 ERA in 71.1 innings pitched this season for the Space Cowboys and could be a necessary depth piece to add to the rotation.

Play Astros baseball

The Astros have been playing better baseball as of late and have won 18 of their last 23 games. With players like Kyle Tucker and Justin Verlander potentially returning soon, there is reason to believe Houston can make the playoffs for the 8th consecutive season.

The 'Stros will try to take sole possession of first place in their division from the Mariners when the two teams meet for three games at T-Mobile Park starting on Friday night.

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