Joe Burrow is still amazing, Houston is a disorganized mess and Bad Baylor is undefeated. Here's a look at what happened in the Lone Star State and with LSU:
Cincinnati 38, Houston 23
What a disorganized (bleep) show this game was for Houston. Cincinnati took an early lead and Perry Young's two-yard pick-six sealed a 38-23 road win over Houston on Saturday. Houston coach Dana Holgorsen was playing an odd game of quarterback musical chairs in which he waited until a QB got going before replacing them with someone else. Clayton Tune, Bryson Smith and Logan Holgorsen all got playing time in Houston's quarterback audition on Saturday. "Came up short," Holgorsen said. "We had a chance to win in the fourth quarter. A couple of bad calls I thought prevented us from being able to get the ball back and go score. It is what it is, you have to deal with it." Sure, there were a few questionable calls, but teams overcome bad calls all the time. What are we going to do about your brutally disorganized game management? The Cougars committed five turnovers at home and Tune threw three interceptions after not practicing for two weeks, which is particularly interesting considering Holgorsen's incessant preaching about not playing if you don't practice. Tune finished 9-of-27 for 184 yards and two touchdowns. The Cougars are on the road against UConn on Oct. 19.
Oklahoma 34, Texas 27
Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts zipped through the Texas defense, overcoming early mistakes to lead the sixth-ranked Sooners to a 34-27 victory over the Longhorns in the Red River Showdown on Saturday. "We knew how good they were," Texas coach Tom Herman said. "We knew that their defense had improved, and we certainly saw the things that they were doing offensively." Let's face it: the Longhorns were outmatched. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger was sacked nine times, the Sooners never trailed their Red River Rivals and the No. 11 Longhorns gave up 511 yards. Hurts found receiver CeeDee Lamb for three touchdown passes on 10 receptions for 171 yards. Hurts threw for 235 yards and added 131 more rushing, including a 3-yard touchdown run for a 34-20 lead in the fourth quarter. Despite being sacked nine times, Ehlinger did not shy away from his run game, scoring twice on the ground. "They did a really good job of swarming the football," Ehlinger said. "Obviously they recruit extremely well and have tremendously talented players. I feel like they just let them go make plays." Ehlinger finished 26-of-38 for 210 yards. Texas should not drop far after a competitive road showing against a top-10 opponent. The Longhorns face Kansas at home next Saturday.
Alabama 47, Texas A&M 28
Whew. This one was hard to watch. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is beyond good, he's more of an "inexorable force of nature." Tagovailoa threw four touchdowns and the No. 1 Crimson Tide rolled over Texas A&M 47-28 on Saturday. Alabama trailed briefly after A&M scored a touchdown on its first possession. Tagovailoa took over from there, leading four consecutive scoring drives, including three touchdown passes that came on third down. Tagovailoa spread the scoring around, hitting different receivers for each of his touchdown passes. "I feel I have a relationship with everyone, a good connection with everyone," Tagovailoa said. Aggie quarterback Kellen Mond threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score. Texas A&M has lost its second game to a top-ranked opponent this season after falling to then-No.1 Clemson Sept. 7. "We have to push through it. Against good people, you can't almost get there. You got to be all the way, executing on every play," Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. The Aggies (3-3, 1-2) will likely fall out of the rankings and it could be a while before they return. Texas A&M travels to Mississippi on Oct. 19.
LSU 42, Florida 28
About how many more times are you guys going to let me get away with fangirling over LSU quarterback Joe Burrow? After the Tigers fell behind in the second half, Burrow threw for 293 yards and three unanswered touchdowns leading LSU to a dramatic 42-28 victory over No. 7 Florida on Saturday night. LSU totaled 511 yards against a Florida defense that leads the nation in interceptions and leads the SEC in sacks, without giving up a sack or committing a turnover. According to LSU coach Ed Orgeron, holding Florida's defense without a sack was "the biggest stat of the night." Burrow went 21-of-24, meaning he had the same number of touchdown passes as incompletions. "Once we protect the quarterback, I feel confident in us moving the football," Orgeron said. While LSU's offense was undeniably prolific against the best defense it's faced this season, the Tigers' defense left much to be desired for the third time against a major conference opponent. Expect LSU to move into the top four after No. 3 Georgia lost to South Carolina. The Tigers are on the road against Mississippi next week.
Baylor 33, Texas Tech 30
Somehow, Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer managed to keep the Big 12's longest winning streak alive and get the Bears a victory in their first game as a ranked team under coach Matt Rhule. Baylor running back JaMycal Hasty ran for the winning score in the second overtime, lifting the Bears to a 33-30 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. Brewer was 24-of-37 passing for 352 yards but threw his first three interceptions of the season. What his passing game lacked, Brewer made up for with his feet, scoring three touchdowns on the ground. "I just feel like that's when the quarterback has to be at his best, when the game's on the line," Brewer said. "I made my handful of mistakes earlier in the game. But as a quarterback you've just got to let it go and realize you've got a chance to win the game." Both teams gained more than 500 yards and three turnovers. Texas Tech quarterback Jett Duffey finished 31-of-42 passing for 362 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Baylor plays at Oklahoma State and Texas Tech faces Iowa State at home next Saturday.
UL Monroe 24, Texas State 14
Josh Johnson ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries to help UL Monroe beat Texas State 24-14 on Thursday night. Texas State quarterback Tyler Vitt was intercepted late in the fourth quarter and the Warhawks ran out the clock to secure the win. The Bobcats are on the road against Arkansas State next Saturday.
It's a new year for the Houston Astros as they return to action for their first game of the spring against the Washington Nationals on Saturday.
Every season we see some adjustments to the roster which means we also see some changes in leadership. As Astros fans, we're all aware of Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker's contract situations. Breggy could be gone after the season, and Tucker could follow one year later.
Which means it's pretty clear who the leaders of the team will be for the foreseeable future. Not only are these guys two of the best players on the club, but they're also under contract for several more years. In Altuve's case, through the 2029 season. For Yordan, he won't sniff free agency until 2029.
While these guys aren't your typical vocal leaders, they are both highly respected and lead by example. Leadership is something that's front of mind for Yordan this season, according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome.
On Yordan Alvarez the leader, one of two constants in a clubhouse bracing for change and the responsibility he wants to shoulder as a result - https://t.co/sZGlI5taBQ
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) February 21, 2024
Another way to be a leader is to do everything you can to be available for your team. Alvarez changed his diet in the offseason hoping it will help him stay healthy this year.
Manager Joe Espada said Alvarez is fully healthy and he plans on playing him earlier than normal this spring.
Currently, Yordan is trending down in games played for three straight seasons. But he's such a great player that he needs fewer games to put up massive numbers.
He finished 3rd in MVP voting in 2022, and he only played in 135 games out of a possible 162.
So with that in mind, how many games does Yordan need to play this year to win an MVP?
Plus, who's going to protect him in the lineup? With new manager Joe Espada in place, it's hard to know what the lineup will look like.
One thing we do know, Espada immediately named Josh Hader his closer when spring training began. He also told the media that he wants Jeremy Pena to know where he's going to hit every day when he comes to the ballpark.
Espada values players knowing their roles, and getting comfortable in their routines. Something very different from last season when manager Dusty Baker moved Pena all over the lineup throughout the season.
So what does all this mean for Yordan?
Be sure to watch the video above as we break it all down!
Catch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Monday on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel.