Sam Ehlinger had a big game. Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images
No. 12: Rice
Things continue to get uglier for the Owls, who lost their tenth straight game in week 11 after falling to Louisiana Tech 28-13. This season has turned out to be an extremely disappointing start for new head coach Mike Bloomgren. At this point Bloomgren can only hope to get through the last two games and begin rebuilding hope for 2019.
No. 11: UTEP
After securing their first win of the season in Week 11, the Miners were brought back down to reality after getting defeated 48-32 by Middle Tennessee. UTEP’s offense is playing its best football of the season after two consecutive 30-point performances and will hope to overpower a 1-9 Western Kentucky team in week 12.
No. 10: UTSA
The Road Runners were dominated 45-7 by FIU in week 11 and now fall to 3-7 on the season. UTSA has failed to score more than 17 points in their last four games and will have a tough time getting things back on track against a strong Marshall team.
No. 9: Texas State
The Bobcats two game winning streak came to an abrupt ending after being handled by Appalachian State 38-7. Texas State probably won’t have much better luck in week 12 when they face off against the 8-2 Troy Trojans.
No. 8: TCU
The Horned Frogs fell two games below .500 with a loss to West Virginia last weekend. TCU has a difficult matchup with a dangerous Baylor team in week 12 but the Horned Frogs can hope that young quarterback Michael Collins will eventually find a groove in his fourth start of the season.
No. 7: SMU
While the Mustangs secured their fifth win of the season this past weekend, it was not a pretty one. SMU’s defense, who played well against one of the nation’s most dangerous quarterbacks in week 10, allowed the 1-9 Connecticut Huskies to score 50 points in Week 11. The Mustangs will face a talented Memphis team this coming weekend but could walk away with a third consecutive victory if they show up on both sides of the ball.
No. 6: Baylor
The Bears suffered a tough loss in week 11 in a chippy game with Iowa State. Both team’s emotions were running high as multiple shoving matches broke out throughout the game and two players were eventually ejected. The Bears have definitely adopted a new urgency and mentality this season and will hope to carry that into a big matchup with TCU this weekend. Look for the Bears to jump on the struggling Horned Frogs at home in Week 12.
No. 5: UNT
UNT was caught sleeping in Week 11 when they were upset by 3-7 Old Dominion. The Mean Green may have suffered a lapse in focus by looking ahead to their Week 12 matchup with Florida Atlantic. A season that began with so much promise and excitement is now in danger of becoming very underwhelming based on what this team was believed to be capable of accomplishing.
No. 4: Texas Tech
Despite suffering two straight losses the Red Raiders have displayed impressive performances against two of the best teams in the Big 12. Texas Tech fell just five points short of upsetting No. 6 Oklahoma and seven points away from defeating No. 13 Texas. Not to mention that the Red Raiders have been able to keep pace with these top tier programs without their starting quarterback Alan Bowman who has been plagued by injuries all season.
No. 3: Houston
With a 59-49 upset loss last weekend to Temple the Cougars seem to have lost their midseason momentum that nearly drove them to the No. 1 spot on this list. Because of the lackluster effort from the Cougar defense, an impressive performance in which quarterback D’Eriq King threw for 355 yards and 5 touchdowns along with 125 yards rushing with a touchdown was surprisingly not enough to hold off the Owls. Houston will look to redeem themselves in week 12 against an average Tulane team.
No. 2: Texas A&M
After two straight losses that forced Texas A&M out of the Top 25, the Aggies were able to get back in the win column in Week 11 against Ole Miss. A&M looked efficient on both sides of the ball as they put up over 500 yards of total offense and held the Rebels to 24 points. While on paper the Aggies week 12 matchup with UAB should be an easy victory, the 9-1 Blazers are an athletic team that could give Texas A&M a run for their money if they are not prepared. Texas A&M will look to build momentum with a second straight win before heading into their final game of the season vs. LSU.
No. 1: Texas
The Longhorns were lucky to escape Lubbock with a win week 11. The Red Raiders held the lead until Sam Ehlinger threw his fourth touchdown to strike the final blow with only 21 seconds remaining. While the UT defense continued to struggle for a third straight week, Ehlinger arguably had his best game of the season throwing for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns despite the absence of his top target Colin Johnson. The Longhorns have a difficult matchup in week 12 with the No. 18 Iowa State Cyclones who are in the middle of a five-game winning streak. Texas will need to have solid performances by both their offense and defense if they are going to hold off one of the hottest teams in the country.
Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker is open to a long-term contract and says preliminary dialogue had begun.
“Personally, I think we have the best team in the league," Tucker said Monday as the Astros started full squad workouts. “That’s the vibe around the clubhouse. You have to have that mindset, but you still have to earn it."
José Altuve agreed two weeks ago to a contract that will pay $125 million from 2025-29, raising the Astros' commitment to the second baseman to $151 million over the next six seasons.
Tucker has a $12 million, one-year deal and is eligible for free agency after the 2025 season. Houston faces an uncertain future with third baseman Alex Bregman, who gets $28.5 million in 2024, the final season of a $100 million, five-year contract.
Astros GM Dana Brown anticipates making offers.
“I’m always open to having those conversations and talk it through,” Tucker said. “I’d rather not prolong it forever.”
A two-time All-Star, the 27-year-old Tucker hit .284 last year with 29 homers, 30 stolen bases and a career-best 112 RBIs.
Bregman, who turns 30 on March 30, also is a two-time All-Star. He batted .262 with 25 homers and 98 RBIs last year.
“I expect to have the best season I’ve ever had,” he said Sunday. ”My body feels in incredible shape, my swing feels better than ever."
Bregman is represented by agent Scott Boras, who usually prefers his clients test the free-agent market.
“We’re listening to everything the team has to say," Bregman said. “I’m letting Scott and the Astros do that together and handle that for me. So that way I can be fully focused on baseball and winning and do the things I love to do playing ball for this great city."
“I absolutely loved every single second here," Bregman added. “Being able to put on this jersey is a dream come true. When it comes to a contract, I let Scott do that. That’s why I have an attorney working for me."