RANKING THE STATE

Texas Division I football rankings: A&M is on the move

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12. RICE

Well, another week, another loss. This time the role of winner was played by Marshall. Mercifully Rice is off this week. Resting comfortably numb in last place of what is not exactly a strong Conference-USA. Zero wins through nine weeks, this has got to feel like the year that never ends. I feel truly sorry for any seniors on the roster and every guy playing through injuries to keep showing up and losing by multiple scores.

11. UTEP

They gave up seven passing touchdowns to UNT's quarterback, Mason Fine. I think Mason's grandkids will hear about this game, "did grandpa ever tell you about that time he threw seven touchdowns in one game?" This year isn't over but UTEP has to be wishing it was, as the Charlotte 49ers come to town and they are heavy favorites to win. So there's that.

10 UTSA

I'm not going to be mean about this one, when UTSA scheduled Texas A&M they had to know what this game was going to look like. There's just no way around this game, and if we're being honest they played this game closer than the Baylor game so in some ways, this isn't a total waste. I know why programs schedule these games, the money helps offset costs these smaller programs have to deal with and I completely understand that, but honestly, this is going to be a loss every time. Good energy and effort, way to stay in there and now you get to travel to Old Dominion University which is basically an even match up; here's hoping things go the Roadrunner's way.

9. NORTH TEXAS

Seven passing touchdowns is the kind of "get right" game Mason Fine and the offense needed to feel way better about themselves. It doesn't erase the loss to the 49ers but it does make the team feel a lot better about the direction and future of this season. They travel to Louisiana Tech for a winnable game this weekend.

8. TEXAS STATE

The Ragin' Cajuns hurt the Bobcats really bad, winning 31-3. Texas State is flailing in free fall and hoping they can catch onto something even remotely resembling momentum. Thankfully the University of Southern Alabama comes to town, and the Jaguars have one win all season and are winless in conference. The Bobcats can turn things around right here if they care enough to. Let's see if they can make it happen.

7. TEXAS TECH

Well now the Red Raiders, who have had a disappointing season in conference so far, travel to West Virginia and have a chance to get a much needed in conference win. There's really no wiggle room for Texas Tech at this point, with five losses they can hope for seven wins and maintain bowl eligibility but only by winning out. They need four in a row.

6. HOUSTON

After a brutal, physical and emotionally draining game, The Cougars are blissfully off this week. Houston has to be in a confusing place as a program. I've made it clear in these rankings what I think of the coaching and the roster decisions that are leading this program and I think the program is going to look back on this brief period of time wondering what were they thinking. They are off this week, so hopefully players are doing their best to prepare for a few more games in spite of everything around them.

5. TCU

It wasn't like they were expected to win all of these crazy games on the back half of their schedule and that's the thing to remember as the last of the season happens. Beating Texas was awesome and raised eyebrows and perhaps expectations but losing to Oklahoma State was likely and therefore isn't and shouldn't be a big shock. Keep in mind even after playing Baylor this week, TCU still has Texas Tech and Oklahoma on the schedule so the losses might stack up.

4. TEXAS A&M

The Aggies laid down a beating on UTSA and they should have but TCU lost so they get the bump. It isn't in doubt who has the better athletes and coaching and the most money etc. If the Aggies would have lost that would have been a bigger problem for the program. That being said, the Fighting Texas Aggies are off this week and then play South Carolina before finishing the year on the road traveling to both Georgia and LSU. These aren't games they're likely to win so seven wins may be the goal for this team at this point.

3. TEXAS

They were off last week and this week Kansas State is coming to town. Texas desperately needs this win to get back into the Top 25 and honestly to save what started off as a season with promise and has had some big setbacks. There were people who were ready to say The Longhorns were back and now, not so much.

2. SMU

While the game was close in score it actually wasn't that close and SMU spent the entire second half chasing Memphis. It's surprising considering that Temple in common made it look like a much closer match up but the reality was in the 3rd quarter when Memphis put touchdowns on the board, SMU just didn't respond. This is that difference of being the team people are looking at instead of being the team people look past. The success is new to these guys and they'll shake it off and figure it out. They have played good football all year until now but they can get their mojo back with the East Carolina Pirates coming to town.

1. BAYLOR

Baylor survived a close call against West Virginia and now they are number 12 in the country. They go on the road to TCU who just lost a game to Oklahoma State and might be looking to try and get another upset in just two weeks after upsetting Texas. Baylor better be on guard or this season could sneak away from them.

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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