Texas squeaks past Baylor to hold onto the top spot in the Texas FBS rankings

Tom Herman and the Longhorns are rolling. 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 7 and looking forward to Week 8.

No. 12: UTEP

Coming off their bye week, UTEP will go up against 4-2 Louisiana Tech in week 8. At this point of the season the Miners have shown no real threat and do not seem to be breaking their winless streak anytime soon.

No. 11: Rice

The Owls may have hit rock bottom this past weekend as they were throttled by UAB 42-0. This marks their sixth straight loss and the fifth time this season they have allowed 40 or more points. The Owls will go up against the 4-2 FIU Panthers in Week 8 who defeated a solid MTSU team this past weekend.

No. 10: Texas State

Texas State suffered a disappointing loss by just two points to Georgia Southern this past weekend and fell to 1-5. The Bobcats schedule will not get much easier the rest of the way, so hope of a more successful second half is dwindling.

No. 9: UTSA

The Roadrunners three game winning streak came to an abrupt end in Week 7 when they were dominated 31-3 by Louisiana Tech. Luckily UTSA will have a chance to bounce back in Week 8 when they face off against a 2-3 Southern Mississippi team who also lost in embarrassing fashion to UNT this past weekend.

No. 8: SMU

The Mustangs will return to action in Week 8 after their bye week and will look to get the second half of their season off to a good start against 2-3 Tulane. SMU will hope to get some momentum before they head into a couple difficult matchups with No. 20 Cincinnati and the 5-1 Houston Cougars.

No. 7: TCU

The Horned Frogs struggled yet again in Week 7 when they lost to Texas Tech 17-14. After getting off to a 2-0 start this season, TCU looks like a completely different team that is struggling mightily to find its identity. The Horned Frogs have a big test facing them in Week 8 when they will face off against No. 9 Oklahoma. Coach Patterson will need to find some way to motivate and bring his team together if they are to have any chance of taking down a very good OU team.

No. 6: Baylor

Despite suffering a loss in Week 7 the Bears were able to jump TCU in this week’s rankings. Baylor was able to take No. 9 Texas to the wire in a 23-17 loss where they missed on three chances to score in the red zone with time running out. The Bears have looked completely capable of competing with any team that lines up against them this season and will look to upset a wounded West Virginia team in Week 8.

No. 5: UNT

A strong 30-7 victory over Southern Mississippi was not enough to keep UNT from falling one spot in this week’s rankings. While the Mean Green still hold a very impressive record of 6-1, their strength of schedule is hurting them the most at this point in the season. With that said North Texas has a big match-up to look forward to in Week 8 against the 5-1 UAB Dragons , in which a victory over UAB would benefit them in making another push in these Texas FBS rankings.

No. 4: Texas Tech

Texas Tech added another impressive victory to their belt this season after defeating TCU 17-14. It is also worthy to note that the Red Raiders were able to accomplish this feat without Freshman phenom quarterback Alan Bowman who is currently sidelined with a lung injury. The Red Raiders should have an easier go of things against Kansas in Week 8 who has shown improvement this season but have still only won two games. If the Red Raiders are able to remain healthy for the rest of this season, they should be a legitimate threat to the top teams with championship hopes in the Big 12.

No. 3: Houston

With a solid 42-20 win over East Carolina in Week 7 Houston was able to hold onto the No. 3 spot for another week. The Cougars have not looked back since their Week 3 loss to Texas Tech and seem to be building momentum as they head into the back half of the 2018 season. Houston will look ahead at another opportunity to extend their three-game winning streak against a 2-4 Navy team this coming weekend. While their one loss will almost certainly keep them out of any playoff talks, the Cougars are still in a good position to win their conference and land a spot in a significant bowl game.

No. 2: (17) Texas A&M

Texas A&M slipped past South Carolina in Week 7 by just three points and escaped from suffering a damning third loss of the season. While the Aggies are a very talented team, another loss would almost certainly drop them out of the Top 25 yet again and greatly impact their chances of being selected for a top tier bowl game. In other words, A&M will be fighting for their lives for the remainder of the season and cannot risk anymore slip ups. The Aggies will have a chance to rest in Week 8 but will return from their bye week with the challenging task of facing off against the 22nd ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs.

No. 1: (7) Texas

The Longhorns hold onto their six-game win streak along with the No. 1 spot in this week’s rankings. Texas fans received a good scare last weekend when the Baylor Bears came just six points away from upsetting UT and possessed the ball in the red zone while time expired. The Longhorns proved their resiliency under late game pressure and impressed the voting committee enough to move up two spots to No. 7 overall in the national rankings. The excitement will be put on hold for a week as Coach Herman and his team will get to enjoy their well-deserved bye week. With that said, the Longhorns will need to remain focused over their time off as they will kick off the second half of their season with three very difficult matchups vs. Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Texas Tech.


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Critical takeaways from Rockets' 105-103 loss to Warriors

Rockets fall short against Warriors. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

This wasn't the typical Houston Rockets-Golden St. Warriors game when Mike D' Antoni and Steve Kerr were having an offensive battle of wits. James Harden, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets, was nowhere in sight for the Rockets Friday night. Although the Rockets are in rebuild mode, it was still an interesting game. The intensity was high throughout the entire game. Emotions between Stephen Silas and Kerr were heavy, as they were yelling and jumping up-and-down along the sidelines.

A series of runs and back-and-forth scoring gave a slight reminder of the old rivalry between the Warriors and Rockets. Steph Curry was having a tough game, but with 5.1 seconds left, he was able to create great separation from a step back and drained an incredible midrange shot over Kevin Porter Jr. It was heartbreaking because Porter played great defense on Curry throughout the entire game, with Curry only making 6 out of 22 shots. Porter had a tremendous first-half defensively on Curry and recorded an 88.9 defensive rating. Porter had a good feel for guarding Curry, he didn't allow himself to switch away from him. He anticipated passing lanes and ripped Curry a couple of times.

Besides Porter playing great defense, the Rockets played good as a whole. They finished with 10 steals. Their main technique was to switch everything on defense, and Kenyon Martin Jr. and Christian Wood did a good job. It's never easy staying in front of Curry and Jordan Poole, but if they could hold their ground for five seconds, it became possible. Porter did a great job at times by communicating on defense, so he could tell Jalen Green and Eric Gordon when to switch.

And speaking of Green--- he had a strange night offensively. He went 0-11 from the field but made two great plays in the fourth quarter. Instead of Silas keeping Green on the bench because of his cold hand, he kept him in the game for learning purposes. Green made an outstanding play on Curry at the 2:52 mark in the 4th quarter. Before that, he missed a shot from three but fought hard for the rebound, then found a cutting Wood towards the rim. Green might of struggled, but the effort was there.

This was a tough loss for the Rockets, but they are steadily improving. The Rockets are 3-5 in their last five games.

Up next: The Rockets face the Spurs on Tuesday night.

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