A look back at Saturday's action involving teams of interest in the Houston area:
Alabama 49, Texas A&M 42: The good news for Aggies is Johnny Manziel is just as terrific as ever. He almost singlehandedly kept the Aggies in the game (with a big assist from Mike Evans). In the end, however, A.J. McCarron was just as good if not better, even if he isn't as flashy. The steady senior made every key throw, and the Alabama offensive line dominated A&M's defensive front. The Aggies have only one real test left at LSU, so the goal of reaching a BCS game is still alive, but any national championship dreams are effectively dead. A&M might be the third or fourth best team in America, but that's life in the SEC. A&M's defense will need to improve or they could lose a game they don't expect to, but as a whole the Aggies proved they were legitimate. They just came up a little short.
Mississippi 44, Texas 23: The Longhorn meltdown that started last week will hit full nuclear mode this week. Greg Robinson didn't do anything to salvage an awful defense, and the Longhorns simply look lost on offense. The Mack Brown era may truly be coming to an end. For a team with so many starters returning, to get blown out the last two weeks is borderline shocking. There is no good news in Austin these days and the scary part is it could only get worse. Because...
Oklahoma 51, Tulsa 20: It could get worse for the Longhorns because OU might have a quarterback. Blake Bell failed to win the job before the season because he was seen as a run-first, can't throw kind of guy. After going 37 for 47 for 413 yards and four TDs and no picks, the Sooners might have solved their biggest issue. With Baylor, Tech and Oklahoma State all looking better than UT right now, this season could bottom out in a big way for Texas.
LSU 45, Kent State 13: Lost in all the Alabama hype is the fact that LSU is damned good. They haven't played much yet (sorry, TCU), but Cam Cameron's offense is looking sharp. The Tigers are young on defense and should only get better. Besides Alabama, the Tigers still get Georgia, Florida and A&M, plus teams like Ole Miss, Auburn and Arkansas won't be easy outs, but this is a team that could be a serious contender if it survives that schedule.
Rice 23, Kansas 14: The Owls might be legitimate contenders in C-USA this year. They held their own against A&M, and took down a Big 12 school (albeit a bad one). They play UH in the Bayou Bucket this week in a game that should actually be very entertaining. David Bailiff is quietly doing one of the best jobs in college football.