A look at teams of interest in the Houston area:
Houston 31, Rice 26: This one wound up being closer than it should have been thanks to a late blocked field goal for a touchdown by Rice and the best onsides kick you will ever see. The Owls are a good football team and I believe the favorites to win C-USA. Houston showed for the second straight game the Cougars are much, much better on defense than they have been in recent years. Not sure how well they will do this year, but UH should be a monster the next two seasons. They are simply loaded with young talent. True freshmen QBs John O'Korn and Greg Ward are both supremely talented; they simply have to find ways to get Ward on the field. True freshman Tyus Bowser wrecked shop on the defensive side of the ball; this kid is going to be a monster. The Cougars are going to lose some games because of youth, but they will also only get better. Deontay Greenberry is an NFL talent at wide receiver and is only a sophomore. UH fans have a lot to look forward too. Rice QB Taylor McHargue still makes too many mistakes, but the Owls could easily run the table from here. This was an encouraging game for both teams.
Texas 31, Kansas State 21: After two weeks of angst, the Longhorns got past an old nemesis and gave hope the season is not yet lost. Kansas State's offense simply wasn't good enough to take advantage of the UT defense, and the Horns offense showed just enough. UT is now 2-2, but unbeaten in the Big 12. Four of their next five look like cakewalks (Iowa State, TCU, Kansas, West Virginia) but it's always the OU game that determines the season. We still don't know what the Longhorns are, but anything less than 4-1 in that stretch will bring back all the "fire Mack" talk.
Texas A&M 42, SMU 13: The Aggies bounced back nicely from their loss to Alabama. SMU was no match for the Aggies, who won't play another tough opponent until LSU. Texas A&M might be one of the best five teams in the country when it is all said and done. Unfortunately, they play in a division that might have two of the other top five.
LSU 35, Auburn 21: Ignore LSU at your own risk. Zach Mettenberger is playing at a high level at quarterback, they have two stud receivers, are loaded at running back, solid on the OL and young and talented on defense. We will learn just how good they are next week when they visit. Get by Georgia, and you are looking at a BCS title contender.
Others to watch: Baylor continues to put up cartoon numbers, but have yet to play anyone. The Bears might not get a real test until Oklahoma on Nov. 7. The watered down Big 12 gives the Bears a chance to make a serious run. Texas Tech also stayed unbeaten with a win over Texas State. Like Baylor, their next four games are against the dregs of the Big 12, so the Red Raiders should be well positioned by the time they take on OU in late October.