Here are five takeaways from this weekend's football action around the state.
Longhorns all but eliminated from title game as questions surround Herman
Texas head coach Tom Herman is in his third year with the program, a time frame in a tenure that should be ascension, not regression.
Unfortunately, going backward is what the Longhorns have done this season.
Following a 23-21 loss at Iowa State, Texas is 6-4, has little hope of making it to the Big 12 championship game and no hope of going to a New Year’s Six bowl, like it did last year when it beat Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
That’s obviously not what Texas fans thought they would see this time of year, and now, the honeymoon period for Herman is officially over.
The defense has been poor most of the year and the prolific offense struggled against Iowa State.
No matter what happens the rest of the year, Herman is heading into the most important offseason of his tenure to keep Texas in good shape with recruits and build toward the type of success in 2020 fans are expecting.
Texans lay egg in Baltimore, first-place showdown next
The Houston Texans seemed to leave all their momentum in their bye week last week.
The Texans figured to have a tough time winning at red-hot Baltimore in their first game following the bye, but getting routed 41-7 was something totally unexpected.
Houston was outgained 491-232 in total yards and gave up 263 rushing yards to the Ravens.
Now, Houston braces itself for the most critical game of the year Thursday when the Indianapolis Colts visit NRG Stadium.
The Colts and Texans are tied atop the AFC South with 6-4 records, but the Texans essentially will be staring at a two-game deficit if they lose since the Colts won the first meeting in Indianapolis and would own the tiebreaker with another victory over Houston.
Aggies will be a popular team over the next two weeks
It’s entirely possible that the most popular team in the country over the next weeks will be Texas A&M. The Aggies could have a ton of influence in the race for the College Football Playoff, given they finish with road games at No. 4 Georgia and No. 1 LSU.
Fan bases from other playoff-contending teams will very likely be donning some maroon to support the Aggies in their bid to shake up the playoff race and give other squads a shot.
Bad defense could be bad news for Cowboys with Patriots next
The last two games have been ones to forget defensively for the Dallas Cowboys.
Giving up 28 points in a loss to a good Vikings team was one thing, but allowing the Lions with a backup quarterback to score 27 points Sunday was quite another.
Thanks to the fact the Cowboys took advantage of a Lions defense that’s one of the worst in the NFL, Dallas earned a 35-27 win in Detroit and took over sole possession of first in the NFC East.
But next up is a game at the Super Bowl champion Patriots, which could get ugly if the Cowboys don’t clean things up defensively.
Landmark win for Porter High School
Porter High School in suburban Houston entered the start of the state playoffs Saturday having never won a playoff game in school history.
Well, make it one win now for the Spartans.
Porter grinded out a 21-17 win over Fort Bend Hightower to earn its first-ever playoff win.
Next up for Porter is a second-round game against Manor on Friday.