7. Houston (14-2)
At this time last week, Houston was the final unbeaten team in the nation. The Cougars’ resume includes some solid wins, including Dayton, Utah, Texas A&M, and Xavier all away from home. While this team has certainly looked like one of the nation’s best, they’ve also just begun their first foray into Big 12 play and it was a rude awakening.
The Cougars suffered their first loss of the season back on Tuesday night, falling 57-53 at Iowa State in their first-ever road Big 12 game. Emanuel Sharp put up 20 points and the defense played decently but it wasn’t enough to win in Ames. Saturday wasn’t any better, as Houston lost 68-67 on the road at TCU, losing a close game at the very end. J’Wan Roberts had 20 points and 13 rebounds while Damian Dunn scored 17, but those efforts still led to a second straight defeat.
First and foremost, the Houston team we saw in those fourteen straight wins is still right here. This team can win and hang with any team in the country and might boast the nation’s best defense. However, they got their first real idea of the rigors of Big 12 play especially when you have to play a couple of tough games on the road. More tough outings will come for the Cougars, though they’ll stay at home next week, welcoming in Texas Tech and UCF.