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College Baseball Rankings - Texas Steady At 5, Rice Sneaks In

The latest top 25 college baseball polls released by Baseball America on Monday featured five teams from the state of Texas, headlined by Texas-Austin holding onto its #5 spot after sweeping Kansas State at home to open conference play. The Longhorns improved to 15-5 on the year, having played just three games outside of their home stadium thus far. After hosting Houston Baptist in mid-week action, the Longhorns will get their toughest road test to date, traveling to Oklahoma State for a weekend series.

The hometown Rice Owls managed to hold onto a poll spot, keeping their #25 ranking from a week ago. The Owls lost their mid-weeker to Dallas Baptist, but swept weekend opponent Louisiana Tech by a combined score of 21-6 over three games. Rice is sitting on just a 13-9 record, but has played a brutal schedule so far.

More on the state of college baseball in the state of Texas after the jump.

The Aggies of Texas A&M made the biggest jump in the polls this week, vaulting all the way from #21 to #8 after defeating traditional power #13 Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday before taking two of three on the road from #9 Oklahoma. A&M had fallen from its early season top 10 ranking due to a week schedule and a poor performance at the Houston College Classic, but they've had a heck of a week. They will look to stay hot against Stephen F. Austin and Kansas this week.

TCU, last year's darlings of Omaha, had a rough week that saw them fall from #10 to #14. The drop followed a 2-2 week against non-powers Texas-Arlington and UNLV. After Tuesday and Friday losses, the Horned Frogs did storm back for blowout victories on Saturday and Sunday, giving them some momentum heading into their games this week against Texas State (Tuesday) and Houston (Friday-Sunday).

It was a rough week for Baylor, as well, losing two of three at home against an unranked Texas Tech squad, and seeing their spot in the top 25 drop from #14 to #21.Still, the Bears are 6-2 on their current homestand, which continues this week against Texas-Arlington and Kansas State.

For those wondering where the Houston Cougars stand after an impressive week that saw a mid-week road win over McNeese State, and a series victory (two of three) over a talented Kent State squad, the answer (at least according to the pretty reliable Boyd's World) is #56. The 11-10 record isn't exactly eye-popping, but the Cougars have done well enough against a tough schedule (ranked #16 by the same source) to keep themselves within striking distance of an NCAA tournament at-large berth, the stated goal of head coach Todd Whitting pre-season, should they improve the record from here on out. Not bad for an inexperienced squad running frighteningly short on pitching, with a first year head coach.

The road isn't getting any easier for the Coogs, however. Their next nine games are on the road, and all against ranked teams. There is a Tuesday game with #25 Rice this week, a series at #14 TCU, another Tuesday trip to Reckling Park, a road series with #20 Tulane to open conference play, and then a Tuesday game with #8 Texas A&M to cap things off. The Cougars are sitting at 11-10 currently. If they end that stretch with a .500 record (basically, go 4-5 in those nine games) it would be a huge win.

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