Houston Matters

Big stories in three different kinds of Houston football this weekend

We discuss recent news in three different kinds of football: college, the NFL, and European (aka soccer).

Texans safety Jimmie Ward celebrates a game-winning interception in the end zone.
Eric Gay/AP
Texans safety Jimmie Ward celebrates a game-winning interception in the end zone against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

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The weekend brought us big developments in Houston sports, built around three different forms of football — pro football, college football, and MLS — okay, fine, “soccer.”

First, in the NFL, the Texans defeated the Denver Broncos 22-17 Sunday, on the strength of key turnovers, including a last-minute interception in the end zone to seal it. They did so despite losing wideout Tank Dell to a leg injury in the first quarter, and quarterback C.J. Stroud becoming noticeably banged up through much of the fourth quarter.

On the plus side, on defense: Will Anderson, Jr. was a beast, deflecting passes, pressuring and sacking Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson. Derek Stingley, Jr. had two key interceptions. And then Jimmie Ward came up with the end zone pick with nine seconds left.

On offense, in Dell’s absence, Nico Collins led Texans receivers by pulling in nine catches for 191 yards.

In college football, the University of Houston found its new football coach, Willie Fritz from Tulane, who signs a five year deal to replace Dana Holgorsen.

And the college football playoff committee this weekend concluded that the four teams headed to the playoffs will be Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama. Florida State went 13-0 but did not make the cut, a decision our guest, Jeff Balke, disagrees with strongly. The Houston Press writer and Bleav in Astros podcast co-host argues the undefeated Seminoles deserve to be in the college football postseason, and Alabama does not.

Nevertheless, on New Year's Day, Michigan will play Alabama at the Rose Bowl and Washington will take on Texas in the Sugar Bowl. The winners will play here in Houston in the College Football Playoff national championship game on Jan. 8.

In the audio above, we talk about those developments, and finally chat with Balke about European-style football here in America, aka Major League Soccer. The Houston Dynamo turned into a pumpkin in their semifinal match Saturday against Los Angeles, losing 2-0. The LA football club will take on the Columbus Crew in the MLS final next Saturday.