"If you don't even think about the (Texas A&M) rivalry, basically we're in the playoffs when you're in the Top 10 at the end of the year because you're in elimination games from the BCS," Brown said. "You're in a different group if you lose a game this time of year."
Texas (9-2) closes out the regular season against reeling Texas A&M (4-7) at 2:30 p.m., Friday, at Kyle Field. A Longhorn win, coupled with an Oklahoma victory over Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship (December 6) will likely send Texas to the Fiesta Bowl as an at-large team. Early projections have Texas facing either ACC champ Florida State or the SEC champ. Washington State's upset loss at Washington also opened the possibility for an at-large team to face Big 10 champ Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
"They've put themselves in a position where they are considered one of the top six teams in the country right now," Brown said. "From where we were after OU to where we are now is really hard to do. I'm proud of them for doing that."
As expected, Michigan leapfrogged Texas in the BCS ratings following its win over Ohio State. The Wolverines and the Longhorns have virtually identical ‘strength of schedules' this week with Michigan's slate rated No. 13 while Texas' pre-A&M schedule-strength is listed as No. 12. Michigan, however, picks up ‘quality win' points with the win over the Buckeyes.
Of note, The New York Times computer rankings continues to place Texas at No. 2 while the Billingsley rating puts Texas at No. 10, the lowest mark of the seven computer services.
Brown balanced BCS speculation against the 110th meeting of the ‘Horns and the Aggies, the nation's third-longest continuous rivalry.
"Some people in this state would feel that the A&M rivalry game is more important than anything that happens afterward," Brown said. "It's been around a whole lot longer than the BCS. Whether we like it or not, people will talk about the Aggie game more than they will talk about the BCS 15 years from now because it's a rival game that influences everything in their lives. The game Friday is bigger than anything that happens after that. We're not going to be in the national championship picture; we're going to be in a bowl game. We already know that. It just depends on which city."
A worst-case scenario for the Horns would be San Antonio's Alamo Bowl against a nationally-ranked Big 10 also-ran.