Another 'Holiday' For The Horns

As expected after K-State’s BCS-busting win over OU Saturday evening, the Holiday Bowl snatched up No. 5 Texas for its Dec. 30 contest in San Diego. The Horns will face Washington State (No. 15 AP; No. 14 coaches).

"I think this team will fight to end up as a top five team in the country," Mack Brown said shortly after UT accepted the Holiday bid. "Being No. 5 today is pretty impressive compared to where we were the second week in October."

Texas (10-2) has won six straight games since losing big to national championship game-bound Oklahoma. PAC-10 No. 2 Washington State (9-3) won six straight early in the season after dropping a 29-26 OT heartbreaker to Notre Dame, but lost two if its last four, starting with a 43-16 spanking Nov. 1 at the hands of now No. 1 USC and bookended with a 27-19 regular season-ending loss to Washington.

Brown Sunday expressed disappointment that his team was denied its first-ever BCS bid because of K-State’s shocking win over the Sooners, and he spoke of his growing disillusionment with the BCS system. Although Brown’s frustration is understandable, Texas put its fate in other’s hands by dropping early games to Arkansas and Oklahoma. Wins in those two games and the Horns would be celebrating a Sugar Bowl berth rather than lamenting what-could-have-beens.

The Texas head coach said that the school talked to Cotton Bowl officials last week about the possibility of the Horns making a return trip to the Dallas game, but the parties made a mutual decision against that scenario, opening the door for the eager Holiday Bowl.

This will be UT’s third December in San Diego in the last four years. Texas lost to Oregon 35-30 in the 2000 game and beat Washington 47-43 in 2001.

The Horns will have a 45-minute practice field session on Tuesday before returning to full practice Saturday. The team will leave for California on Dec. 23.

Note: Texas remained at No. 6 in the season's final BCS rankings. Oklahoma, despite being thrashed by Kansas State, remained No. 1 in the BCS, while LSU climbed to No. 2, overtaking (top-ranked in the polls) USC, which dropped from No. 2 to No. 3. Rose Bowl-bound Michigan is No. 4 and Fiesta Bowl-bound Ohio State No. 5.

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