Mack Brown, while keeping an eye on the rankings, is trying to ensure his players keep both eyes focused on a much more managble target: themselves.
"What we do every Sunday afternoon is, we meet with the team, go over film, talk about the good and bad (of the film), and then take a little time to go over the picture in the BCS," he said. "We want them to understand that our goal is to be best team we can be. The system is set up where we will go to the best bowl we can go to (but) we can't slip up. (Yesterday's results) show how little we can control. We've told them that everything works out well for the best teams and if we're one of best teams we'll have some opportunities at the end of the year."
Kansas, this weekend's UT opponent, announced the firing of coach Terry Allen Sunday afternoon, adding somewhat to the already high BCS distraction factor, but since the OU game, Brown and staff have done an outstanding job of keeping this Texas team focused on each week's task at hand and there's no reason to think that will change with the Jayhawks coming to Austin.
"We've asked them to play to a standard," Brown said of the staff's success in keeping the team focused and motivated. "We've told them they can't turn it on and turn it off and still be a great football team at the end of the year. They need to play well and improve each week. That's how you win championships."
Notes: No update yet on Tillman Holloway's condition. Starting left guard Holloway left the Baylor game early in the second quarter and was taken to a Waco hospital with what was described as a neck and shoulder injury. Junior Beau Baker replaced Holloway at left guard. Brown said Baker, for being the team's fourth guard, played really well. Antwan Kirk-Hughes, the Horns' regular starter at right guard, made the trip to Waco but did not suit out. Swing guard Derrick Dockery got his second straight start at the spot. The head coach said Sunday that the coaches "feel like Antwan should be back this week" from the ankle injury he suffered in practice a week-and-a-half ago. If Holloway and Kirk-Hughes can't go this weekend vs. Kansas, Baker would get the starting nod at left guard with Dockery starting on the right side. Redshirt freshman Trey Bates is the only other guard on the roster that has taken a regular season snap this fall. True freshmen LG Will Allen and RG Terrance Young are the Horns' other healthy guards but it's unlikely the coaches would strip the 'shirt from either of them. The more likely scenario is Dockery simply playing every snap, occasionally sliding to left guard (with Bates in for a few snaps at right guard) to give Baker a breather. Dockery is capable of playing every snap. He (and the rest of the OL starters) did so in the Missouri game. . . . On another offensive line note, the coach Sunday praised the Baylor game play of RT Mike Williams and C Matt Anderson. Brown said Williams continues to play like one of the best offensive linemen in the country. . . . "We're really pleased with the win," Brown said Sunday. "We felt we played really well and played a complete ballgame. Just about everybody graded a winning performance." On defense, nickel back and leading tackler Dakarai Pearson earned player of the game honors as picked by the coaches. On offense, the award went to Roy Williams after his six-catch, 147-yard performance. Punt returner Nathan Vasher, who averaged 24.7 yards on his seven returns, snagged the special team's honor. . . . The head coach said the Horns won the WIT chart battle on both sides of the ball, although the defense did give up two scores on Baylor's two trips in the red zone and the offense converted just five of 15 third down attempts. Texas had 11 explosive plays in the game to the Bears' five. . . . DT Maurice Gordon played his best game of the season, Brown said, and WLB Derrick Johson returned to his early season form with six hits on the Baylor quarterbacks. He also praised SLB Tyrone Jones for what he called a "difference-making play" on his first quarter field goal block. . . . "Yesterday, we could have scored a couple more times but I don't think that would have moved us up in the polls," Brown said.