Texas tumbles to No. 10

The Horns, ranked No. 3 heading into the Big 12 Championship Game, dropped seven spots to No. 10 in both national polls released Sunday afternoon.

With a win over Colorado, Texas would in all likelihood have been college football's No. 2 team behind only unbeaten Miami, but the 39-37 loss to the Buffs sent the Horns to the outer edge of the top 10, setting up UT's bowl game as a must-win for a first-in-18-years top 10 finish.

Washington, the Horns' likely bowl opponent, is No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Today poll and No. 20 in the AP rankings.

Tennessee took over the No. 2 spot in both polls after beating Florida in Gainesville Saturday, while Oregon moved up to the No. 3 spot vacated by Texas. Nebraska jumped to No. 4 in the coaches' poll and Longhorn-killer Colorado vaulted to No. 5. The AP poll pushed the Buffs to the No. 4 spot ahead of the No. 5 Huskers. Florida and Maryland occupy the Nos. 6 and 7 spots in both polls. BYU and Illinois are tied for No. 8 in the AP poll while the Illini and the Cougars are 8-9 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, just ahead of Texas. OU is a consensus No. 11.

The BCS rankings, scheduled for release Monday afternoon, probably won't be quite as harsh to the Horns, but at this point the BCS standings are meaningless to Texas. Despite a probable No. 7 spot in the BCS, UT will not garner one of the eight BCS berths. Instead, the Horns will probably head to the Holiday and the league's fourth-best bowl opportunity.

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