The BCS rollercoaster ride continues for Texas this week. Although the Horns are still on the rise in the rankings, up to No. 5, their fortunes are currently tied to Utah's, and the Utes climbed back into automatic berth territory at No. 6 after sliding to No. 7 last week. The top four spots in the rankings remained the same, with 10-0 USC at No. 1, followed by No. 2 Oklahoma (10-0), No. 3 Auburn (10-) and No. 4 Cal (8-1).
(9-1) and Utah (10-0) benefited from Wisconsin's loss, which dropped the Badgers from the ranks of the undefeated and from the No. 5 spot in last week's rankings. The Horns, though, are now in a sort of BCS no-man's land at No. 5, sandwiched in-between No. 4 Cal and No. 6 Utah. BCS rules guarantee an at-large berth to a No. 4-ranked at-large eligible team if the top three spots in the standings are occupied by conference champ automatic qualifiers, and that is currently the case with the Bears. BCS rules also stipulate that a non-BCS conference team ranked sixth or higher is also guaranteed a berth, and that is currently the case with the Utes.
So, if the BCS selection were held today, Texas would be out.
That may not be the case, though, in three weeks when the final BCS standings are released. (See Longhorn Bowl Possibilities)
Rounding out the top 10 are No. 7 Michigan (9-1), No. 8 Florida State (8-2), No. 9 Boise State (9-0) and No. 10 Louisville (7-1).
The second 10 consists of Georgia, Miami, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Virginia Tech, LSU, Tennessee, Iowa, Virginia and Texas A&M.
The Ags and the Horns square off on the day after Thanksgiving in Austin.
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The top two teams in the final BCS rankings will play for the national title in the Orange Bowl. The champions of six leagues -- the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and the SEC -- receive automatic berths in one of the four BCS bowls (Orange, Sugar, Rose and Fiesta). There are also two at-large berths available to non-league champion teams from BCS conferences, to independents and to teams from non-BCS leagues. Utah, of the non-BCS Mountain West, will earn one of those at-large berths if it finishes at or above No. 6. So, if the season ended today, the Trojans and Sooners would play for the title, with Auburn (SEC), Michigan (Big 10), Virginia Tech (ACC) and Boston College (Big East) the other automatic conference champion berths. The two at-large berths, as things currently stand, would go to Cal and Utah.
Match-ups this week with top level BCS implications:
Oklahoma (2) at Baylor
Auburn (3) at Alabama
Cal (4) vs. Stanford
Utah (6) vs. BYU
Michigan (7) at Ohio State