Brown To BCS Media: Vote Texas

Put Texas in a BCS bowl by advancing the team in this week's polls or work to overhaul a flawed system. That was Longhorn coach Mack Brown's directive Friday to sports media who have a vote in the national rankings. It came on the heels of his team's 26-13 comeback win over Texas A&M Friday.

These are Brown's verbatim comments:

"I told the kids in the dressing room that I would ask you to fight for them on the national scene because they deserve to be in the BCS. They were fifth in the country last year and didn't get to go because the No. 10 team beat the No. 1 team, and that wasn't their fault. This year they deserve to go. And you as writers and you that have votes should work to help this football team. I'm asking you to do that and I'm asking everybody across the nation. If this is a team that should be in the top eight in the nation then we should change the system because this team is one of the best in the country. They're 13 points away from maybe the best team in the country and winning out. We're a much better team now than we were in October. This team deserves to play in the BCS and, if they don't, then we don't have a system. I told them I'd say it and I really believe it because they're even better than they were at this time last year. Last year, I wasn't sure how good we were. But this year we've played well enough to deserve it and it's in the voters hands. The voters should take control of college football."

For two weeks, Brown has leveled some pointed criticism of the BCS ratings system.

"The schedule's tough," Brown said. "The Big 12 South is the second best league in America. Our league is tough enough and our kids have handled every test that's been thrown at them to put them in this position. They deserve to go more than some teams that are being talked about right now."

Forget about Cal needing to lose at Southern Miss, or any of the other what-if scenarios that have surrounded this team as of late, Brown suggested.

"The only thing that has to happen is that if you have a vote, go vote for us. We would love it. That's it. We'd get in. That's all that needs to happen. If the ones that can vote will vote this team up, we go. And that's what I think should happen. Last year, we were already in. Then Kansas State and Oklahoma screwed it up. As long as the Big 12 championship didn't change like it did last year, this year if it's votes, to me the voters should put us in. They put us in last year and this team is better than the one we had last year. I'm speaking for the whole staff and a bunch of Texas fans."

Moments before Brown's appeal, WLB Derrick Johnson said, "Definitely, this is a BCS (caliber) team."

When asked if the win Friday made for a strong enough BCS statement, RB Cedric Benson said: "I think we make a BCS statement every week. The last four weeks, we've been challenged and had adversity to the max. We showed tremendous courage out there and tremendous bounce back. We're fighters, we're warriors out there. We don't give up till the final clock."

Benson has not given up on his Heisman campaign, either. He made a tongue-in-cheek appeal to Heisman voters when final ballots are cast in a few days.

"Vote Benson," he grinned.

The next exit polls, er, next-to-last BCS rankings will be released Monday.

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