BCS: Texas Stays At No. 5, Closes In On No. 4 Cal

With just one weekend left in college football's regular season, and only one more BCS ranking to be released, Texas (10-1) remained in BCS no-man's land at No. 5, but the Horns crawled closer to No. 4 Cal (9-1) and the possibility for an automatic at-large berth in a BCS bowl. Texas closed out its regular season last Friday with a convincing win over Texas A&M while the Golden Bears must hit the road this weekend, facing 6-4 Southern Miss in Hattiesburg.

The Longhorns win over the Aggies apparently didn't impress the human pollsters, who in composite dropped Texas slightly vis a vis Cal, but the computers took a far more favorable view of the 26-13 win, allowing the Horns to move within a whisker -- or, perhaps, a computer's whim -- of overtaking the Bears in the final BCS rankings to be released next week.

Cal's BCS average stands at .8431, down from last week's .8504, while UT's average climbed to .8418, up from last week's .8301. That leaves the Horns a miniscule .0013 behind the Golden Bears.

Like the last two weeks, if the BCS selection were held today, Texas would be out, but even a slight dip in the computer polls next week could drop Cal below the Horns, and given the Bears' mid-level opponent Saturday, that's not an unrealistic possibility. If Texas overtakes Cal for the No. 4 spot and all else remains the same, the Horns would be guaranteed an at-large berth (the other going to No. 6 Utah, with No. 5 Cal shut out).

USC (11-0), Oklahoma (11-0) and Auburn (11-0) earned the top three spots and Utah (11-0) stayed at No. 6, a spot that if held, by BCS rule, will guarantee the Utes an at-large berth.

Georgia (9-2), after a narrow win over Georgia Tech, jumped Boise State (11-0) for the No. 7 spot, effectively eliminating the nightmare scenario of both the Utes and the now No. 8 Broncos earning at-large bids by finishing in the BCS top six.

Louisville (9-1) and Miami (8-2) also flipped spots from last week, with the Cardinals now at No. 9 and 'Canes at No. 10.

The second 10 consists of LSU, Virginia Tech, Iowa, Michigan, Tennessee, Florida State, Wisconsin, Virginia, Arizona State and Texas A&M.

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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), Miami or Virginia Tech (ACC) and Pittsburgh (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:

USC (1) at UCLA

Oklahoma (2) vs. Colorado in Big 12 Championship Game

Auburn (3) vs. Tennessee (15) in SEC Championship Game

Cal (4) at Southern Miss

Louisville (9) at Tulane

Miami (10) vs. Virginia Tech (12)

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