Texas Checks In At No. 7

On the day after Texas’ stirring 17-14 win at Kansas State, and on the eve of the release of the first BCS Poll, the Horns moved up a spot to No. 7 in both the AP and Coaches Top 25 rankings released Sunday.

Head coach Mack Brown said early last week that the team plans on winning every game the rest of the season. Although smarting-but-dangerous Iowa State and Nebraska loom, Texas cleared what should be its biggest hurdle toward realizing Brown’s directive at Manhattan, Kansas on Saturday. Brown said Sunday he expects the Cyclones (AP No. 17; Coaches No. 18) and QB Seneca Wallace to play their best game of the season when they visit Royal Memorial Stadium Saturday for the 2:30 p.m. contest. ABC will televise the game on a regional basis.

The Miami Hurricanes should not be seriously challenged for the top spot until their season-ending showdown against No. 3 Virginia Tech. Oklahoma strengthened its hold on the No. 2 spot in both polls and has a week off before hosting Colorado (No. 21 AP; No. 20 Coaches).

Ohio State and Georgia round out the top five, followed by Notre Dame at No. 6. The Irish play a critical intersectional game at No. 11 Florida State this weekend.

Kansas State fell to No. 20 (AP) and No. 21 (Coaches) after Texas beat the 'Cats for the first time in league play.

With seven weeks of football remaining, Texas entertains a realistic shot at creeping up the polls and hovering somewhere around the Top 3 spots by the time the Aggies goose-step into Austin the day after Thanksgiving.

Speaking of the Farmers, R.C. Slocum’s bunch hasn’t been ranked all month and yet they control their own destiny in the Big 12 race. If the Aggies beat OU in College Station next month, they could be playing for a league title when they face Texas. (All the better to beat you with, my dear.)

There are now eight (count them, eight!) Big 12 bowl affiliations, which means everybody goes bowling except Baylor, Kansas, Missouri and whoever ends up sucking the least between Nebraska and Oklahoma State. Realistically, Texas and OU are the only conference teams with a clear shot at a BCS Bowl. And anything less than Brown’s first BCS Bowl appearance would be a bitter disappointment for a team that has the talent level that it does and showed the tenacity that it did at K-State.

But given its one loss and unimpressive non-conference slate, Texas may be only a borderline Top 10 BCS team when the composite ranking is released for the first time Monday. If UT runs the table, you gotta hope that not only Kansas State and Iowa State (they meet Nov. 9 in Manhattan) finish in the Top 25 but (as unsavory as it sounds), the Aggies do, too.

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