Say Goodbye to the Top 10: Texas Falls to 11th

Texas fell from the top 10 for the first time in over a year after dropping a 42-38 season-killer to Texas Tech Saturday in Lubbock. The loss to the borderline top 25, four-loss Red Raiders eliminated any hopes the Horns had to earn a Big 12 title, mush less a national championship.

UT came in at No. 11 in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls released Sunday, and the BCS ratings scheduled for release Monday afternoon will almost certainly be even more harsh. Not that the BCS even matters anymore to this now two-loss Texas team, whose players will be forced to watch the Fiesta, Sugar, Rose and Orange Bowls on the tube.

Miami, riding a 31-game win streak (one better than UT's best-ever streak), remains a unanimous choice at the top of both polls, followed in the AP by Ohio State, Washington State, Oklahoma, Iowa, Georgia, USC, Notre Dame, Alabama and Kansas State and in the coaches' poll by OSU, WSU, Iowa, OU, Georgia, USC, Notre Dame, Michigan and K-State.

Tech used its upset over Texas to jump into the coaches' poll at No. 23 and the writers' poll at No. 24. Colorado, after a 41-27 win over Iowa State that clinched the Buffs' second straight Big 12 title game appearance, is the only other Big 12 team in the polls, coming in at No. 17 in ESPN/USA Today and No. 16 in AP.

An interesting note: of the 11 teams ranked ahead of the Horns in one of the two polls, seven have coaches that have less tenure at their school than does Mack Brown at Texas. Matter of fact, the two teams that are at the top of the rankings, as well as Georgia, USC and Alabama, are coached by second-year head men in Larry Coker and Jim Tressel. The Fightin' Irish are led by first-year head coach Ty Willingham. The Hawkeyes' Kirk Ferentz and the Sooners' Bob Stoops, who won a national title and is in contention for another in this his fourth year in Norman, have one less year on the job than does the Texas head man.

The Horns could finish with their second-consecutive 11-win, top 10 finish (and a top five finish, although unlikely, is not out of the question) by closing out the regular season with a win over Texas A&M on the day after Thanksgiving and then winning in whichever mid-level bowl extends Texas an offer.


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