The Horns fell from 5th to 10th in the BCS listings after their 42-38 loss at Texas Tech Saturday. Frankly, its a little higher than I expected. Again, it doesnt matter. The BCS is important only for those teams with a shot at finishing in the top four when the smoke clears Dec. 8. (The top two teams, of course, vie for the national title while teams ranked third or fourth are essentially guaranteed an at-large bid resulting from the so-called Kansas State rule established in 1999. The year before, the Wildcats finished No. 3 in the BCS and ended up in the Alamo Bowl after Texas A&M shocked them in the Big 12 Championship.)
For those who care, Miami reclaimed the top spot in the BCS, replacing Ohio State. The Buckeyes tumbled to No. 2 following successive close calls, including last Saturdays overtime squeaker at Illinois. Washington State (probably the one team bowl officials least want to see in the national championship game) remains at No. 3, followed by Oklahoma at No. 4. Georgia clinched the SEC East Division championship in the final 94 seconds at Auburn this past weekend and is listed at No. 5. Rounding out the Top 10 are Notre Dame, Iowa, USC, Michigan, and Texas.
Other Big 12 schools listed are No. 11 Kansas State and Big 12 North Division champ Colorado at No. 13.
Part of head coach Mack Browns Monday mantras this past month is to tell sports writers how unconcerned he is with polls.
"Right now my concern is to get our team ready to play Texas A&M," the Texas head coach said.
Brown is no exception: his comment is typical coach-speak. Just once, though, Id like to hear a coach (any coach) say: "Hell yeah, the polls are important. Sure, they are overemphasized and imprecise, but the rankings are important. Its important because of the millions of dollars allocated for BCS bowl participants. Its important because highly ranked teams are high profile teams, and the positive exposure is critical to recruiting. Its important because its important to our fans. So, I pay attention to where my team is each week because, short of a playoff system, it has everything to do with our highest aspirations."
Wouldnt that be refreshing?
Also, I couldnt help but notice that CNNSI.coms bowl projection for Texas released today is exactly what I forecast one month ago: Texas vs. LSU in the Cotton Bowl. (Of course, anyone other than OU winning the Big 12 this year could send Texas to the Alamo Bowl. Yee hah. Arriba.)