Texas No. 9 In BCS Rankings

Texas is No. 9 in the latest BCS rankings released Monday evening, up one spot from last week. Miami is No. 1 and plays at Syracuse this weekend. Ohio State is No. 2 and has completed its regular season.

There is no conference championship game in the Big 10, much to the chagrin (this year, at least) of Iowa. The Hawkeyes, No. 5, also finished with an unblemished conference slate and lost only to in-state rival Iowa State. Oklahoma at No. 3 and fourth-ranked Georgia round out the BCS Top 5.

No. 6 USC hosts No. 7 Notre Dame Saturday. Washington State fell to No. 8 after losing in triple overtime to arch rival Washington. Kansas State is listed at No. 10 while No. 12 Colorado is the third Big 12 school included in the rankings.

The top two teams in the final rankings released Dec. 8, of course, vie for the national title while teams ranked third or fourth are guaranteed an at-large bid to a BCS Bowl. Otherwise, BCS Bowl officials are free to choose qualified at-large teams.

Head coach Mack Brown was asked Monday if he could fathom a situation where Texas might still secure an at-large bid following a win over Texas A&M.

"We talked about that stuff two weeks ago at Texas Tech and lost the game," Brown said, "so we’re not going to talk about it now. We’re going to talk to our players about what we can control, which is beating A&M."

From where I sit, the only conceivable scenario is one involving USC absolutely trouncing Notre Dame, Washington State losing to UCLA, and there being no upsets in either the Big 12 and SEC conference championship games. It does not put Texas in the top four but bowl officials would then scan the BCS Top 10 for one more at-large team, choosing between a 10-2 Texas team or a 10-2 Notre Dame. (Sorry Wildcat fans, but a 10-2 Kansas State team will never get picked before Texas or Notre Dame). All things being equal, Notre Dame is the only college football program that will always get the nod over Texas (and over every other program, for that matter). That’s why Texas’ ever-so-slim for a BCS Bowl hinges on USC handing Notre Dame an ever-so-embarrassing whuppin’ in Los Angeles.

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