Texas Remains At No. 9 In BCS

Texas remained entrenched at the No. 9 spot for the second consecutive week in the latest BCS rankings released Monday.

The Horns’ 50-20 shellacking of Texas A&M Friday impacted Aggie head coach R.C. Slocum (fired Monday by school officials) more than it did BCS computers. Chances are, Slocum was on his way out anyway. If it were up to me, so would the BCS bowl selection process.

Texas’ slim hopes for a BCS at-large bowl berth hinged, in part, on Notre Dame falling out of eligibility (i.e., below the No. 12 spot) after its horrific performance at USC (BCS No. 4). Apparently even impartial computers love the Domers as much as the Orange Bowl officials who are salivating at the thought of extending the invitation to the Irish (No. 10 BCS) and all of their subway alumni and TV ratings.

Miami remained No. 1 but must beat Virginia Tech Saturday to assure itself of a Fiesta Bowl matchup with No. 2 Ohio State.

Without playing a game, Washington State rose from No. 8 to No. 6, but must win at UCLA Saturday to represent the Pac 10 in the Rose Bowl against BCS No. 5 Iowa. Georgia is No. 3 (Quick! Name three people who play for the ‘Dawgs. That’s why bowl officials still get all moist about Notre Dame).

Idle Kansas State also rose two spots without suiting up Saturday to occupy the No. 8 spot, just ahead of the Longhorn team that beat them on their own field. (The Wildcats and Cougars of the BCS world are getting a lot of ‘quality win’ mileage out of their early seasons wins over USC because it sho’ ain’t their strength of schedule).

Oklahoma fell (tee-hee) to the No. 7 spot and out of contention for the national title after falling for the second year in a row to in-state rival Oklahoma State, 38-28. The Sooners will face Colorado (BCS No. 12) for the Big 12 Championship Saturday.

Here’s my weekly gripe: Texas’ strength-of-schedule rating (22nd) is better than five of the eight teams ranked ahead of them (Miami, Oklahoma, Iowa, Washington State and Kansas State). No surprise that Kansas State’s schedule strength (No. 52!) is by far the weakest of any BCS Top 10 team, and that’s even with USC, Texas and Colorado on their list of opponents. And the Wildcats lost to two of the three BCS teams that they faced.

A four-loss Florida State is already in a BCS Bowl, but a pair of three-loss teams (Colorado, Arkansas) could also qualify with wins Saturday.

All evidence continues to point to a Texas Cotton Bowl matchup with LSU (even though there are five, five! SEC teams ranked ahead of the Tigers in the latest AP rankings). In fact, LSU is barely on the national scene at all, with a No. 25 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Poll and No. 26 in the AP.

Oh, well. If Texas is halfway interested in the 10 a.m. wake-up call of a bowl game, the score in this one should make the A&M outcome look like a squeaker. And Texas should once again finish at No. 5 with an 11-2 final ranking. (Maybe that’s better than playing Miami).

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