Texas looks like only Big 12 team assured of a BCS berth

November, 9, 2009
11/09/09
11:30
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Texas has as clear of a path to the BCS as any of the national challengers. All the 9-0 Longhorns need to do is win the rest of their games and claim the Big 12 championship game. Mack Brown’s team figures to be a heavy favorite in every one of those games.

The Thanksgiving night trip to College Station could be the trickiest, but the Longhorns have an easier path to Pasadena than any team in the top 3, with Alabama and Florida set to play each other in the SEC title game. They don’t even have to leave the state of Texas in any of their remaining games before the bowls.

The only other Big 12 team with an outside shot at an at-large berth in the BCS is 7-2 Oklahoma State. The Cowboys, ranked No. 17 in the most recent BCS standings, have played much better than anybody would have perceived before the start of the season, considering the loss of leading receiver Dez Bryant and Kendall Hunter for most of the season. The Cowboys’ only losses have come against Texas and Houston -- both in the top 13 of the BCS’ most recent standings.

For the Cowboys to make the title game, they likely will need a slew of teams in front of them to lose. But if that should happen, and they run the rest of the schedule with victories over Texas Tech, Colorado and at Oklahoma, they would be 10-2. And considering who OSU’s losses have been to, they would have as much of an argument as any other two-loss team left.

But it will be more likely for the Big 12 to have only one BCS team, unless Texas should be upset in the Big 12 championship game and the North title winner would win the berth in the Fiesta Bowl. If that would happen, the Longhorns still likely would qualify as a BCS at-large team, although their national title hopes assuredly would be dashed.

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