Posted October 18th, 2005 by Brian
Filed under: Football

The first Bowl Championship Series standings were released today and it was good news for the Texas Longhorns. We come out further behind #1 USC than I thought, but we have a pretty good hold onto the all important #2 slot.

Here are the rankings for the teams that have a legitimate shot of finishing the season in the top 2:

    Harris Poll USA Today Computer Avg. BCS
1 USC .9933 .9935 .990 .9923
2 Texas .9646 .9626 .950 .9591
3 Va. Tech .9189 .9213 .880 .9067
4 Georgia .8818 .8781 .920 .8933
5 Alabama .8064 .8097 .850 .8220

Before this weekend a lot of BCS experts were predicting Texas to debut at #3, but as you can see we’ve got a reasonably safe lead over #3 Virginia Tech and the rest of the pack. Virginia Tech is actually much closer to #4 Georgia than they are to being #2. I’m a little surprised to see how much more the computers like Georgia than Virginia Tech, and we better hope it stays that way. Switch Georgia and Virginia Tech’s computer rankings and the Hokies are right on our tails. It looks like Alabama is on the outside looking in as well, as they’re almost a full point behind the top 4. After Alabama you start seeing one loss teams and teams like Texas Tech and UCLA, who would need a miracle to make it to the Rose Bowl no matter how many games they win.

Texas’ chances of the Rose Bowl got a lot better on Saturday thanks to a number of factors:

  1. Colorado 17, Texas 42. First of all, a blow out victory over a ranked conference opponent is always good. Texas went out and easily handled a very respectable Colorado team and Vince Young showed that the team can beat you in many different ways. There’s a ton of different factors that go in to the BCS rankings, but number one is winning games. With the number of undefeated teams this year, it doesn’t look like there will be a back door to the championship game this year.
  2. USC looked beatable for the third straight week. Without a Trojans’ loss it’s not likely we’ll pass them in either of the human polls or in the BCS, but any Harris or USA Today voter that can be swayed is big. The more first place votes we get in those two polls the harder it’ll be for Virginia Tech or any of the other teams behind them to pass us. We picked up fewer first place votes this week than I thought we would, but if we can soundly beat a top ten Texas Tech this weekend we might see even more of those votes coming our way.
  3. Ohio State came from behind to win. For much of the afternoon Saturday it looked like the Buckeyes would be dealt another loss from Michigan State and the Horns’ strength of schedule would take a hit because of it. Thanks in large part to a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown with seconds remaining in the first half, they pulled out the come from behind victory. Our computer rankings as well as national perceptions hinge a lot on the play of Ohio State so we need them to keep winning football games. If they can climb back into the top 10 in the polls it would definitely give us a boost.
  4. Florida State gets upset by Virginia. Virginia Tech doesn’t play FSU in the regular season but there was a good chance they would play them in the ACC championship game. If the Seminoles had made it to that game undefeated, either one of those teams could have caused trouble for us. A solid win over a top 4, undefeated team in a conference championship setting could have given voters a reason to put either FSU or VT ahead of us on their ballots. Now, Longhorn fans can root for FSU to run the table and win the ACC, knocking off the Hokies in the process.

With the way things came down today it looks like we can control our own destiny. If the team continues to play the way they’ve been playing and just continues to win football games, they should be headed back to the Rose Bowl. The BCS is a strange and stupid system, but right now it appears to be on our side.

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