Despite a lack of style points in Texas' 35-7 victory over Kansas on Saturday -- especially when compared to Florida's 56-6 rout of then-No. 24 South Carolina -- the Longhorns held off the Gators and maintained third place in today's updated BCS standings.
The Longhorns (10-1) finished with a BCS average of .8911, remaining ahead of Florida (.8755) and assuring that Big 12 teams continue to hold three of the top five spots in the BCS standings for a second consecutive week. Alabama remains at No. 1 in the BCS (.9787), followed by Texas Tech (.9698), Texas, Florida and Oklahoma (.8388).
Texas remained ahead of Florida because of the Longhorns' strength in the computer rankings. Texas ranks No. 3 with the computers, two spots ahead of Florida. Tech is ranked No. 1 in the computers, with Alabama at No. 2. Alabama (11-0) continues to set the overall BCS pace because the Crimson Tide is ranked No. 1 by voters in both the coaches poll and the Harris poll, which make up two-thirds of the BCS formula.
Tech (10-0) and Oklahoma (9-1) meet Saturday in Norman, Okla., so the loser will backtrack in next week's standings. Alabama (11-0) and Florida (9-1) will meet Dec. 6 in the Southeastern Conference championship game, likely removing the loser of that game from contention to play in the BCS championship game, Jan. 8 in Miami.
The top two teams in the final BCS standings, released on Dec. 7 -- one day after completion of the regular season -- will play Jan. 8 in the BCS national title game. Texas, or any other team, could advance to the BCS title game without winning its conference championship as long as it finishes among the top two in the final standings on Dec. 7.
Two previous participants in BCS national championship games got there without winning their conference titles: Nebraska in 2001 and Oklahoma in 2003. Nebraska did not play in the 2001 Big 12 championship game. Oklahoma played in the 2003 Big 12 championship game but lost to Kansas State.
_ Jimmy Burch