The Texas Longhorns need other teams to lose to have a shot at the final four.
In the recent College Football Playoff rankings, the Texas Longhorns remain at No. 7 after defeating the then-No. 23 Kansas State Wildcats in an overtime match at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
The top eight teams all won this week, keeping the rankings unchanged in the following order — Ohio State, Georgia, Michigan, Florida State, Washington, Oregon, Texas, and Alabama. However, Oklahoma’s loss to Oklahoma State caused its ranking to drop from No. 9 to No. 17, putting them behind the Cowboys and the Jayhawks at No. 16. The Wildcats dropped to No. 25.
Potential movement could occur without waiting for the conference championship games. No. 5 Washington will host No. 18 Utah in Seattle on Saturday, and then face No. 12 Oregon State in a later game. No. 8 Alabama’s chances of overtaking Texas before the SEC title game looks slim. Similarly, No. 2 Georgia has a challenging finish with upcoming games against No. 9 Ole Miss and No. 14 Tennessee.
If Washington and Oregon finish the regular season undefeated, a conference championship game matchup would ensure a loss for one team. The game between No. 1 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan holds significant playoff implications as a de facto play-in game. The Longhorns are concerned that the loss to Oklahoma looks worse with Oklahoma now on a two-game losing streak, increasing the possibility of other teams with one loss remaining ahead of them.
While Texas has some control by winning out in the regular season and then winning the Big 12 Championship game, it’s far from guaranteed. The Longhorns are positioned ambiguously in the playoffs race.
Alex Martin is your guide to the global phenomenon of football. With a focus on international leagues and tournaments, he provides match commentary, player interviews, and behind-the-scenes stories from the world of football.