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How the Texas Longhorns could become bowl eligible with 5 wins

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There's some legitimate hope for the Horns after all...

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The seemingly endless proliferation of bowl games means that there may not be enough bowl-eligible teams this season, opening the door for a five-win Texas Longhorns team to have a postseason, according to ESPN.

When the Longhorns lost to the West Virginia Mountaineers over the weekend to sink to 4-6 with games remaining against the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Baylor Bears, head coach Charlie Strong's program looked all but eliminated from bowl contention.

But since there are now 41 bowl games requiring 80 teams and 80 teams may not reach six wins, there is some serious confusion about what happens next because the first five tiebreakers don't apply to 5-7 teams:

Keith Martin, the NCAA's managing director, said the final tiebreaker (Bylaw 18.7.2.1.4) indicates that if 5-7 teams are needed, the top five teams in the FBS with the best APR would be selected. Those five teams -- Wisconsin, Northwestern, Duke, Michigan and Stanford -- have already reached six wins.

Bowl and conference sources told ESPN that their understanding of the APR rule is that it's supposed to rank the available 5-7 teams by APR. The NCAA disagrees.

Worth noting for Texas is that the Horns don't have a great APR in football at 958 last year, which ranks behind at least 13 teams that could reach five wins, so reaching that threshold will hardly guarantee a bowl bid.

For a better sense of what's going on, check out all of Brett McMurphy's article, but the gist is that the bowls could end up making agreements on the side with the NCAA set to meet with the conferences to decide how this all gets sorted out.

Depending on how things do shake out, winning one of the last two games may not be enough to earn the Horns a bowl bid, but it could be, and that's a major development for a program that desperately needs the extra 15 practices.