Heading into the Big 12 Championship game this weekend, the Texas Longhorns remained at No. 7 in the College Football Playoff rankings released on Tuesday evening, the final rankings before Sunday’s Bowl Selection Show that includes the announcement of the four teams that will play for the national championship.
Like the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll, the CFP rankings have Texas behind Ohio State despite the Buckeyes losing to the Wolverines on Saturday, raising questions about whether the Longhorns could move into the top four with a win over the Cowboys in Arlington.
Also notable? No team ranked lower than No. 6 in the penultimate rankings has ever made the playoffs.
Asked if Texas is a College Football Playoff contender on Monday, Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian responded, “Why wouldn’t I?”
For Sarkisian and his team, the focus remains on what they can control — winning the Big 12 title.
“I don’t know why I wouldn’t think we’re a College Football Playoff contender. We’ll talk more about that I’m sure after the game Saturday, but we’re in great position. What I also know is we have to take care of our business, like I touched on Friday,” said Sarkisian.
“We’ve got a huge game in front of us here Saturday and there is no College Football Playoff talk if we don’t play a really good Saturday and try to find a way to win that game. And if that happens, then there’s another discussion to be had, but a lot of people have got to play a lot of good teams, got to play one another, and like I say all the time to the team that the dust is gonna settle where it’s supposed to. So we’ll see what happens.”
What remains out of the control of Texas is what happens in the ACC Championship game that features No. 4 Florida State against No. 14 Louisville — a loss by the Seminoles without starting quarterback Jordan Travis is the key to the Longhorns having a chance at making the playoffs for the first time.