The penultimate College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday night and, for what feels like the 52nd straight week, the Texas Longhorns came in at No. 7, two spots behind the Oregon Ducks, one spot behind the Ohio State Buckeyes, and one spot ahead of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
But while Texas will face Oklahoma State for the Big 12 Championship on Saturday, their positioning at No. 7 and how the Selection Committee views this team, specifically in relation to Oregon, could prove to be problematic for Steve Sarkisian's group.
As noted by Brett McMurphy of the Action Network, Texas has been ranked behind Oregon in every iteration of the CFP rankings to this point. So if both teams were to win their conference championship, it would likely be the Ducks that would get into the field of four ahead of the Longhorns.
Texas and Oregon finished the regular season with identical 11-1 overall records. However, the Ducks have a chance to avenge their one loss on the year in a rematch against Washington for the Pac-12 title. The Longhorns don't have that luxury, however, as Oklahoma State edged out Oklahoma for the other spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.
At the same time, Texas has two Top 25 wins on the season to their credit, including a victory over No. 8 Alabama on the road. Oregon has just one, their most recent victory against rival Oregon State, ranked No. 20. So the Longhorns have the clear advantage in terms of quality wins.
Will Texas get screwed out of a College Football Playoff berth?
So what is the scenario that Texas makes the College Football Playoff if the committee remains pot-committed to Oregon being ranked ahead of them?
In essence, the Pac-12 Championship Game only exists to secure one spot ahead of the Longhorns. Based on how Oregon has been ranked in relation to Texas, the Ducks would make it in over Texas, as would undefeated Washington if they were to win that Pac-12 rivalry showdown twice this year.
Even if there is a case to be made that Texas has and would have the better overall resumé, that doesn't appear to be an option for the Longhorns based on the current rankings. However, there are still several outlets for the Longhorns.
If Texas beats Oklahoma State and Florida State were to lose in the ACC Championship Game against Louisville, that would likely open up a spot for a one-loss conference champion. That would almost surely get Texas into the field, regardless of what happens with Alabama and Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
As for that SEC Championship Game, though, it would be beneficial for Texas if Georgia were to stay perfect and beat Alabama. Though the Longhorns have a head-to-head win over the Crimson Tide, it's easy to envision the committee still favoring a one-loss SEC Champion over a one-loss Big 12 Champion.
Texas has a good shot to beat Oklahoma State to finish 12-1 as the Big 12 Champions. However, based on the rankings in regard to Oregon, they'll likely need more help from elsewhere in the country on conference championship weekend to make it into the Playoff.