AUSTIN (KXAN) — The first College Football Playoff committee rankings come out Tuesday, giving everyone an opening glance at the teams that are in shape to qualify and which teams have work to do.
Texas, 7-1 and ranked No. 7 in the AP Top 25, will more than likely be a team with more work to do to crack the top four spots, but there’s still plenty of football left to be played.
“It’s still pretty early to me,” Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “I haven’t shied away from this — we have a pretty good football team. We’re a versatile team, and we started our backup quarterback against a 5-2 team and won 35-6, and we get another opportunity this weekend to play with a backup. Not every team out there has endured what we’ve had to.”
There seems to be a consensus among poll voters on who the top four teams are, at least right now. Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State have been mainstays in the AP and coaches polls, posting unblemished 8-0 records so far, but Washington is also 8-0 and has been impressive. Texas is in a group of 1-loss teams with Oregon, Alabama, Penn State and Oklahoma that must be near-perfect the rest of the way to have a shot at the playoff.
Sarkisian thinks the Longhorns have the best win in the country, a 34-24 win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 9. The Crimson Tide was 52-1 in its previous 53 games at Bryant-Denny Stadium until the Longhorns handed Nick Saban’s team its only loss of the season so far.
“I hear so much about how tough the SEC is, but I haven’t seen any of those teams go into Alabama and win,” he said. “I feel pretty good about our team, and over time this will play itself out. We need to focus on what we need to do Saturday and play our best football.”
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The committee will release refreshed rankings every Tuesday after the first edition comes out, and as long as the Longhorns keep winning, they’re always going to have a shot. The only time it truly matters if you’re in the top four is at the end of the season, and if Texas reaches the goals they’ve set, like win the Big 12 Conference championship, there’s a decent chance they’ll be rewarded for it.