Not dead yet: 5-7 Texas could still make a bowl

Published Nov. 26, 2010 4:18 p.m. ET

By Mike Piellucci

The day Longhorn-haters have long been pining for finally arrived on Thanksgiving night, when a 24-17 defeat at the hands of Texas A&M dropped them to 5-7 and out of bowl contention.

They want to hold off celebrating too heartily for the time being.

While it requires a lot of fortunate breaks to go their way, there still is a chance for Texas to make a bowl game.

As first reported by the Fort Worth Star Telegram, the initial hurdle hinges on the admittedly unlikely scenario of TCU getting snubbed from a BCS bowl game. Should that happen, the Horned Frogs, as champion of the Mountain West, would be ticketed for the Las Vegas Bowl and a tie-in with a Pac-10 team.

Now, here's where things get interesting. With USC banned from postseason play, the Pac-10 only has three teams currently assured of a bowl berth (Oregon, Stanford,and Arizona) with two more (California and Oregon State) needing one more win, and three more (Washington, Arizona State, and UCLA) needing to win both of its final games to reach bowl eligibility.

Should Oregon suffer one or fewer losses, and Stanford wins its final regular against Oregon State, the Pac-10 stands a very good chance of sending both to a BCS bowl, meaning that it will need to have five teams eligibile for postseason play to fill its guaranteed berth in the Las Vegas Bowl.

If that doesn't happen, there may not be enough 6-6 teams in the country to fill 35 bowl games. In that case, the NCAA would open up the invitation process to 5-7 teams and Texas, given its reputation and prestige, would likely be the Las Vegas Bowl's first choice.

A TCU-Texas Las Vegas Bowl?

It would certainly draw ratings. Just don't expect it to happen.

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