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Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Brown befuddled by BCS rankings

Coach blames computers for slip compared to Longhorns' place in polls

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— Texas coach Mack Brown is puzzled by the Bowl Championship Series computer rankings.

The Longhorns (9-1, 6-0 Big 12) are ranked fourth in this week's Associated Press Top 25, third in the coaches poll, but fifth in the BCS.

Texas' only loss came to top-ranked Ohio State, and the Longhorns have beaten Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas Tech, all ranked teams at some point this season.

But the Longhorns also played North Texas, Rice and Division I-AA Sam Houston State, games that hurt the schedule-strength component of their computer ranking.

Brown said all Texas can do now is win out and hope the teams ahead of his team falter.

"Looking back doesn't do any good," Brown said, "and I still can't figure out the computers. I'm proud the humans are voting us third and fourth in the country. And we are a really good football team."

Brown wants more consistent parameters about how teams should schedule without getting hurt in the BCS rankings.

"If all the coaches and athletic directors could understand exactly who the computers want you to play and where they want you to play them, and then if you could know how many games they were going to win, it would probably help all of us," Brown said.

The AP poll is no longer part of the BCS formula. Brown wishes it was.

"Everybody says there's flaws with the different polls that we have," Brown said. "But at least we've got eyes looking at it and people who are basing it on what they feel and the strength of schedule and the way the team is playing at this time.

"But the system we've got is what we've got."

Texas can clinch a share of the South Divison title and a berth in the league championship game with a victory Saturday night at Kansas State (6-4, 3-3).

First-timer: Kansas State's Ron Prince is the sixth first-year coach in Big 12 history to guide his team to bowl-eligibility in his rookie season.

With a 34-21 win at Colorado on Saturday, the Wildcats ensured they were bowl-eligible.

A bowl game will give Kansas State the national exposure and extra practice Prince said he needs to keep the program on an upward trajectory.

"I want to make sure we get Kansas State back to the level of competing for championships," Prince said. "Kansas State has become, here in the last decade and a half, a fixture in postseason and we want to make sure that continues that way."

Players of the week: Kansas State freshman quarterback Josh Freeman was named the Big 12 offensive player of the week after leading the Wildcats to a 34-21 victory over Colorado. Freeman completed 22 of 26 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns. His 84.6 completion percentage is the highest in a Big 12 game this season and the second-best in Kansas State history.

Nebraska junior linebacker Bo Ruud was the defensive player of the week after making seven tackles, including a sack, in the Cornhuskers' 34-20 win over Missouri. Ruud also forced and recovered a fumble and returned an interception 40 yards.

Baylor senior punter Daniel Sepulveda was the special-teams player of the week after averaging a school-record 49.6 yards on eight punts in the Bears' 55-21 loss to Texas Tech.

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