The initial news from the Bowl Championship Series standings looked good for Texas. The long-range forecast, however, favors Oklahoma.
The Longhorns stayed ahead of the Sooners yesterday - but not by much - and moved into the coveted second spot in the standings, thanks to a better computer rating.
The Sooners surged in the standings on the strength of a 65-21 victory against Texas Tech, which dropped to seventh place.
Alabama remained on top of the standings, a comfortable No. 1 in the USA Today coaches' poll and Harris poll, and best according to the computers. The Crimson Tide is two wins away from playing for its first national title since 1992.
Texas is close behind Oklahoma in both polls but has the second-best computer rating. The Longhorns' BCS average is .9209 out of a possible 1.000.
Oklahoma is at .9125. But the Sooners have a road game against Oklahoma State (9-2) on Saturday that - if they win - should boost their computer score and likely sway a few more voters their way.
Texas plays Texas A&M; (4-7) on Thanksgiving, a game that will weigh down the Longhorns' strength of schedule - a vital part of the computer ratings - and won't give voters much reason to move them up.
That's important because the Big 12 South title will be decided by the BCS standings if Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma finish in a three-way tie.
Florida (.8755) is in fourth, but the Gators are still in the driver's seat. If Florida wins at Florida State on Saturday and beats Alabama for the Southeastern Conference title, Tim Tebow and the Gators will be back in the national championship game for the second time in three seasons.
Southern California (.7974) is in fifth place but with one less team to jump after the Red Raiders were handed their first loss of the season.
Utah was in sixth, but the Utes are just waiting to find out what BCS game they'll play in.
Utah finished its perfect regular season with a 48-24 victory against Brigham Young on Saturday that gave the Utes the Mountain West Conference championship.
Teams from the MWC and four other conferences without an automatic bid to the BCS earn a guaranteed spot in the four big-money bowl games by finishing in the top 12 of the final BCS standings.
AP Top 25: : The SEC title could have a national championship feel when Alabama faces Florida in the Georgia Dome in two weeks. No. 1 vs. No. 2, a month before the BCS national championship game is played. The Gators moved up to No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, a spot behind the top-ranked Crimson Tide. If Florida can win its regular-season finale at Florida State, and Alabama can do the same against Auburn, the SEC will sport the first 1 vs. 2 matchup in a conference title game - with the winner likely off to another 1-2 game in Miami for the BCS championship. Meanwhile, in the Big 12, Oklahoma moved up two spots to No. 3, barely slipping past Big 12 rival and No. 4 Texas after the Sooners' resounding victory against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders tumbled five spots to No. 7 after their first loss of the season. Southern California moved up one spot to No. 5 and Penn State got a bump to No. 6. Alabama, the only remaining unbeaten team from the six BCS conferences, received 63 of a possible 65 first-place votes. Florida received the other first-place votes.
Kansas State: : Bill Snyder, whose turnaround of Kansas State has been called "the Miracle in Manhattan," has told school officials he'll return to coach the Wildcats again. A person with knowledge of the hiring told the Associated Press that Snyder, 69, would be introduced at a news conference this morning. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made. Snyder retired three years ago after taking the losingest program in major college football history and turning it into a winner, an achievement many in college football thought impossible. He left with a 136-68-1 record and will replace the man who replaced him, Ron Prince, who was fired with three games left but finished out the season. The school said only that today's news conference was to discuss the coaching situation.
Penn State: : Coach Joe Paterno had successful hip replacement surgery, one day after the Nittany Lions clinched the Big Ten title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. Paterno, 81, was resting comfortably at Mount Nittany Medical Center and was eager to return home, the team said in a statement. Paterno is expected back on his feet today and resume coaching Dec. 1. Paterno spent much of this season coaching from the press box because of the sore hip he injured while demonstrating an onside kick in August. Paterno said Saturday he plans to return in 2009.
Firings: : San Diego State fired coach Chuck Long, whose Aztecs just completed their first 10-loss season. Long is 9-27 in three seasons at San Diego State. ... Wyoming fired coach Joe Glenn the day after the Cowboys completed their fourth losing season in his six years at the school. Wyoming finished this year at 4-8.
Clemson: : Coach Dabo Swinney said junior defensive end Ricky Sapp partially tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is out for the rest of the season.