Wednesday, the ’08 Sooners avenged their loss in the Fiesta Bowl the year before by toppling ’07 West Virginia to advance with 55 percent of the vote.
That could set the stage for a titanic rematch from one of the all-time great games in Big 12 history.
But first, the 2008 Longhorns will have to get past 2010 TCU, which was one of only three teams in the Big 12 BCS-era 16-team playoff bracket to finish its season undefeated.
Again, the voting will be open until 10 p.m. Central time on Thursday. Now, to the matchup:
Final ranking: No. 4
Top player: QB Colt McCoy
Consensus All-America: McCoy, DE Brian Orakpo
Best wins: No. 1 Oklahoma (45-35); No. 11 Missouri (56-31); No. 7 Oklahoma State (28-24); No. 10 Ohio State (24-21, Fiesta Bowl)
Losses: at No. 6 Texas Tech (39-33)
Why they should advance: The ’08 Longhorns likely would have played for the national championship had it not been for Michael Crabtree’s miracle game-winning touchdown catch in Texas’ loss at Texas Tech.
Still, this Texas team was good as any in the country in ’08, which was validated by the Longhorns’ double-digit victory over the Sooners.
Texas played for the national championship the following season, but ’08 might have been its better team.
The defensive line was ferocious, while McCoy and Shipley formed one of the best quarterback-receiver tandems in college football history.
Final ranking: No. 2
Top player: QB Andy Dalton
Consensus All-America: S Tejay Johnson
Best wins: No. 24 Oregon State (30-21); at No. 6 Utah (47-7); No. 4 Wisconsin (21-19, Rose Bowl)
Why they should advance: All the ’10 Horned Frogs could do was beat every team on their schedule -- and that’s exactly what they did, solidifying their credibility by taking down Big Ten champion Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
TCU featured a future NFL starting quarterback in Dalton, and the No. 1 statistical defense in the country. That’s a recipe for defeating anyone.
McCoy was fabulous as a junior, completing a virtually unprecedented 77 percent of his passes. He had two reliable targets in Shipley and Quan Cosby. And on the other side, the defense was littered with future NFL starters.
This clash with ’10 TCU, however, would be a sneaky tough matchup for these Longhorns. The Horned Frogs had the defense that would have created problems for Texas, which really didn’t have to face any great defenses in 2008, at least until the bowl game.
But even though Dalton has turned out to be the better pro, McCoy was the better college quarterback.
And with slightly more talent across the board as well, I would give the nod -- and my vote -- to the vaunted ’08 Longhorns.
Coming up Monday: (3 seed) 2009 Texas vs. (14 seed) 2001 Nebraska